Mayuka Yamamoto - New Now & Design Hong Kong Sunday, November 26, 2023 | 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


    One of Japan’s leading second-generation painters, Mayuka Yamamoto is widely known for her enigmatic and endearing portraits of young boys who appear wise beyond their years. Often painted on small canvases and wearing ambiguous expressions, the protagonists in Yamamoto’s works hint at deeper emotions within their complex inner worlds, as the artist explores the reservoir of childhood subconscious to investigate child psychology as a segway into adulthood introspection.


    Vincent van Gogh, Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear, 1889
    Collection of the Courtauld Gallery, London
    Image: © The Courtauld / Bridgeman Images


    While most of Yamamoto’s subjects dress to look like animals or possess animal features, the titular character in Band-aided Little Van Gogh references the late Dutch painter and his famous self-portraits. Like Van Gogh, the little boy looks slightly to his side as his ear is bandaged in a similar fashion. In contrast to Van Gogh’s thick jacket however, the boy’s short-sleeved shirt is rolled up, revealing a pair of band aids on his left arm. Despite the abundance of injuries, his expression remains eerily calm, exuding an aura of otherworldly calm that enhances his childlike maturity. Set against a monochromatic, muted background, focus is instead directed towards his sentimental eyes – clear yet mysterious, innocent yet determined.


    Born in 1964 in Okayama, Japan, 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, titled Ephemeral Existence, was held in Corey Helford Gallery in Los Angeles from 22 Apr  – 27 May 2023.

    • Provenance

      Private Collection
      K Auction, Seoul, 16 February 2021, lot 75
      Acquired at the above sale by the present owner


Band-aided little van Gogh

signed, titled and dated '"band-aided little van Gogh" Mayuka 2015' on the overlap
oil on canvas
97 x 82 cm. (38 1/4 x 32 1/4 in.)
Painted in 2015.

Full Cataloguing

HK$250,000 - 350,000 

Contact Specialist

Angela Tian
Associate Specialist, Head of New Now & Design Sale
20th Century & Contemporary Art, Hong Kong
+852 2318 2058

New Now & Design

Hong Kong Auction 26 November 2023