Koichi Sato - 20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale Hong Kong Thursday, July 9, 2020 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Private Collection
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Exhibited

    Hong Kong, WOAW Store, Ecstasy Journey by Koichi Sato, 26 March - 3 April 2019

  • Catalogue Essay

    Based in New York, the Tokyo-born Koichi Sato is a self-taught artist, his works are playful re-inventions of the imagery found in pop culture, sports and television. The intriguing and delightful group portrait he creates is characterized by the comically stylized figures and exaggerated facial features, rendered with a bold and vibrant background that blends seamlessly with its subjects.

    Koichi Sato
    Kingdom (detail), 2019
    The present work was included in Sato’s debut exhibition, Ecstasy Journey, at the WOAW gallery in Hong Kong. Propelled by a need to escape the mundane daily lives in New York, Sato takes the viewers on a fantasy journey to an undefined ‘elsewhere’ emerged from his own imagination. The whimsical characters in Kingdom seems to be transported to Hong Kong, some dressed in the style of traditional Chinese garments, in cheongsams or the straight-collared Tang suit, holding fans or playing with a dragon. The artist’s expressive marks immerse his joyful characters in a lively background, adorned with familiar neon signs found on the bustling streets of Hong Kong, such as the ubiquitous currency exchange shop sign and the famous Chow Tai Fook jewelry store sign. Working quickly through the canvas and leaving no negative space, Sato’s composition gradually unveils its content as viewers start to decode the visual cues beneath the heavily patterned surface. The mixed racial representation in this group portrait celebrates the city’s diversity, their delightful presence captures the positive message of inclusivity that the artist tries to convey.

    Neon signs on Nathan Road, Kowloon
    Appearing at auction for the first time, Sato’s work increasingly gathers critical and artist acclaim, following his debut show at Bill Brady Gallery (Miami) in 2017, Sato has held his first show in New York at Ross + Kramer Gallery in 2018.



signed and dated 'Koichi Sato 2019 Koichi Sato' on the reverse
acrylic on canvas
127 x 127 cm. (50 x 50 in.)
Painted in 2019.

HK$120,000 - 180,000 

Sold for HK$237,500

Contact Specialist
Danielle So
Associate Specialist, Head of Day Sale

20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale

Hong Kong Auction 9 July 2020