Yoshitomo Nara - 24/7: Online Auction Hong Kong Tuesday, July 20, 2021 | Phillips

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  • Catalogue Essay

    Mori Girl (2012) is one of Yoshitomo Nara's many sculptural works whose innocent appearance encapsulates the themes of childhood memory and loneliness that is central to his oeuvre. Executed in his characteristic kawaii style, Nara's most pervasive motif — a little girl, poses as a tall forest tree. The layers of her hair reflect different shades of green and yellow, like light dancing through a thicket of leaves, emitting a sense of healing and a jubilant ambiance. With Mori Girl’s large, cartoon-like eyes and her reserved, endearing smile, Nara escapes the usual humorous and satirical style in his previous works, and instead returns to a more pure and peaceful state of mind.


    Growing up in the small, agricultural town of Aomori in Northern Japan, Nara's childhood was spent surrounded by nature:

    “It is in an agricultural area, not like your normal vision of Japan, of a massive city like Tokyo. There was neither art nor friends who you could talk to about art. I was so lonely and only surrounded by apple trees… I could talk to nobody except nature. So I talked to the trees, the dog and the pigs… so I got this special sensibility to nature, which I thought many years later was a good thing.” —— Yoshitomo Nara

    With trees and animals as his only companions, the artist sought refuge in art and nature. As such, the current work is perhaps a recreation of the artist's imaginary childhood friend. Capturing the strong spiritual and autobiographical quality of Nara's practice, Mori Girl reaches into the heart of the viewer, speaking to memories and emotions from our childhood that may be long forgotten.


    Nara has recently been the subject of an international retrospective that began at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (1 April - 5 July 2021) and will travel to Shanghai's Yuz Museum, Museo Guggenheim Bilbao and the Kunsthal Rotterdam. He is also currently being honoured with a well-received solo exhibition in Taiwan at the Kuandu Museum of Arts (12 March- 20 June 2021) and a monumental museum show at the Dallas Contemporary, Texas (20 March 2021 - 22 August 2021). The artist is currently represented by the illustrious Blum & Poe and Pace galleries.

    • Provenance

      Superman Toys, Hong Kong
      Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2012


Mori Girl

painted maple wood
work 30 x 18.5 x 14.5 cm. (11 3/4 x 7 1/4 x 5 3/4 in.)
box 40.5 x 28.5 x 25 cm. (15 7/8 x 11 1/4 x 9 7/8 in.)

Executed in 2012, this work is number 118 from an edition of 200, and is accompanied by a wooden certificate of authenticity signed by the artist and issued by How2work, Hong Kong, all contained within its original cotton bag and cardboard box.

Full Cataloguing

HK$60,000 - 80,000 

Sold for HK$378,000

Contact Specialist

Hin Hin Wong
Associate Specialist, 20th Century & Contemporary Art, Hong Kong
+852 2318 2013
[email protected]

24/7: Online Auction

Online Auction 21 - 30 July 2021