Art Market

A top Yoshitomo Nara painting will lead Phillips’s upcoming Hong Kong evening sale.

Justin Kamp
Sep 16, 2020 10:04PM, via Phillip's

Yoshitomo Nara's Hot House Doll, in the White Room III, 1995. Courtesy Phillips.

Yoshitomo Nara’s Hot House Doll, in the White Room III (1995) will lead Phillips Hong Kong’s upcoming contemporary evening sale. A collaboration with China-based Poly Auction, the sale is scheduled to take place on November 29th.

The painting, which features one of Nara’s signature child-like figures, was executed in 1995, a momentous year for the Japanese painter, who was in the midst of a residence in Germany at that time. The loneliness he felt there led to the creation of the isolated children that would come to populate his canvases. By 1995, Nara’s work had begun to gain international acclaim—the same year he executed Hot House Doll, he published his first art book and opened a show with Blum & Poe, who would come to represent him internationally that same year. As a consequence of its context, Hot House Doll carries a hefty estimate—at least 40 million HKD ($5.1 million).

Isaure de Viel Castel, head of 20th century and contemporary at Phillips Hong Kong, said:

Hot House Doll, in the White Room III is one of the finest examples of Yoshitomo Nara’s distinctive and touching portrayal of childhood, drawing from memories forged during those crucial years in Germany. The painting features a full body portrait of a little girl with a broody, mischievous sulk, along with the artist’s signature wide-open almond-shaped eyes, highlighting Nara’s fixation with the darker side of childhood innocence. The blue baby doll dress depicted in the present work is rare in the artist’s oeuvre, a motif that is only scattered sporadically throughout the 1990s.

According to Artsy data, Nara’s work has consistently driven more demand on the platform over the past four years. The total number of inquiries on his works on Artsy surged by 63 percent between from 2018 to 2019.

Further Reading: Yoshitomo Nara’s Cute Paintings Are Sparking Serious Market Action

Justin Kamp