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    Sale 2707

    Asian Contemporary Art (Day Sale)

    25 May 2009, Hong Kong

  • Lot 1135

    CHIHIRO NAGASHIMA

    Price Realised  

    CHIHIRO NAGASHIMA
    (b. 1983)
    Waterpipes at Night
    signed, titled and inscribed in Japanese (on the reverse)
    acrylic on paper mounted on wood panel
    97.2 x 130.9 cm. (38 1/4 x 51 1/2 in.)
    Painted in 2007


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    Contrary to existing notions of compositional balance, Nagashima draws a train of detailed compact figures that move along a current in arbitrary course, mimicking her stream of consciousness. Upon the slightest emotional or physical response to any external sensatory stimulation, Nagashima feels compelled to blend this with her aesthetic sentiments, spilling its materialization onto paper before it disintegrates into yet another distant memory. With delicacy and smoothness, her brushstrokes not only emphasize the feebleness of her figures, but also draw associations to the likewise exquisite paintings of Ukiyo-e. The unbearably flat surface of her canvas is fairly eerie yet whimsical, thus validating the dreamlike imagination of Nagashima.
    In 1000 islands (Lot 1136), Nagashima depicts buoyant figures floating above islands playfully suggestive of longing travels and our varied experiences of them, demarcated by the various facial expressions of the slinky figures. Perhaps even more amorphous in shape are the dripping figures of Waterpipes at Night (Lot 1135), whose contorted figures are surprisingly statuesque. In each column of clambering figures, we find dramatic yet gentle gestures of them holding one another. They appear to comfort while being comforted, embracing one another with anxiety, regardless of what activities their peers are engaged in. Nagashima in this painting reminds the viewer that their happiness is irrelevant and detached to the prosperity or demises of the rest of the world, reinforcing that our existence and happiness is each our own. With these figures set against the blank background, we as viewers are driven beyond our comfort zone, to take notice and appreciate the complex abstractions we can find in our everyday life.