Izumi Kato - 20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale Hong Kong Sunday, November 24, 2019 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Michael Ku Gallery, Taipei
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Exhibited

    Taipei, Michael Ku Gallery, LONG SEASON, 21 February - 26 April 2009

  • Catalogue Essay

    I try to paint pictures that only I can paint. I paint people because I feel particularly motivated by human subjects.” Searching for another world within his paintings, Izumi Kato inexhaustibly turns to human subjects for his source of inspiration, a world that contains a fiction that is as powerful as reality. Kato perfectly captures this dynamic energy in Untitled, creating a captivating realm that lies in the depth of human unconsciousness. A family of three human figures, a man, a woman and a child, resides in this new world that Kato creates in Untitled, with bloated oval heads, two big, fathomless eyes and a crudely figured nose and mouth. These figures are devoid of superficial details such as facial expressions, maintaining a sense of anonymity that does not call to mind any specific person, yet what remains allure whirls of power. Rooted to the earth with an abundance of minerals, the tree trunk extends into full branches that weave the three figures together, representing a family lineage. Like a tree, a family is born, flourishes and branches out. Through the ‘family tree’ motif, Kato builds a psychological bridge between primitivism of nature and the true face of basic human life, moving the viewers and stimulating our imagination to consider the true essence of our existence as an evolutionary process that does not differentiate from the earth.

    There is a magical intensity in Untitled through the eerie colour tones that Kato deploys to deepen his painting. He first creates expansive fields of colour in the background with rubber spatulas, and for the remaining space of the canvas, he directly applies paint with his hands and fingers while wearing vinyl gloves. Trusting and using his body as a painting tool, his strokes are not intentional or pre-meditated, but rather an instinctive premonition. With a unique new form of expression, Kato is undoubtedly breaking new ground in the contemporary art world, continuously garnering critical attention internationally.



signed and dated ‘2008 KATO [in English and Kanji]' on the reverse
oil on canvas
99.8 x 80.1 cm. (39 1/4 x 31 1/2 in.)
Painted in 2008.

HK$200,000 - 300,000 

Sold for HK$1,000,000

Contact Specialist
Danielle So
Associate Specialist, Head of Day Sale

20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale

Hong Kong Auction 25 November 2019