Yoshitomo Nara - New Now Hong Kong Friday, March 29, 2024 | Phillips
  • “My favourite colour is white. This may be because I grew up in snow country. My ability to sense what cannot be physically seen may come from my childhood days, when I endlessly enjoyed gazing out the window at the snowy landscape, imagining the invisible objects and colours hidden beneath the white snow.”
    — Yoshitomo Nara


    Titled Kitman holding ski poles, created in 1995, the artwork features a childlike figure that is a hallmark of Yoshitomo Nara's work from this period. The figure, likely named Kitman, is drawn in a simple yet expressive manner, with large eyes and a pout that conveys a mix of innocence and subtle defiance. The character is shown holding ski poles, which adds an element of playfulness or adventure to the image. The figure wears a white beanie and a white dress with light blue stripes, aligning with Nara's fondness for the colour white. As is typical of Nara's work, the background is sparse, focusing the viewer's attention on the figure itself. The simplicity of the drawing, combined with the emotional depth suggested by the character's expression, is characteristic of Nara's ability to evoke complex feelings through ostensibly simple imagery.


    In the mid-1990s, Nara's work started gaining significant international recognition. Nara's work from this era reflects his own childhood experiences and broader themes such as alienation and rebellion. Growing up in post-war Japan, he was influenced by both Japanese traditions and Western pop culture, particularly music and television. His art resonated with a wide audience across cultures, as it captured a universal sense of childhood angst and defiance. Nara uses drawings as a primary form of expression to demonstrate his wit and capacity for self-reflection. 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.



    i Yoshitomo Nara, Interview for La Vanguardia (Catalonia), 2020, online.

    • Provenance

      Hakutosha Gallery, Nagoya
      Acquired from the above by the present owner


Kitman holding ski poles (sukii-tokku wo motsu Kittoman)

titled, in front centre [in Japanese]; signed and dated 'Yoshitomo Nara '95' lower right
coloured pencil on paper
39.7 x 29.7 cm. (15 5/8 x 11 3/4 in.)
Executed in 1995, this work is registered in the Yoshitomo Nara Online Catalogue Raisonné under registration number YNF7630.

Full Cataloguing

HK$400,000 - 600,000 

Sold for HK$635,000

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