Contemporary Showcase: Kawaii Pop
Close rate: 96.26% (103/107)
Auction introduction: Contemporary Showcase: Kawaii Pop explores the concept of “cuteness” from its roots as a subculture aesthetic to a global phenomenon of contemporary culture. Works by pioneering artists such as Yoshitomo Nara and Takashi Murakami shed light on kawaii culture either through a nostalgic reimagining of childhood fantasy or with a pop-infused satire of today’s hyper-consumer realm. Such journeys into whimsy and folklore, kaleidoscopic colors, and quirky glimpses into the subconsciousness are a form of escape from the realities of everyday life while at the same time serving as defiant commentary against social pressures. The global influence of kawaii pop recurs in the works of contemporary darlings outside of Japan, including Katherine Bernhardt, Jonas Wood, Joan Cornella and Kasing Lung. It also permeates through the works of younger artists such as Javier Calleja, Edgar Plans, Okokume and Super Future Kid, each artist synthesising Japanese and Western popular culture with their own signature aesthetic. The full selection of works from Sotheby’s Contemporary Showcase: Kawaii Pop will be offered at auction online 11-18 May.