Yoshitomo Nara Painting Fetches a Whopping $25 Million USD at Sotheby's Hong Kong

The Japanese artist’s most expensive work ever sold at auction.

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A large-scale painting by acclaimed Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara hammered down a most impressive sale price of $25 million USD at Sotheby’s contemporary art auction in Hong Kong this past weekend. The sale marks the most expensive piece ever sold by the artist at auction.

The muted-toned work titled ‘Knife Behind Back’ (2000) measures roughly seven by seven feet wide and portrays Nara’s signature, angry-eyed female subject clad in a red collard dress. It’s considered to be one of the artist’s largest works ever created in his extensive oeuvre with Nara having created the piece when he returned to Japan after spending twelve years in Germany.

Nara’s previous auction record was set at Christie’s Hong Kong back in May this year. The artist’s ‘Sleepless Night (Cat)’ (1999) snapped up $4.45 million USD — nearly one-fifth of the total amount of his latest sale.

Elsewhere in art, take a look at the best artworks releasing this week.

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#GirlPower ✌? Records continue to fall in our Hong Kong salesroom, with Yoshitomo Nara’s monumental ‘Knife Behind Back’ selling for HK$196 million / US$24.9 million, and Liu Ye’s ‘Smoke’ achieving HK$52 million / US$6.7 million tonight – both marking new auction highs for the artists. ‘Knife Behind Back’ represents the largest canvas by Nara ever to appear at auction, which he created in 2000 after his return to Japan following 12 years in Germany. Ye’s ‘Smoke’ from 2001-02 led a prestigious collection of contemporary Chinese art, assembled by the visionary Belgian collector Baroness Gillion Crowet after an official sovereign visit to China in 2004. Our autumn sales series continues in #HongKong through 8 October – stay tuned for more updates! #SothebysContemporary #YoshitomoNara #LiuYe #ContemporaryArt

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