Lot 264
  • 264

Yason Banal

30,000 - 50,000 HKD
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  • Yason Banal
  • Cube (Hotel Sofitel) / White (Peninsula Hotel)
  • 303 consumed champagne and wine bottles from Hotel Sofitel's New Year's Eve Countdown Party / White neon
  • CUBE (HOTEL SOFITEL): 51 by 51 by 43 CM.; 20 by 20 by 17 IN.
  • WHITE (PENINSULA HOTEL): 10 by 183 CM.; 4 by 72 IN.
  • Executed in 2012, these works are unique editions with Cube (Hotel Sofitel) being the largest among the Cube series.


This work is in good condition overall, as is the glass cube. The neon lights are as well in good working condition.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.

Catalogue Note

In an age of multiplied belief systems and competing truth claims regarding reasons, when reason has, of itself and of its own accord, asked reason, Yason Banal's artistic practice creates moments where we could be mapped onto the 'post-belief' terrain that he reflects and coolly intensifies into no man's lands. His exploration grounds his interest in areas grey or gray, where conceptual and artistic boundaries can be and are indeed blurred, where all is comprised of objects, so that in all, there are none and vice-versa. Banal's practice is spectral construction whose topics often risk oblivion just as the absurd glamour of their executed imagery appears to be catalyzed not so much by history as by the historicalized, and where as if finally, even the blur achieves a clarity that shakes off drama and makes manifest deviancy as the impulse, apparently common and so by default, recognizably human. Humanity is neither habit nor form, so that When Attitudes Become Form (Harald Szeeman, subtitled as "Works-Concepts-Processes-Situations-Information," 1969), "ideas and thoughts... inspire the formation of a material presence [and] in some instances [do] the opposite, staying in the realms of language, or existing as works that 'live in your head'."  Even if a notion of the human were settled (as though it were possible; an unlikely kind of freedom), nothing about its habitus could similarly be. Would it be the head, the hedge, the edge—or a ledge? Such questions are moments in Banal's practice that are as revelatory as they are often and at the same time disturbing. Through stillness and forms of stasis, his art ruffles the coolness of dependencies and interdependencies, roils the riverbeds of derivative reactions, and by consciously extending the iconic visual idiom of minimalists onto new contexts and different geopolitical landscapes, disrupts nothing of their thought save for the sonority of claims and objects.


Art is at its most powerful when it marks the era that we live in. Photography and new art, by the nature of their medium, represents the current generation: ever-changing, ever-growing, continuously accelerating. Urban environments and culture grow with a rapidity that is only rivaled by technological advancement and it is this theme that the present collection of cutting-edge eleven works brings forth. They vary in form and appearance, but the themes they discuss are those most integrated with current contemporary life. They may evoke personal contemplation and evolution - Who are we? How should we live? What is our destiny? – as exemplified by works by Ay Tjoe Christine, Agan Harahap, Yee I-Lann and Neal Oshima. They may question the urban lifestyle, fluctuating between a world that is both real and unreal, such as works by Indra Leonardi, Jason Tablante, Wawi Navarroza and Yason Banal. They may express playfulness and humour, as seen in pieces by Tromarama, Erwin Windu Pranata and Angki Purbandono. Essentially, however, these works ultimately narrate the journey of human existence.

The tension between the real and unreal are explored through Indra Leonardi, Jason Tablante and Yason Banal's portrayal of the urban culture of excess. Glamorous, fun, and sexy, they pose the question: how real is the urban lifestyle around us? Leonardi's Reality Blurred (Lot 258) reinterprets Lichtenstein's benday dots in a distorted glamorized shot of a pop diva, suggesting that the image we see is conceived and deliberated, and perhaps, a little unreal. The scene in Tablante's alternate universe Alice in Wonderland, The Tea After Party (Lot 259) appears to be out of this world, but its raw grittiness is not impossible to see in urban bars in the early dawn. Meanwhile, Yason Banal's fantastic conglomerate of broken glass may look extraordinary, but it was made completely from the broken shards of 300 real champagne bottles (Lot 264). "In an age of multiplied belief systems and competing truth claims regarding reasons, when reason has, of itself and of its own accord, asked reason, Yason Banal's artistic practice creates moments where we could be mapped onto the 'post-belief' terrain that he reflects and coolly intensifies into no man's lands" (Cited in WHITE/CUBE MASH-UP featuring Agung Jenong, Joselina Cruz, June Yap, Pamela Lee and Roger McDonald). Wawi Navarroza's Plus Minus (Lot 260) is an intellectual exploration of the same theme. Monochromatic objects in black and white straddle the line between pseudo-landscape and still-life, juxtaposing the concealed and the unconcealed, questioning the notion of reality.

Like the episodes from daily life, these little vignettes speak of hope, fear, desire, relationships, humour, goodness, and the quest for life's meaning. Tracey Emin once said, "There should be something revelatory about art. It should be totally new and creative, and it should open doors for new thoughts and new experiences." These works possess the power of storytelling and their form enables them to do so in the most extraordinary way. They reveal what is hidden, obscure what is shown and feel through absence. And as they provoke, inspire, caution and delight, they reveal something about the creator, the viewer, and if the timing is right, the life we are living.