• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2605

    Asian Contemporary Art (Day Sale)

    25 May 2008, Hong Kong

  • Lot 410


    Price Realised  


    (Born in 1974)
    Silent Neighbors
    camphor tree sculpture
    55.9 x 38 x 166 cm. (22 x 15 x 65 1/4 in.)
    Executed in 2008

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    Unexpectedly endearing yet not alarming, the juxtaposition of human and animal in Fumio Yamazaki's sculptures are oddly whimsical. Owing to the mass production of imaginative children's book illustrations and anime productions, the anthropomorphized animal is affable and light-hearted. The sculptures are not plainly imaginary as anthropomorphic figures were frequently represented in Greek mythology. Despite the informality of the statue, Yamazaki's Silent Neighbours (Lot 410) is thought provoking and effectively stimulates a commentary on spiritual and societal issues.

    Conceptually nuanced yet physically compelling, Yamazaki's remarkable craftsmanship enhances the realistic skin texture and tone of the body. Upon an acute inspection of the body the combination of ox and child suggests that this statue is the infantile version of Minotaur. Proportionally imbalanced, a head of an ox heavily sits on the fragile and pale male child. The overbearing nature of the animal is also suggested in the awkward posture of the body. His arms dangle behind him as his spine is convexly bent, as if the body has no control over himself. This discomforting yet alluring sculpture offers a strong pictorial and conceptual impact on the viewer. By utilizing the demon metaphorically, the artist communicates strings of themes including history, God, complex social system and unconscious desires and influences. The dominance of the devil's energy is visibly penetrated through a weak vulnerable source, children.