Yoshitomo Nara - New Now Hong Kong Friday, March 29, 2024 | Phillips
  • “I was not deliberately painting any particular girl. Through painting representational features such as eyes, noses, and mouths, I wanted to express something deeper. This deeper thing cannot be described with language. Yet, people will understand.”
    — Yoshitomo Nara

    The solitary figure in this work is a young girl caught mid-stride, her downcast eyes and furrowed brow speaking to the weight of introspection among the viewers. Nara’s work often underscore our intimate connection to childhood, a time often associated with both unguarded innocence and the formation of those ‘guilty memories’. This work brings forth a vibrancy and texture that is both nostalgic and piercingly current, a bridge between the artist's recollections and the viewer's self-reflection.


    The phrase ‘must be a voyager…’ scrawled below the character serves as a poignant reminder of the journey of self-discovery and acceptance. It speaks to the complex seas of our inner worlds, sometimes dark and tumultuous, that Nara's artworks so eloquently bring to the fore.

    Drawing from a well of both Eastern and Western artistic traditions, Yoshitomo Nara's figures evoke the focused isolation of traditional Japanese Ukiyo-e prints, while also embodying the introspective probing characteristic of Western Modernism. The vast emptiness surrounding the figure in this composition emphasises her isolation, yet also suggests a world of possibility and the vastness of the human psyche.


    The artwork exemplifies Nara's ability to express the shared experiences of solitude, rebellion, and the search for self through the simplicity and charm of his subjects. His works have not only integrated into the fabric of Japanese culture but have also been the cornerstone of vast international recognition. His art often serves as a vessel for emotional exploration, offering a mirror to the viewer’s own experiences of the less-apparent aspects of the self that Nara exposes in his work.

    • Provenance

      Burger COLLECTION, Hong Kong
      Private Collection, Japan
      Acquired from the above by the present owner



coloured pencil on paper
33.2 x 24 cm. (13 1/8 x 9 1/2 in.)
Executed in 2007, this work is registered in the Yoshitomo Nara Online Catalogue Raisonné under registration number YNF4555.

Full Cataloguing

HK$800,000 - 1,200,000 

Sold for HK$1,905,000

Contact Specialist

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

New Now

Hong Kong Auction 29 March 2024