Hong Kong, HKCEC Grand Hall
29 November 2015
YOSHITOMO NARA (Japanese, B. 1959)
signed with artist's signature; dated '96'; inscribed 'Say Good-Bye to stuffed dog N07' in English (on the reverse)
acrylic and pen on canvas
42 x 46 cm. (16 1/2 x 18 1/8 in.)
Painted in 1996
one seal of the artist
Private Collection, Asia
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Bijutsu Shuppan Sha, Yoshitomo Nara: The Complete Works Volume 1 - Paintings, Sculptures, Editions, Photographs, Tokyo, Japan, 2011 (illustrated, plate P-1996-031, p. 142).
Divided in the format of a manga, Untitled (Lot 101) is a rare work by Yoshitomo Nara. The dimension of the work is almost square – it is atypical for a page in a comic book. Each of the five panels does not seem to be arranged in any conventional narrative sequence either. Nevertheless, the exceptional character modelling and atmosphere give this work a perfect sense of unity.
The little girl in the red beret brandishes a small knife. Despite not having any text in the four explosive dialogue bubbles, the viewers can see from the menacing sneer of the white dog in the two adjacent panels that this confrontation is filled with tension. "C'mon", the white dog challenges the protagonist. This colloquialism hints at Nara's love of the Rock and Roll culture. Small children and puppies are both favorite subject matters of the artist. Their diminutive statures evoke sympathy. As a result, this conflict of unknown motivation between these adorable parties is truly whimsical and fascinating.
The girl with the brown hair in the upper middle panel is weeping. Perhaps the inevitability of this confrontation has made her helpless. Although this short story of a conflict between the little girl and the puppy is merely a fantasy of Yoshitomo Nara, within this microcosm, we can see the true reflection of the grown-up world.
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