Headlining this season’s Contemporary Evening Auction in Hong Kong is Yoshitomo Nara’s Oddly Cozy, a masterpiece that marks a pivotal shift in the artist's painterly style.
In the aftermath of Japan’s Great Tohoku Earthquake in 2011, Nara shifted away from his depictions of children with feisty, menacing smiles. He stripped from his canvases contextual motifs such as knives, cigarettes, guns and guitars, and the mischievous sneers seen in his earlier works. Instead, his protagonists appeared as pensive, serene children with subtler restrained expressions, especially through the eyes. This tonal shift reflects the artist’s desire to create an emotional landscape that would be able to overcome and transform sadness.