Anna Park - Disruptors: Evening Sale of 20th Century & Contemporary Art, Design and Watches Hong Kong Thursday, May 25, 2023 | Phillips
  • “I hope to elicit some sense of familiarity with the viewer, whether this reminds them of a party they've been to, or just being able to recognise any of the characters as their own self or someone they know.”
    — Anna Park


    Korean-American artist, Anna Park, is disrupting the world of contemporary art with charcoal-drawn works that teeter between abstraction and figuration to capture the emotional and physical intensity of being caught in a moment. She was only 22 years old when she was ‘discovered’ by one of the most successful contemporary artists, KAWS, when he visited an open studio exhibition at the New York Academy of Art where Park was attending. Three years later, Park hosted her first solo show with New York’s Half Gallery in 2021, which was quickly sold out. Her trajectory has since hit hyper-speed, with her virtuosic charcoal drawings having been presented in solo shows in Los Angeles; the SCAD Museum of Art in Georgia; Tokyo and Rome. When Phillips Hong Kong made Park’s international debut at auction in June 2022 with I to I, it exceeded its high estimate by more than four times, hammering down for a remarkable HKD 2,268,000 (USD 288,928) with buyer’s premium.



     Installation view of the current work (right) at New York, Anna Zorina Gallery, Sit Still: Self-portraits in the Age of Distraction, 18 June - 15 August 2020.
    Image: Stan Narten


    Charged with energy, Nude immediately transports the viewer into the midst of a chaotic moment, asking the spectator to adopt a somewhat voyeuristic gaze as they look into an instant suspended in time. Through a meticulous interplay between light and shadow, Park’s dexterous command of her charcoal medium brings to life a cinematic composition that oscillates between reality and illusion. Interweaving elements such as the absurd, surreal, pop culture references, academic realism, and abstraction into her own distinct vision of ‘heroism’, Park invites viewers to seek out representational components from amongst the jumbled mass, such as the title’s allusion to the suggestion of human presence in Nude.


    As an artist who focuses solely on one medium, Park repositions charcoal as a valued medium on par with acrylics and oils, breaking the traditional viewpoint of works done by charcoal or on paper as preparatory studies or second-class works, proving that the hierarchy of mediums no longer exists. Or, as Park puts it, ‘the medium informs your concept through language.’ i Charcoal’s inherent powdery qualities allow Park to better articulate and depict a blurry, frantic moment, forming the atmosphere of a heady, debaucherous and crowded environment. And, as Park demonstrates, charcoal can be exceedingly delicate, with the breadth and complex orchestration of its tonal gradations owing entirely to the artist’s talent and virtuosity.


    “For now, charcoal and graphite are my primary mediums. I feel as though the immediacy of charcoal really allows me to see my ideas come to life as soon as I conceive it. Being such a simple, straight forward medium, it presents a challenge to myself in how many different possibilities I can create visually with it.”
    — Anna Park


    In Interview: Moments of Frenzy


    In 2019, a year prior to Nude’s creation, Anna Park spoke with Lujan Perez of Juxtapoz Magazine to explain how she chooses, encapsulates and executes the chaotic scenes of fragmented reality in her work:


    Lujan Perez (LP): What are these moments?
    Anna Park (AP): It's just the moment right in between pure fuckery, debauchery and ecstasy. I guess the best comparison is like when you're really fucked up at a club and everything kind of slows down. That's when you kind of get into yourself. Does that make sense?


    LP: That moment doesn't last that long.
    AP: No, it's an instant, and it can change. The work is a snapshot of that. That’s what I most want to capture in the drawings.


    LP: It's all fun and games, and then all of a sudden we become inappropriate or unhinged.
    AP: It's almost like our inner demons; we all have that. I think when we're most vulnerable, we can allow ourselves to be kind of fucked up or allow the things that you would think in private or talk about with your closest friends come out in public. In these worlds that I create, people are allowed to be that way. And I like that.


    LP: How do you compose these images?
    AP: Lately, it's been really benign statements on Google. I love [the] crowd and dance club scenes, groups of people, just so I have some sort of composition in mind. So I'll type, "people dancing." And it will just be this awful stock imagery of people dancing, or cheesy ones, too, or like a lot of memes that I've just collected over the year. I have an online archive and then, when I want, compositionally, a certain movement or one certain figure in a photo, I'll start collaging on the paper, basically, because I don't really use Photoshop or anything.


    A lot of people ask me, "Oh are these like parties you've been to?" Or, "Do you go to a lot of these scenes?" And I say, "Not so much." I guess this is my way of saying, “This is my alter-ego, Anna, if she was out there getting fucked up all the time.” I’m a hermit for the most part.


    Read the full interview here.


    “Rather than depicting any specific moments, I want to present instances of uncertain chaos…I guess it's kind of how I feel with a lot of things that happen; where a level of anxiety goes hand-in-hand with the unpredictable nature of life.”
    — Anna Park


    Collector’s Digest


    • Born in South Korea in 1994, Park moved to the U.S. with her family as a child—briefly to California before they settled in Salt Lake City, Utah. Park studied illustration and animation at the Pratt Institute, but left for New York Academy of Art when she found herself pulled toward fine art and seeking a traditional art school education – this is where she found her passion for the charcoal medium.

    • In 2021, just one year out of art school and at 25 years old, Anna Park sold out her debut solo show at New York’s Half Gallery.

    • Within this exhibition, 4 of her charcoal compositions went to major museum collections: including the ICA Miami, the MFA Houston, and the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. Another work from the Half Gallery show was featured in a group show at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 2022.

    • In 2019, the artist KAWS spotted her drawings at the New York Academy of Art, bought one of them and posted her work on Instagram, propelling her popularity to new heights.

    • In June 2022, Phillips Hong Kong debuted the artist’s work at auction with I to I, 2019.


    Anna Park, I to I, 2019
    Sold by Phillips Hong Kong for HK$2,268,000, 22 June 2022


    • Park’s solo exhibitions to date include Mirror Shy at Blum and Poe, Los Angeles; Last Call at SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah; and Anna Park at Pond Society, Shanghai, all in 2022.



     i Anna Park, quoted in Bill Powers, ‘Fragmenting Realities With Anna Park’, The Canvas, 1 September 2021, online


    • Provenance

      Anna Zorina Gallery, New York
      Private Collection
      Acquired from the above by the present owner

    • Exhibited

      New York, Anna Zorina Gallery, Sit Still: Self-Portraits in The Age of Distraction, 18 June – 15 August 2020




signed and dated 'ANNA PARK 2020' on the reverse
charcoal on panel
152.4 x 122 cm. (60 x 48 in.)
Executed in 2020.

Full Cataloguing

HK$500,000 - 700,000 

Sold for HK$698,500

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Anastasia Salnikoff
Head of Mid-Season Sales
+852 2318 2014

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+852 2318 2001

Disruptors: Evening Sale of 20th Century & Contemporary Art, Design and Watches

Hong Kong Auction 25 May 2023