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  • Provenance

    BAPE Gallery, Tokyo
    Sotheby's, Hong Kong, 20 January 2016, lot 9
    Acquired at the above sale by the present owner

  • Exhibited

    Tokyo, BAPE Gallery, Original Fake, 1 March - 25 April 2003

  • Catalogue Essay

    “Do you know that series of package paintings that I did? That was because I saw that these guys in Japan were collecting toys. I had friends that were spending $3,000 on a Star Wars prototype figure. They weren’t collecting art, they were collecting toys. So I did those package paintings where I mass-produced the packaging around the painting, but the painting itself was done individually. That was my way of bridging the gap between those two worlds. Because I realized that these guys are absolute connoisseurs of the stuff they collect. They can look at a toy and say, Oh, this is a 76. It came out in three versions. It occurred to me that that kind of obsessive collecting isn’t any different than art.”
    (KAWS, quoted in Tobey Maguire, ‘KAWS’, Interview Magazine, 27 April 2010, online)

    Four of the first 40 package paintings ever created for the 2003 Original Fake exhibition at the BAPE Gallery in Tokyo, these works were inspired by Japan’s toy collecting scene – KAWS’ unique attempt to bridge the gap between the toy and art collecting realms. Whilst the plastic packaging was mass-produced, each painting was created individually, reflecting on how similar toy collectors were to their art counterparts in seeing value in items produced in limited quantities.

    Reinterpreting recognisable characters from popular culture with his signature skull and crossed eyes, the CHUM character is also one of the KAWS’s oldest and most iconic characters. notorious names in Japanese street fashion in the 90s) also highlights how the artist emerged Having been exhibited by NIGO (founder of A Bathing Ape, one of the most from an urban streetwear and commercial culture into art in the same way the packaged painting was conceptualised.

  • Artist Biography

    KAWS

    American • 1974

    KAWS (b. 1974, Jersey City, New Jersey; lives and works in Brooklyn, New York) is renowned for his prolific body of work that straddles the worlds of art and design to include paintings, murals, graphic and product design, street art, and large-scale sculptures. Over the last two decades KAWS has built a successful career with work that consistently shows his formal agility as an artist, as well as his underlying wit, irreverence, and affection for our times. His refined graphic language revitalizes figuration with both big, bold gestures and playful intricacies.  

    KAWS often appropriates and draws inspiration from pop culture animations, forming a unique artistic vocabulary across mediums. Admired for his larger-than-life sculptures and hardedge paintings that emphasize line and color, KAWS’s cast of hybrid cartoon characters are the strongest examples of his exploration of humanity. As seen in his collaborations with global brands, the artist’s imagery possesses a sophisticated humor and reveals a thoughtful interplay with consumer products. With their broad appeal, KAWS’s artworks are highly sought-after by collectors inside and outside of the art world, establishing him as a uniquely prominent artist and influence in today’s culture.  

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29

UNTITLED

2002
signed and dated 'KAWS..02' on the reverse
acrylic on canvas with plastic packaging
package: 25.8 x 19 cm. (10 1/8 x 7 1/2 in.)
canvas: 15.2 x 12.8 cm. (5 7/8 x 5 in.)

Executed in 2002.

Estimate
HK$150,000 - 250,000 
€16,900-28,100
$19,200-32,100

Sold for HK$475,000

Contact Specialist
Jonathan Crockett
Deputy Chairman, Asia and Head of 20th Century & Contemporary Art, Asia
+852 2318 2023

Isaure de Viel Castel
Head of Department
+852 2318 2011

Charlotte Raybaud
Specialist, Head of Day Sale
+852 2318 2026

20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale

Hong Kong Auction 26 November 2018