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  • Provenance

    Private Collection, Tokyo
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    AT THIS TIME presents KAWS’ signature COMPANION figure standing alone with his head tilted backwards and his eyes sunk in his hands. The COMPANION’s posture conveys myriad, contradicting emotions- spanning disbelief, rest, isolation and playfulness. Captured in a state of isolation, COMPANION appears sad and alone – in a complete paradox to its name. Yet when seen through a child’s eyes, the character’s pose transforms into a playful expression, redolent of the childhood game of hide-and-seek. From play to retreat, invitation to isolation, the COMPANION’s pose conjures a poignant vulnerability that summons empathy from its viewers.

    At once whimsical and psychologically charged, the domestic sized sculpture invites viewers into a visual universe that is infused with KAWS’ instantly recognisable cartoon imagery. Enamoured with the world of cartoons to the point of creating his own graphic figures, KAWS designed his first COMPANION character in 1999, which initially took the form of a small-scale figurine. Executed in bronze and painted in the artist’s classic grey colourway, the present lot exemplifies KAWS’ rise to the canon of contemporary art, encapsulating the artist’s visual language that oscillates between popular culture and fine art.

  • Artist Biography


    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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stamped with the artist name, date of work and edition number '5/25 KAWS..16' on the underside
bronze and paint
27.8 x 13.4 x 8.5 cm. (10 7/8 x 5 1/4 x 3 3/8 in.)
Executed in 2016, this work is number 5 from an edition of 25 plus 5 artist's proofs.

HK$800,000 - 1,200,000 

Sold for HK$1,187,500

Contact Specialist
Danielle So
Associate Specialist, Head of Day Sale

20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale

Hong Kong Auction 25 November 2019