Flower Children 3

In any age, Artists get monetary support from others _ the king, the church, the modern market. The means of support affect the Art (eg., portaits of noblemen, Biblical paintings, modern art). In Tokyo today, Artists get support from a community of Artists, who in turn get support/make money as freeters in the straight economy. This distinction becomes easier to understand if one looks at the true function of Art as giving spiritual fulfillment to people who aren’t Artists, those people who are straight and make money. It’s like going to church. Art like religion is “necessary” in every society to remind people of the meaning of life. Because the Artist possesses that special power, the Artist gets money from those who make money, so that the Artist can be free of straight-world commitments to practice that power. If Art becomes funded by a community of like-minded Artists (salaryman/freeter masses), Art becomes very different from Art nurtured in the 20th Century modern art scene of the West. Tokyo Art is not combative. It does not try to make a point. It reaches out to others in harmony like a psychotherapy session. There is no prize committee, rich patron/gallery buyer, even recording label/producer to impress. Sincerity is critical: Are you really an Artist? Or are you more interested in success/money/the straight world? If you are truly a Tokyo Artist, then you are “in” no matter how untrained, how off-key, how absurd your Art may be. But you must Believe.