• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2605

    Asian Contemporary Art (Day Sale)

    25 May 2008, Hong Kong

  • Lot 501


    Price Realised  


    (Born in 1972)
    Lost 1 & 2
    signed, titled and dated 'Kenichi Yokono; Lost No. 1; Lost No. 2; 2008' in English (on reverse)
    two paint on woodblock
    169 x 86 cm. (66 1/2 x 33 3/4 in.) & 169 x 91 cm. (66 1/2 x 35 3/4 in.) Executed in 2008 (2)

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    Kenichi Yokono creates contemporary oeuvres equally influenced by surrealism, pop culture and the ancient Ukiyo-e. Dichotomy between western and eastern artistic characteristics is presented by the artist's utilization of the Ukiyo-e technique to portray pop cultural anime in hopes of rendering an eccentric dream. With the unexpected juxtapositions of daily life and horrors, his works are a novel practice of advocating the idea that ordinary and depictive expressions of idiosyncrasy are vital.

    Portraying notorious characters of the monstrous in modern image culture, the artist portrays bizarre aesthetics. Yokono's impeccable carving of the graphic forms mimic grotesque tendencies of decorative arabesques forms with intertwined nature, figures and objects. He also integrates the eclectic form of elegant and stylish modernism from the Art Deco design movement into his works. The clean geometric forms engraved intensely casting shadows over the carvings, creating an ominous atmosphere.

    The universal pragmatic knowledge of the color red as blood is deliberately used to elevate repulsion. However, the symbolism of red is also of Japan's national flag and is used for heroic figures in Japanese tradition. The diptych format of the woodblocks, laborious engraving process and heroic icons similarly conjure memories of the ritualistic nature of tattoo art in ancient Japan. Yokono strives to combine these emblematic notions in Lost 1 and Lost 2 to diminish all traces of revulsion and reveal the beauty behind these subjects. Yokono's uninhibited imagination and ornamental technical prowess illustrates the permeable border between the ideal and the monstrous, the illusion and the distortion.