Mayuka Yamamoto - 20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale in association with Yongle Hong Kong Tuesday, November 29, 2022 | Phillips

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  • “Even though I am no longer a child, when I ask myself why I draw these pictures, I still feel the nostalgia of my childhood as an adult, and it is still in my heart...”
    — Mayuka Yamamoto
    Born in 1964 in Okayama, Japan, Mayuka Yamamoto is one of Japan’s leading second-generation painters, after Yoshimoto Nara and Takashi Murakami, who are widely known for works featuring endearing children who simultaneously appear as wide beyond their years. Showing young boys with enigmatic expressions in animal costumes or having animal features, Yamamoto explores the reservoir of childhood subconscious to investigate child psychology as a segway into adulthood introspection. Featured in the exhibition titled Mayuka Yamamoto: Exhibition for Animal Boys (7 – 18 July 2018) in Tokyo at Gallery Tsubaki, White dog boy is a classic example from the artist’s most celebrated child-meets-animal paintings.


    The present work exhibited at Tsubaki Gallery, Tokyo, Mayuka Yamamoto: Exhibition for Animal Boys, 7 – 18 July 2018
    Image Courtesy of Gallery Tsubaki

    At first glance, one is captivated by the clarity and innocence in the protagonist’s eyes looking outwards at the viewer. The boy, dressed in lagoon-blue t-shirt and with his lips slightly pursed, puts his hands behind his back, as if examining whoever is looking at him in earnest. Both funny and endearing, a polar bear hat of the same size as his little head adds quite a bit of importance and credibility to his seriousness, which is, at the same time, belied by his tender age and delicate facial features. The hazy, dreamlike atmosphere conjured by the misty background allows all attention to fall on the small child, and whilst the animal attributes serve as an element of disguise and escape in which he finds shelter, it is here where the child’s inner world is made obvious and touches the viewer.


    Yamamoto received her master’s degree at Tokyo’s Masashino Art University in 1990, before continuing her studies in the Japanese Government Overseas Study Program for Artist in London in 1999. Since the 2000s, Yamamoto’s work has been exhibited extensively in solo and group shows in Asia, Europe, and the United States, and collected by public institutions in Japan. Her latest solo exhibition was held in Corey Helford Gallery in Los Angeles from 25 September - 30 October 2021.

    • Provenance

      J. P. Art Center, Taiwan
      Acquired from the above by the present owner

    • Exhibited

      Tokyo, Gallery Tsubaki, Mayuka Yamamoto: Exhibition for Animal Boys, 7 – 18 July 2018


White dog boy

signed, titled and dated '"white dog boy" mayuka 2018' on the overlap
oil on canvas
145.5 x 97 cm. (57 1/4 x 38 1/4 in.)
Painted in 2018, this work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist and issued by J.P. Art Center.

Full Cataloguing

HK$400,000 - 600,000 

Sold for HK$1,386,000

Contact Specialist

Danielle So
Specialist, Head of Day Sale
+852 2318 2027

20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale in association with Yongle

Hong Kong Auction 30 November 2022