Lot 622
  • 622

Murakami Takashi

100,000 - 150,000 HKD
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  • Murakami Takashi
  • To sleep, or not to sleep - that is the question
  • T.O.P personal pillow, silkscreen, acrylic box
signed in English and dated 2016, framed


This is a commissioned work created especially for #TTTOP. The artist has generously agreed to donate a significant share of the hammer price of this lot to the Asian Cultural Council in addition to the portion of profits that Sotheby’s donate for all lots in this auction.

Catalogue Note

To sleep, or not to sleep - That is the question

To sleep, or not to sleep - that is the question (Lot 622) comes to the present auction directly from T.O.P's bedroom. The illustrated pillow was specially commissioned by T.O.P and features the quintessential psychedelic Murakami Takashi flower and a signature by the artist. One of the most visible living artists of our time, Murakami has rocked the world with his ubiquitous anime-inspired Superflat art, a movement created by the artist that refers to the flattened aesthetic of Japanese graphic art forms. The candy-colored smiling flower is the artist's most emblematic motif: entrenched in the ancient Eastern practice of decorative flower painting, Murakami engenders a new expression for Japanese high-art that comments on the contemporary world's pervasive and highly commercial visual culture.

Meticulously silk screened and signed by the master artist of our time, the present work was used personally by T.O.P on an intimate daily basis and now placed carefully in an acrylic box like a sculpture—a phenomenon that throws a cynical question to viewers: what is high art? With such an extraordinary provenance that engages critically with Duchamp's Fountain or Jeff Koons' New Hoover Convertibles, the piece is set to excite T.O.P followers whilst posing a controversial agenda to the world.

Artist Biography

Murakami Takashi (b. 1962, Japan) studied Japanese painting at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music where he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1986 and a Ph.D. in 1993. Murakami founded the Hiropon factory in Tokyo in 1996, which later evolved into Kaikai Kiki, an art production and art management corporation that also supports and fosters emerging artists. The master contemporary artist created his distinctive "Superflat" style and ethos’, which employs highly refined classical Japanese painting techniques to depict a mix of anime, Pop and otaku content within a flattened picture plane. Moving freely within an ever-evolving and expanding field of cultural inspirations, Murakami’s works have been exhibited in innumerous solo and group exhibitions around the world and belong in countless esteemed museum collections. The artist has achieved rock star status in the contemporary art scene; also a curator and cultural entrepreneur, Murakami has become a household name even outside art circles for his high-profile collaborations with luxury brands Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs.