ChaosLongue was first formed by Uso Fujishiro in an art & live exhibition event in 2008. Two years later, Fujishiro and Youhei Kurose held another exhibiton at Takahashi Collection Hibiya, Tokyo on April 2010. It was during this exhibition that the group started proclaiming that their works are to be known as the "Art of the 2010s".
The current members ChaosLounge are Uso Fujishiro, Youhei Kurose, and Kazuki Umezawa. Starting from 2009 onwards, the group has been producing artworks that are mainly collage works.
Currently, the members are unable to use the name "Chaoslounge" by law. This is because a third person, who has no relation to the members above, had a trademark application on this group name on December 6 2011, and assigned the trademark right to Pink Company on May 11 2012. Pink Company has produced art works and meme-related goods under the brand name of "Chaoslounge" since the assignment of the trademark. As a part of art activities, Pink Company established an official website .
ChaosLounge 2010 Proclamation
According to the previous official site, the ChaosLongue 2010 Proclamation (カオスラウンジ宣言2010, KaousuRaunji Sengen 2010) describes the group's establishment along with its motives and vision. The proclamation also describes the creation of their art by combining genres of postmodern art and the digital information era of global society which is the internet.
In 2011, ChaosLounge began attracting a massive amount of criticizing from social forums and websites such as Twitter and 2ch when it was revealed that their artworks were collages of various existing commercial pictures, logos and derivative works created by artists including artworks from pixiv. The pictures in their artworks were simply mashed up together, forming a postmodern collage work which was then exhibited at ChaosLounge's personal exhibition events.
While ChaosLounge has acknowledged this, they have stated clearly that they will not cease their activity despite having to apologize for their actions.
In 2011, Umezawa created a postmodern artwork which directly used Moetron (キメこな, Kimekona). Unlike his previous works, the inclusion of Moetron in his artwork was controversial as the picture had very little modifications, hence an almost direct copy and paste.
This artwork was displayed in the office of Contectures (a publishing company run by Hiroki Azuma, a thinker, who ordered Umezawa to make this artwork) and had been planned to receive many praises from Japanese art critiques who have close association with Hiroki Azuma. However, users from Twitter, 2ch, and especially Futaba Channel, the site in which Moetron originated from, began criticizing ChaosLonge for the usage of their works without permission.
This incident remains unsolved due the copyright validity of Moetron because the image itself is a collage of various existing anime characters. ChaosLounge had issued an apology, but many have never forgave their actions.
Takanori Katagiri, the CEO of pixiv, appeared in a joint interview with the ChaosLounge members in the June issue of Bijutsu Techou. Various twitter messages between Kurose and Katagiri were discovered by internet users regarding ChaosLounge decorating rooms for Hotel Sunline Kamata. Labelled as Hotel Chaos*Sunline, the rooms were decorated with various artworks and pictures which were taken without permission. Katagiri however denied his involvement as he only introduced the hotel’s architect to the ChaosLounge members.
pixiv X 7th Hakurei Jinja Reitaisai Art Contest Incident
In 2011, pixiv received many complaints about pixiv artworks being used by ChaosLongue in their collage works. All of the artworks that were used were mainly taken from pixiv's ranking board including those that were to be published in the “Gashuu ‘Shunen Ryouran Chou’" art book during the Reitaisai Festival.
Although the complaints were sent, pixiv was unable to take action immediately due to their managing policy. A week after, all ChaosLounge user accounts were suspended for their actions.
The list below contains the activities ChaosLounge has done which are considered offensive and controversial by many:
- Held exhibitions in which visitors are encouraged to slowly trample upon the artworks placed on the floor. The artworks that were trampled contain images and other artworks.
- Conducted counterfeiting activities by printing fake 1,000 yen notes and selling them to visitors in their events.
- Sold customized iPhone4 cases which uses collage works. Sales have halted 2 months after receiving a cease and decease letters from the related companies.
- Exhibited works containing various Disney characters. Any Disney related characters and products for derivative works are illegal in Japan.
- Used various Touhou fan artworks to create room wallpapers.
- Distributed various corporate logo stickers without obtaining permission from their respective companies
- Used characters from Memories Off, Hetalia and other anime works for their collage works and exhibition.
Modern Art Flood Incident
Due to pixiv’s late response regarding ChaosLongue, internet users responded their dissatisfaction by submitting artworks with the tag "Modern Art (現代アート, Gendai Aato)" on pixiv. The tag quickly gained popularity and many users who were unaware of the incident considered it a shameless act. Initially, the submitted artworks contained picture captions with minor modifications criticizing pixiv's management practice, but soon turned into hand drawn artworks after a massive clean-up along with the suspension and deletion of users. These artworks however were deleted depending how offensive they were.
On July 27 2011, pixiv issued a statement stating that ChaosLounge was indeed invited in pixiv related events and have artworks appearing in art books. However, pixiv stated that they have no relations to any of ChaosLounge’s activities and did not solicit artworks to the group. Pixiv has also promised to improve their management practices.
After pixiv’s official statement, some of the suspended accounts have been restored and artworks with the “Moden Art” tag made itself into the ranking board. Despite this, there are many users who are still dissatisfied or confused over the issue, causing many users to leave pixiv to join other sites such as Timani. There are also users who submit doodles or offensive artwork in official contests to make fun of the contest itself.