Batta mon is a series of controversial art works designed after locusts, which are displayed at an Osaka gallery after being removed from the kobe fashion museum in response to protests from Louis Vuitton that a few of the art works contain its brand logo.
Kyoto-based artist Mitsuhiro Okamoto created nine locust sculptures out of fake designer bags – the works were meant to raise questions about the relationship between authenticity and imitation in a consumer-driven society. Battamon is a a play on the words ‘batta’, meaning locust, and ‘batta mon’, slang for knockoff.
“Laws regulate commercial products. under the current situation, battamon works can’t be recognized as commercial products, and the display of the works can’t be deemed illegal’, said patent attorney Seiji Ota. However, they could be regarded as commercial products depending on circumstances, such as whether they will be traded. Experts would be divided over the issue’. Lawyer Tasuku Mizuno, co-leader of the nonprofit organization (NPO) arts and law that extends legal support to artists, instead pointed out that the removal of Okamoto’s works from the exhibition in response to pressure from Louis Vuitton Japan was inappropriate. Public art museums should hold fair exhibitions from the viewpoint of freedom of expression and citizens’ right to know. It’s a problem that the works were removed at the urging of a private company”.