Dear Moon…are you ready for your first Space Tourists?
Yusaku Maezawa had a dream as a child, he would look up to the Moon as it cast its gentle glow across Chiba, the Japanese city that he still calls home, and he could think of nothing more exciting than visiting our nearest celestial neighbour. What he would find? Space aliens, strange spacecraft? What would his experiences be? Back then all the young Yusaku could do was dream, but life, as it turns out, can offer opportunities to the courageous.
Yusaku during his days as a drummer, source: Yusaku Instagram page
Hardcore Punk to Art Loving Fashion Guru
Yusaku chose an unusual path to notoriety, first entering the public gaze as a drummer for a hardcore punk band called Switch Style, this budding entrepreneur also began a small business selling rare CD’s and records in 1998 via a company he started called Start Today. Eventually, the strains of running the business and being a busy band member got too much and he ditched the band life and concentrated solely on his business ventures instead. By the year 2000 Yusaku had added a clothing line to his ever-growing empire and by 2004 he had launched a fashion retail business called Zozotown, through hard work and dedication he was a billionaire by his mid-30s. His fashion empire continues to flourish with the recent introduction of ZOZO, a custom fit global clothing model that utilises the ZOZOSUIT, a unique at-home measurement system that ensures your clothes fit exactly which is destined to revolutionise the online fashion business.
Well known as a lover of art, Yusaku can often be found at auctions buying highly collectable art for vast sums of money, in 2016 he spent $57.3 million dollars on a piece created by Jean-Michel Basquiat, entitled ‘Devils Head’. He had this to say about this particular work of art:
‘Regardless of its condition or sales value, I was driven by the responsibility to acknowledge great art and the need to pass on not only the artwork itself but also the knowledge of the artist's culture and his way of life to future generations’
These words, it seems, held a strong resonance for this art-loving entrepreneur.
In 2017 he spent $110 million on another of Basquiat’s works, a record for that particular artist. Amongst other things, Yusaku is also the founder of the Contemporary Art Foundation that is based in Tokyo whose mission is to support and encourage young artists by displaying and promoting their artistic efforts.
Yusaku and the $110 million painting created by Jean-Michel Basquiat. Image by Jackson Ryan
Combining his Passions
Now, if you combine an intense love of art, with a long-standing childhood dream of going to the moon and have the finances to do so, you might be able to do what Yusaku has just done. Whilst admiring his art collection Yusaku wondered what these artists would have painted had they been to the Moon? Would it have inspired them to create something extraordinary?
When Elon Musk and his company SpaceX announced plans to fly private passengers around the moon in 2023 using the Big Falcon Rocket, or BFR for short, Yusaku saw a unique opportunity. Reaching very deep into his pockets, he promptly purchased all the private passenger seats that were intended to go on sale for that particular trip. The figure he paid hasn’t been revealed by SpaceX, but it was significant enough for Elon Musk to mention that the cash injection will help considerably with the ship and booster development.
Yusaku and Elon Musk
Yusaku’s plan is both a simple and complex one that will take some serious nerve from the participants he wants to take with him to the Moon, artists from lots of different genres including painters, sculptors, novelists, directors and more. The intention being that this epic first tourist journey around the Moon inspires them all to create something wonderful in their respective art forms that future generations can enjoy forever. The difficult thing, of course, is in developing the technology to get there and back safely, as you may imagine, this trip is not going to be easy and could be very dangerous for everyone involved. Plus all of the participants will need to be of a certain level of fitness as the journey itself could prove fatal to those of a frail constitution. The ambitious Yusaku has named this epic artistic outer space undertaking Dear Moon and you can learn more about it here:
Would you go?
Yusaku will shortly be sending out invites to people whose creations have inspired him with a hope that they will accept this unique opportunity to travel with him on this fantastic journey to the Moon. It’s certainly something not to be taken lightly by those who will be approached, as the perils are very real indeed. This journey, destined for 2023, will certainly be a landmark adventure for Yusaku and his troop of artist space tourists, should he find anyone brave enough to take the trip with him that is!
Yusaku, it seems, will be going to the Moon as he once dreamed he would as a young boy, and thanks to his generosity, with a handful of brave artists in tow as well. Here at DesignSpark we will be keeping a curious eye on the Dear Moon project and report back as it progresses and if any important developments occur. There's certainly a few years yet until the intended lift-off of the FBR and a lot of R&D to be completed by the SpaceX team, so, the only thing left to say is a safe trip to everyone involved, when the times comes that is.
Learn More about Dear Moon and the BFR mission