Credit: Tate Modern

China has a thriving counterfeit industry, which until now has fixed its gaze on fashion knockoffs and DVDs. But a hoaxer has taken things to an entirely new level by staging an entire exhibition of forged Yayoi Kusama and Takashi Murakami artworks, the artists’ lawyers claim.

The exhibition was billed as the real deal and had been travelling the country since April, popping up in Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Wuhan. But when it docked in Shanghai in September, Kusama’s lawyers quickly shut it down and are now pursuing legal action against the organisers, who according to the Nikkei Asian Review, have yet to be identified.

Yayoi Kusama, 'Narcissus Garden, 1966', installation at Kestnergesellschaft, Hannover 2013. Courtesy Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore/Shanghai and Victoria Miro, London/Venice (c) Yayoi Kusama. Photography: Ulrich Prigge
Yayoi Kusama, ‘Narcissus Garden, 1966’, installation at Kestnergesellschaft, Hannover 2013. Courtesy Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore/Shanghai and Victoria Miro, London/Venice (c) Yayoi Kusama. Photography: Ulrich Prigge

Fans of the polka-dot artist’s work can see the genuine article at her Tokyo museum, which threw open its doors last year – or catch her ‘Narcissus Garden’ at Hayward Gallery’s Space Shifters show.

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