MADSAKI - 20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale in Association with Poly Auction Hong Kong Sunday, June 6, 2021 | Phillips
  • "I grew up watching all those American and Japanese cartoons. I just wanted to mash up all the things that have a special meaning to me from that time.”— MADSAKI

    Born in Osaka, the visual artist known only by his pseudonym, MADSAKI, is internationally recognised for his unorthodox approach to contemporary art. Daring to rebel against fine art conventions and use a medium associated with street art, MADSAKI would re-interpret iconic images of mass culture and art history through his signature use of spray paint, attaching stenciled caps onto the spray can to produce detailed compositions in his inimitable style.


    Untitled (detail), 2018
    Detail of the present lot

    Executed in 2018, this lot reimagines the globally famous Japanese anime film, Akira (1988), a classic that transformed the landscape of Japanese anime and leading the way for other cyberpunk animated series that would gain international prominence including Neon Genesis Evangelion, and Ghost in the Shell. Paying homage to the film on the 30th anniversary of its release, MADSAKI incorporated iconic images and movie stills from significant plot points in the film and Katsuhiro Otomo’s manga. With its socio-political criticism of bureaucracy and power, and the post-war cynicism following the nuclear bombings in Japan, Akira showed the horrors and desperation of violence and mass destruction against the backdrop of a brash cyberpunk Neo-Tokyo.





    Having immigrated to the United States from Japan as a child, the two cultures would collide in MADSAKI’s identity. Growing up watching both American and Japanese cartoons in the 1980s, MADSAKI would later incorporate mass culture into his paintings, stating that he “wanted to mash up all the things that have a special meaning to me from that time.” Akira became recognised as one of the greatest animated movies of all time and prompted an increase in popularity of anime movies in the US, prompting recognition for the first time in the West that animation was not simply for children, unlike the conventional heroic fantasies of He-Man, An American Tail, and Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Akira’s raw depiction of Japan's pop culture and the post-war scars of mass destruction would come as an incredible shock to the young MADSAKI and audiences around the world. In this painting, MADSAKI captures the profound impression left by Akira upon him and a generation of movie fans, for whom the instantly recognizable movie stills and manga continue to carry a deep emotional symbolism.


    Untitled (detail), 2018
    Detail of the present lot
    Untitled (detail), 2018
    Goku from Dragon Ball Z

    MADSAKI has seen a monumental rise in his international prominence, garnering the praise and admiration of Japanese icon Takashi Murakami. The artist continues to be represented by many international art galleries, including Galerie Perrotin and Kaikai Kiki Gallery in Tokyo, with many solo exhibitions across the globe. In 2021 MADSAKI was featured in a group show, ‘Healing’ at Galerie Perrotin Shanghai, curated by Murakami himself.



    • Provenance

      Kaikai Kiki Gallery, Tokyo
      Acquired from the above by the present owner



signed and dated 'Madsaki 2018' on the overlap
acrylic paint and aerosol on canvas
150 x 150 cm. (59 x 59 in.)
Executed in 2018.

Full Cataloguing

HK$700,000 - 900,000 

Sold for HK$1,008,000

Contact Specialist

Danielle So
Associate Specialist, Head of Day Sale

20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale in Association with Poly Auction

Hong Kong Auction 7 June 2021