Yoshitomo Nara - New Now Hong Kong Friday, March 29, 2024 | Phillips
  • “My hometown in Aomori is known for its severe cold and heavy snow. You just endure the depressing season. You wait and wait and wait for a spring to come and when the spring finally comes, you learn that the season of joy comes only if you withstand the hard season. You repeat it every year, and your body remembers the lesson: 'If you endure, spring will certainly come.'”
    — Yoshitomo Nara


    Yoshimoto Nara’s Untitled (1995) features a child standing idly by a cactus. The figure holding a neutral and contemplative expression, stares into the distance whilst exhaling a puff of breath. The image presents a stark contrast: the child is dressed in a pair of boots, a winter outfit, and a thick hat that covers the ears, suggesting a cold season. On the other hand, to the right stands a tall cactus with multiple arms which is typically associated with hot, desert environments where winter attire would be out of place. The cactus perhaps reflects the child’s internal longing for the winter to end. This juxtaposition further implies a narrative or emotional metaphor, perhaps suggesting a feeling of being disoriented or contrasting internal states with external environments.


    Born in 1959 in Hirosaki, Japan, Nara uses drawings as a primary form of expression to demonstrate his wit and capacity for self-reflection. The present work is a curious blend that provokes thoughts about the context in which we find ourselves and the nature of the character's experience in this setting. A major solo exhibition that showcases over 200 works on paper: Yoshitomo Nara: The Bootleg Drawings 1988 – 2023 is on view at Pace Geneva from 16 November 2023 – 29 February 2024.

    • Provenance

      Private Collection
      The Market Auction, Inc, Tokyo, 11 July 2009, lot 73
      Acquired at the above sale by the present owner



signed and dated 'Yoshitomo Nara [in Japanese] '95' lower right
marker pen and coloured pencil on paper
24.6 x 35.4 cm. (9 5/8 x 13 7/8 in.)
Executed in 1995.

Full Cataloguing

HK$700,000 - 900,000 

Sold for HK$1,651,000

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