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  • Catalogue Essay

    "...I have come to yearn for my childhood when I would cry out loud, laugh, and leap as I wished. They were emotions that I had almost forgotten in my stages of becoming an adult. This realisation allowed me to re-evaluate my most important values. Perhaps, by making works with children as the subject matter, I am projecting my wish not to forget to be – not a ‘selfish child’ but – ‘like a child’." —Yoshitomo Nara

    Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara’s works have made their distinctive mark on the international art scene for his use of deceptively simple colours,  flattened graphic composition, and his signature childlike characters that simultaneously appear innocent yet malevolent.

    Pissed Off! is one of the strong examples of Nara’s compositions which juxtapose the seemingly innocent drawings of children with an aggressive posture, sometimes brandishing a knife or revealing a mouthful of sharp teeth — an imagery renowned within the artist’s visual lexicon. Often Nara's drawings of children show off their individual personalities with various emotional complexities. Pissed Off! evidently shows a very aggravated young girl, the speech bubbles flying from her suggest a barrage of snarky remarks aimed at the perpetrator. The faces and body language of these characters demonstrate a strong sense of independence, self-identity, even as to evoke rebelliousness. Nara hints that these aggressions are a kind of necessary self defense: "Look at them, they (the weapons) are so small, like toys. Do you think they (the children) could fight with those? I don’t think so. Rather, I kind of see the children among other, bigger, bad people all around them, who are holding bigger knives."

    • Provenance

      Private Collection
      SBI Art Auctions, Seoul, 31 October 2020, lot 118
      Acquired at the above sale by the present owner

    • Literature

      Noriko Miyamura and Shinko Suzuki, eds., Yoshitomo Nara: The Complete Works Volume 1: Paintings, Sculptures, Editions, Photographs 1984-2010, Tokyo, 2011, no. E-2010-010, p. 315 (illustrated)


Pissed Off!

signed, numbered and dated 'AP 6/12 2010 Nara [in Japanese]' along the bottom edge
Ukiyo-e woodcut in colours on Japan paper
sheet 42 x 29.5 cm. (16 1/2 x 11 5/8 in.)
frame 45 x 32.5 cm. (17 3/4 x 12 3/4 in.)

Co-published by Pace Editions Inc., New York, and Tomio Koyama Gallery, Tokyo in 2010, this work is artist's proof 6 from an edition of 50 plus 12 artist's proofs.

Full Cataloguing

HK$180,000 - 280,000 

Sold for HK$403,200

Contact Specialist

Hin Hin Wong

Associate Specialist, 20th Century & Contemporary Art, Hong Kong

+852 2318 2013

[email protected]


Thomas Perazzi

Head of Watches, Asia

+852 2318 2031

[email protected]


Charlene Lau

Head of Jewels, Hong Kong

+852 2318 2039

[email protected]


INTERSECT: Online Auction

Online Auction 23 - 30 March 2021