Yoshitomo Nara - New Now Hong Kong Friday, March 29, 2024 | Phillips
  • “I like folk music. My work is always linked to recognisable punk album covers but folk music record covers are very important. There was no museum where I grew up so my exposure to art came from the album covers.”
    — Yoshitomo Nara


    Executed in 1999, the artwork titled Untitled (Humming Girl) by Yoshitomo Nara depicts a young girl with a an enlarged forehead and pursed lips. Her eyes are downcast, and her expression is one of contempt or slight irritation. The girl's hair is stylised and blonde, swept to one side in a dramatic fashion. She seems to be engaged in a quiet, solitary activity, lost in her own world. The music note present in the artwork suggests the girl is either humming or listening to music, which connects directly to Nara’s practice of listening to music while he creates art and incorporating musical elements into his artworks.


    Born in 1959 in Hirosaki, Japan, Nara gained attention in the 1990s for his distinctive style, which blends elements of pop culture, punk rock, and childhood imagery. He uses drawings as a primary form of expression to demonstrate his wit and capacity for self-reflection. This work is an example of Nara's exploration of the inner emotional world of children, often revealing a depth of feeling and complexity beneath their innocent appearance. 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

      The Market Auction, Inc, Tokyo, 11 July 2009, lot 74
      Acquired at the above sale by the present owner



signed and dated 'Yoshitomo Nara [in Japanese] '99' lower right
marker pen and coloured pencil on paper
20.7 x 14.7 cm. (8 1/8 x 5 3/4 in.)
Executed in 1999, this work is registered in the Yoshitomo Nara Online Catalogue Raisonné under registration number YNF2542.

Full Cataloguing

HK$300,000 - 500,000 

Sold for HK$762,000

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