NEW YORK (majriox news) — International contemporary artist Takashi Murakami and Christie’s Auction House joined forces to raise more than 680 million yen ($8.8 million). Murakami’s “New Day: Artists for Japan” charity sale was held on Nov. 9 in New York to help the victims of Japan’s earthquake and tsunami, which hit the country March 11.
It soon became standing-room-only as collectors, artists and fans of Murakami ambled in the salesroom at 9:30 a.m. The auction was held in the morning so that bidders online in Asia could take part in it.
Murakami led off the auction with emotional opening remarks.
“The damage which resulted from the recent earthquake was great and yet, there are other disasters occurring somewhere in the world every day,” he said. “If we do not address the root causes of the chaos arising from these disasters, both natural and man-made, then our problems will continue reoccurring, and their severity will only grow worse, eating further away at the heart and mind.”
He added that if an art auction can serve as the impetus for such understanding, then he was hopeful that everyone could make the present hardship worthwhile.
Before the bidding began, well-known Actor Ken Watanabe read a poem written by Kenji Miyazawa.
Works by Murakami and artists such as Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, Yoshitomo Nara and Cindy Sherman were included in the auction. Jeff Koon’s “Balloon Monkey Wall Relief” sold for $1 million, which was the highest total of the day. Purchased by an anonymous party, it was a nine-by-eight-foot steel relief of a balloon monkey.
A total of 21 pieces were sold. The results were better than expected by $2.5 million.
“I’m very appreciative for that,” said an amazed Murakami, adding that the sales total for his auction was “heartwarming.”
The proceeds will be contributed to humanitarian organizations, including the International Medical Corps, which has delivered healthcare and training services since immediately following the disaster.
“We are tremendously grateful to Takashi Murakami and Christie’s Auction House for holding this generous charity auction to benefit survivors of the Japan earthquake and tsunami,” said Nancy A. Aossey, President and CEO of International Medical Corps. “With their support, International Medical Corps will be able to continue supporting our local Japanese partners and effectively delivering healthcare services to survivors who suffer from the long-term health and psychosocial effects of a disaster of this magnitude.”