Startbahn Supporting the Value of Art with Blockchain Holds a Solo Exhibition by Soichiro Murata at WHAT CAFE


Startbahn, Inc. (Headquarters: Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo; Representative Director: Taihei Shii, hereinafter Startbahn) is holding  a solo exhibition "A Walk through White Shadows" by Soichiro Murata at an art gallery cafe called WHAT CAFE operated by Warehouse TERRADA from June 30, 2021 (Wednesday) to July 24, 2021 (Saturday).

“Affirmation, or just white circle and splash” 2015, 910x1167mm, Acrylic on canvas

■ Overview

Startbahn aims to realize a richer society by providing the technology needed by artists and all people involved in art around the world. By utilizing blockchain, we are building infrastructure and providing services to ensure the reliability and authenticity of art works and to support value inheritance. It started with an art project called "Building Infrastructure for Art in the Digital Age" initiated by the representative Taihei Shii in 2006.

This initiative has a high affinity with the goal of Warehouse TERRADA's art gallery cafe "WHAT CAFE" to "support artists who will lead the future of the art industry." With this affinity as a starting point, Startbahn has decided to plan and cooperate with a solo exhibition of young artists at WHAT CAFE.

This exhibition features Kansai-based artist Soichiro Murata. This is the first exhibition that comprehensively introduces Murata's activities. In addition, the blockchain certificate "Cert." provided by Startbahn will be issued to the exhibited works. Not only the basic information of the work, but also the provenance information including the exhibition history for this time is permanently recorded with Cert..

Expanding Artist's Activities and Opportunities Through Solo Exhibitions

Soichiro Murata (1985-) was one of the first to stand out in his generation and has participated in numerous exhibitions in both Japan and overseas. His works exhibited at the group exhibition "Rendez-vous 11" (Villeurbanne, 2011) linked with the Lyon Biennale and "VOCA Exhibition 2017 Perspectives on Contemporary Art-Writers on a New Plane" (Tokyo, 2017) received high praise. In recent years, he has been active mainly in Kansai, and has held two simultaneous solo exhibitions, "Women, Animals, and a Fence that parts self from others" exhibition (Kyoto, 2020) and "In Blue" exhibition (2020, Kyoto). He is one of the artists who is currently attracting attention.

Since the beginning of his career, Murata has presented his works using various expressions ​​such as two-dimensional works, three-dimensional works, installations, and sound art. His expression extends beyond the artistic realm to the writing of poetry and novels. By bridging the text and visual image, it reveals an artist-specific perspective. In addition, Murata's work, which has pursued "poetry," is a mixture of conflict and joy for life.

In this exhibition, we will try to bring out the artist's unique view of the world in the form of the first solo exhibition at WHAT CAFE. More than 50 works, mainly flat works, from the beginning of his career to the latest works are exhibited. In response to the title of this exhibition, "A Walk through White Shadows," the exhibition space is constructed like a corridor with works arranged discretely. The representation will sometimes create empathy and hope for what you see.

Blockchain Certificate "Cert." with IC tags will be Attached to the Exhibited Works

The blockchain certificate "Cert." provided by Startbahn Cert. will be issued to the works exhibited this time. By issuing "Cert.", not only can it be used like a paper certificate or a sale certificate, but it also protects the authenticity and credibility of the work and the rights of the artist and owner.

The publisher, the gallery or artist, can set its own rules in advance for transactions and use in secondary distribution, and manage the distribution while permanently tracking the provenance. The owner of the work can easily browse its basic information and contract terms on their smartphone. Since personal information including name and transaction amount is not disclosed on the blockchain, there is no concern that privacy will be impaired.

Exhibition information

【Exhibition Name】Soichiro Murata's solo exhibition "A Walk through White Shadows"
【Planning Cooperation】Startbahn, Inc.
【Curator】Startbahn, Inc. Art Integration Office Anna Kato, Shintaro Sumimoto
【Exhibition period】June 30, 2021 (Wednesday) -July 24, 2021 (Saturday) 11: 00-18: 00
【Venue】 WHAT CAFE [2-1-11 Higashi-Shinagawa, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo 140-0002]
【Admission fee】Free

About Soichiro Murata

Soichiro Murata was born in Nara in 1985. In 2009, he dropped out of the Department of Advanced Art Expression, Faculty of Fine Arts, Tokyo University of the Arts. Since then, his activities have been based in Kyoto and Nara. Major solo exhibitions include "I've telegraphed and phoned and sent an airmail" (HAPS, Kyoto, 2016), "May of Wives" (YODOYA, Kyoto, 2014), and major group exhibitions include "VOCA Exhibition 2017 Contemporary Art" Prospects: "Writers on a New Plane" (Ueno Royal Museum, Tokyo, 2017), "Rendez-vous 12" (South African National Gallery, Cape Town, 2012). In addition to the activities of the unit Soichiro & Ichiro with Ichiro Mishima, he was in charge of the stage art in the opera "The Story of the Envoy to the Nameless" (Nara, 2016), which premiered at Nara Centennial Hall. Furthermore, he utilizes his creativity in other ways, such as writing poetry and novels.

■ About Startrail

We have developed Startrail, a sustainable and scalable blockchain infrastructure that assures the reliability, authenticity, and traceability of artworks, including NFTs. Startrail has a strong focus on the art ecosystem that even leads to adding value to art in the long term. Startrail maintains and assures the value of artworks by permanently recording provenance and other types of histories for the artwork such as auction or exhibition. Also, artists can set terms of each artwork which applies even after the primary sale, including royalty rights.

About Startbahn Cert.

"Cert." is a blockchain certificate issuance service that can be managed while ensuring the authenticity and reliability of information about artworks. The owner of the work of art can view the certificate information, and the business operator involved in the distribution of the work of art can issue and transfer the certificate through the web interface.

Startbahn Cert. is built using the blockchain infrastructure "Startrail" for art distribution. The information recorded on Startrail is converted into a familiar user interface like the current paper work certificate, providing a mechanism that anyone can easily and safely manage their works.

About Startbahn, Inc.

Startbahn is a company that aims to realize a richer society by providing the technology needed by artists and all people involved in art around the world. We are promoting the construction of "Startrail," an infrastructure for art distribution and evaluation utilizing blockchain technology. In addition, as a service to connect to Startrail, we are developing our own online service, "Startbahn Cert." and blockchain joint business with corporations and organizations.


WHAT CAFE is an art spot that constantly exhibits dozens of contemporary art works by artists who will lead the future of the Japanese art industry. By replacing all the works at each exhibition, we will create opportunities for many artists to showcase and sell their works, and provide visitors with a place where they can always stumble upon new art. In addition, the official website will also openly recruit exhibiting artists so that it will be an opportunity for a wide variety of artists to take a leap forward (exhibitions by open recruitment will go through screening). In addition, we hold workshops, events, and exchange meetings between art lovers for the contents of the exhibition. We will provide a new experience where you can enjoy art through all your senses. In addition, in the cafe space, you can enjoy meals and drinks while being surrounded by art.

Facility Name: WHAT CAFE
Business: Exhibition and sale of contemporary art, cafe
Location: 2-1-11 Higashi-Shinagawa, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo 140-0002
Access: 4 minutes walk from Exit B of Tennozu Isle Station on the Rinkai Line, 5 minutes walk from the central exit of Tennozu Isle Station on the Tokyo Monorail
Business hours: 11:00 – 18:00 (irregular holidays)

* The museum may be closed during the exhibition replacement period, rental event, etc. Please see the WHAT CAFE official website calendar for details on business days.

Instagram: @whatcafe_terrada(

■  Inquiries about Exhibited Works and WHAT CAFE

Warehouse TERRADA 
Business Development Team
E-mail Adress:[email protected]

■ Contact Information for the Press

Startbahn, Inc.
Public Relations Officer: Mizuno
E-mail Adress:[email protected]


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