Moe Nakamura - 20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale Hong Kong Monday, June 20, 2022 | Phillips

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    “Growth — Things that are already born and are growing steadily.”
    —  Moe Nakamura

    Moe Nakamura is a contemporary Japanese artist celebrated for her hand-carved, wooden figure sculptures of mystical beings that feel straight out of the fantastical world of folklore and fairy tales. Despite growing up in the city, the artist’s yearning for nature reflects in her choice of materiality, as she draws from the environment in selecting organic elements to construct her three-dimensional pieces. Modelled after the artist herself, the protagonist of her work endears with its youthful appearance of bright eyes and blush-tinted cheeks, dressed in natural features such as tree roots and animal fur texturized by Nakamura’s preservation of the unique notches and grains of each wood block that she works on.  

     

    The present work exhibited at Tokyo, Gallery Tsubaki, Moe Nakamura: dark light, white night, 16 - 30 July 2016
    Image Courtesy of Gallery Tsubaki

     

    An important work in her oeuvre, Wander in Silence was featured in Nakamura’s first solo exhibition, Moe Nakamura: Dark Light, White Night, held at Gallery Tsubaki in Tokyo between 16 – 30 July 2016. The present work was also presented at the artist’s first solo show in Taiwan, Moe Nakamura: Growth, which was held by Monster Taipei and Gallery Tsubaki at Huashan 1914 Creative Park between 22 February – 8 March 2020. This is the largest work by the artist to come to auction to date.

     

    The present work in the artist’s studio, 2016
    Image Courtesy of the artist  

     

    In Wander in Silence, Nakamura’s signature character is draped head-to-toe in a porcelain-white robe from which an amber-tinted horn and a cloud-like formation emerge. The enchanting creature seems to have the entire forest captured on her cloak, as navy-blue tree branch patterns rise upwards from the hemline, the colour diffusing into mist along the trunks. Streams of blue gradations run throughout the surface of her clothes, following the lines of the carved wood texture that extends beyond her outfit and onto the figure’s skin as if resembling blood vessels that bring the sustenance of the forest directly into her being.

     

    Indeed, in not smoothening the wood construction, Nakamura maintains an organic coarseness to the piece that beckons its audience towards a closer viewing. And though the subject’s mesmerising blue-grey eyes stare straight ahead, devoid of any emotion, she extends her clawed hands froward, reaching out to us as if offering a gesture of welcome or like a child seeking the comfort of an embrace.

     

    Nakamura recently presented a solo exhibition at Ginza's Pola Museum of Art Annex in Tokyo in 2021, and at Gallery Tsubaki in Tokyo in 2019.

     

     A video of the artist as she helps to install the present work alongside other carved pieces at Taipei, Huashan 1914 Creative Park presented by Monster Taipei and Gallery Tsubaki, Moe Nakamura: Growth, 22 February – 8 March 2020

    Video Courtesy of Monster Taipei and Gallery Tsubaki

     

     

    • Provenance

      Gallery Tsubaki, Tokyo
      Acquired from the above by the present owner

    • Exhibited

      Tokyo, Gallery Tsubaki, Moe Nakamura: dark light, white night, 16 - 30 July 2016
      Taipei, Huashan 1914 Creative Park presented by Monster Taipei and Gallery Tsubaki, Moe Nakamura: Growth, 22 February – 8 March 2020, n.p. (illustrated)

295

Wander in Silence

signed ‘Moe’ at the lower edge on the back
oil paint and wood
132 x 69 x 78 cm. (51 7/8 x 27 1/8 x 30 3/4 in.)
Executed in 2016.

Full Cataloguing

Estimate
HK$600,000 - 800,000 
€72,700-96,900
$76,900-103,000

Sold for HK$1,386,000

Contact Specialist

Danielle So
Specialist, Head of Day Sale
+852 2318 2027
[email protected]

20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale

Hong Kong Auction 21 June 2022