Takashi Murakami - Modern & Contemporary Art Day Sale Hong Kong Saturday, June 1, 2024 | Phillips
  • “Although the works may appear to have a generic graffiti air to them, their surfaces exude MADSAKI’s peculiar brand of sorrow, which I appreciate.”
    Takashi Murakami 


    Executed in 2016 as a collaborative creation between two of the most prominent figures in Japan’s contemporary art scene, Takashi Murakami and MADSAKI, Untitled (Flower Collaboration with MADSAKI) is a visually striking work that showcases both artist’s signature styles. Emitting an intense dynamism that immerses viewers into a kaleidoscopic realm of black line and pattern, Murakami's globally recognised floral motif undergoes a dramatic reinterpretation as MADSAKI injects his unique aesthetic into the artwork.


    For Murakami, who is critically acclaimed as the pioneer of the Superflat art movement, the flower motif harkens back to the artist’s days as a schoolteacher when he would bring fresh flowers to class so that his students could use them as models for their sketches. Subsequently, after years of observing the different types of styles, designs and personalities that came from these drawings, Murakami eventually coined his own.


    In Untitled (Flower Collaboration with MADSAKI), the typical joy and light-heartedness of Murakami's art fades, making room for a more unsettling ambiance. His usually smiling blooms now drip black paint down the canvas in rivulets and streams, imbuing the composition with an aura of melancholy and introspection. This shift is due to MADSAKI's innovative use of spray paint, which he wields more like a traditional paintbrush than as more commonly employed in graffiti or street art. Such an approach introduces a greater degree of spontaneous texture, endowing Murakami's flowers with an emotional depth as they appear to weep, enveloping the piece in a darker, more poignant tone. This mood is intensified by the presence of tangled skulls backgrounding the flowers, a recurring element in Murakami's oeuvre since the early 2000s, which adds another layer of compelling complexity to the overall composition.


    As MADSAKI’s gritty visuals harmonise seamlessly with Murakami’s polished Superflat style, this juxtaposition demonstrates the potency of blending the distinct approaches of two eminent artists to unlock richer levels of overall interpretation.


    MADSAKI Thinks "Perfect Art" Is Boring and Talks Relationship with Murakami

    • Provenance

      Galerie Perrotin, Hong Kong
      Private Collection
      New Auction, Tokyo, 11 June 2022, lot 20
      Acquired at the above sale by the present owner

    • Artist Biography

      Takashi Murakami

      Japanese • 1962

      Takashi Murakami is best known for his contemporary combination of fine art and pop culture. He uses recognizable iconography like Mickey Mouse and cartoonish flowers and infuses it with Japanese culture. The result is a boldly colorful body of work that takes the shape of paintings, sculptures and animations.

      In the 1990s, Murakami founded the Superflat movement in an attempt to expose the "shallow emptiness of Japanese consumer culture." The artist plays on the familiar aesthetic of mangas, Japanese-language comics, to render works that appear democratic and accessible, all the while denouncing the universality and unspecificity of consumer goods. True to form, Murakami has done collaborations with numerous brands and celebrities including Kanye West, Louis Vuitton, Pharrell Williams and Google.

      View More Works


Untitled (Flower Collaboration with MADSAKI)

signed and dated ’TAKASHI 2016' on the overlap
acrylic on canvas mounted onto aluminum frame
141 x 120 cm. (55 1/2 x 47 1/4 in.)
Painted in 2016.

Full Cataloguing

HK$1,000,000 - 1,500,000 

Sold for HK$1,143,000

Contact Specialist

Anastasia Salnikoff
Associate Specialist, Head of Day Sale
+852 2318 2014

Modern & Contemporary Art Day Sale

Hong Kong Auction 1 June 2024