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Yoshitomo Nara folio leads Bonhams Hong Kong art sale

A rare collection of drawings by Yoshitomo Nara will lead a Bonhams sale in Hong Kong this week.
The Japanese neo-pop artist has developed an acclaimed cult following around the world, with almost 40 solo exhibitions, and artworks which have sold for seven figure sums at auction.

The Prints, Photographs and Works on Paper sale will offer a folio of 11 works on paper by Nara, which is expected to sell for HK$2-$3 million (US$257,570-$386,360).

The set of works, which relate to his childhood, dates from 2003, and was initially exhibited at the Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York before passing into the hands of a private Hong Kong Collector.

“It is very rare for a suite of drawings of such quality to reach the secondary market, they connect us to Nara’s frequently discussed childhood in a very intimate way and are sure to delight hard-core Yoshitomo Nara fans as well as those less familiar with his work,” said Charlotte Nunn, Head of Sale for Prints, Photographs & Works on Paper in Hong Kong.

Monogram Cherry by Takashi Murakami

The auction will also feature a major work by Nara’s contemporary and fellow neo-pop artist Takashi Murakami. Monogram Cherry, from the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, is estimated at HK$45,000-$55,000 ($5,800-$7,080).

Further highlights will include works by Kazuo Shiraga, Ding Xiongquan, Jiro Yoshihara, Ho Fan and Hiroshi Sugimoto, along with Western artists such as Damien Hirst, Grayson Perry and Kaws.

“This sale has a lot of appeal in particular to young collectors just starting out,” said Nunn. “This is a fantastic opportunity to own affordable works by a powerhouse within the Japanese and global contemporary art scene.”

The auction takes place in Hong Kong on May 22.

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