Auction | China Guardian (HK) Auctions Co., Ltd.
2023 Spring Auctions > Asian 20th Century and Contemporary Art
Asian 20th Century and Contemporary Art

Mr. (b.1969)
Exercising My Telekinetic Powers(Painted in 2012)

Acrylic on canvas

132 × 97 cm. 52 × 38 1/4 in.

13 Sep – 20 Oct 2012, Metamorphosis: Give Me Your Wings, Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York

Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York
Private Collection, USA
28 May 2017, Christie's Hong Kong Spring Auctions, Lot 167
23 Nov 2019, Christie's Hong Kong Autumn Auctions, Lot 65
Acquired directly by present important private Asian collector from the above

The Super Power of Female Power Beyond Beauty!
Mr. and his Super Flat Era

In 1999, the famous Japanese artist Takashi Murakami proposed the theory of “Super Flat”, which is a departure from the traditional painting that focuses on perspective and three-dimensionality, and brings out the two-dimensional space treatment in Japanese cartoons and comics, emphasizing the cute and childish qualities, echoing the lack of depth in contemporary life through a new school of painting. Later in 2000, he hold a large group exhibition with Japanese artists in Japan, Europe, and the United States under the name of “Super Flat”. Among the participants, Mr. shone with his outstanding theme of “Otaku”.

Mr. graduated from Tokyo's Sokei Academy of Fine Art and Design in 1996, and since 2000, he has not only become the most famous and influential artist in the Kaikai Kiki Gallery founded by Takashi Murakami but also collaborated with the famous galleries Lehmann Maupin and Perrotin to promote the Japanese “super flat” aesthetic and his delicate painting style with “wild dreams of Otaku” to the world. Mr. has held solo exhibitions at the National Museum of Asian Art in Paris, the Seattle Art Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Lyon, and the Hao Art Museum in Shanghai. His works have been collected by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Seattle Art Museum, and Daegu Art Museum in Korea.

Representative Works on New York Solo Exhibition

Mr.'s works fully demonstrate the characteristics of Japan's contemporary Otaku culture, in which the magical girls of Japanese animation, the graphic expression of manga, the “moe culture” and “Lolicon” have become the important essence of his creations, and showing the contemporary life of a generation, evoking a strong sense of empathy. In 2012, Mr. released a solo exhibition titled “Metamorphosis: Give Me Your Wings” at Lehmann Maupin Gallery in New York. Through his creation, he analyzed the Otaku culture to the extreme: the artist transformed himself into a “geek” and packed all the details of his life, such as computers, newspapers, glasses, and school bags, and placed them in the centre of the exhibition hall, restoring the real life of an otaku to the viewer - a space of unconventional and random accumulation of miscellaneous objects. On the walls around the exhibition are its iconic paintings of beautiful girls, subtly interpreting the otaku worship of “goddesses” and the feeling of being unattainable. Close at hand, but untouchable. Can heal one's soul just by looking at the pictures of goddesses. This bold and innovative exhibition has enabled the western world to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of Japan's unique Otaku culture, and has been an important key to opening up the international market for his works. This spring auction presents Exercising My Telekinetic Powers, an important masterpiece of the artist from that period.

Cute Loli: Such Youthful Beauty

“I think that the Ukiyo-e of the Edo period is very similar to the anime of modern Japan and that such works were not so much created as they emerged. I think that depicting people has been a constant theme since ancient times. The concept of ‘Moe' is a transformation of the ‘essence of Otaku desire' and a sense to feel the beauty.”

In Exercising My Telekinetic Powers, the viewer can see a slim girl dressed in a school uniform - white shirt, checkered skirt, white socks, and leather shoes - exuding the freshness of a typical Japanese “uniform girl”. Standing in the centre of the painting, she smiles confidently, with her flawless skin and her big, watery, charming eyes. Although she is wearing a standard school uniform, her blue hair and the fried noodles, burgers, strawberry sandwiches, doughnuts, and scissors surrounding her, make the work break away from the standard daily routine and let people be sucked into a surreal fantasy. These food items are like the various snacks a young girl loves, recording the entirety of adolescent life and evoking each viewer's thoughts of comfort food as if eating them gives the motivation to face all the difficulties in life. The schoolgirl look also reflects the Japanese Otaku's Moe fascination with uniformed girls, adding to the deeper meaning behind the work.

The Power of Super Woman, a Reversion of Tradition

“The poster of Creamy Mami, the Magic Angel was on the wall of my room when I was in high school...... Between tutorials and college, I had a lot of part-time jobs, such as a janitor. And I watched six hours of animation a day, especially Oh My Goddess!, Sailor Moon and Neon Genesis Evangelion.”

Mr. said he likes Creamy Mami, the Magic Angel since he was in high school, which is a popular Japanese animation in the 80s, about a 10-year-old schoolgirl who gets magic by chance and can transforms into a 16-year-old beautiful teen girl, who became a hit after entering the show business. And then, such stories of a girl who gets magic power continued to appear in later Japanese animation such as Sailor Moon. In Mr.'s creation, he draws the maiden with divine power as his contemporary goddess. In Exercising My Telekinetic Powers, the girl is surrounded by starlight beams, which is the same as the expression in the magic angel animation, and her hands are crossed, echoing the playful gesture of the heroine in Sailor Moon, with her hands raised in front of her chest, presenting the title of the artwork. Although the girl in the painting looks cute and harmless, she shows absolute control over her life with the magic she is performing. The superb female power reverses the traditional soft image of women and reflects the current positive characteristics of women's autonomy and independence.

The Glowing Sun and Moon: A Colorful Delicate Vision

The smooth acrylics created a texture as smooth and delicate as a modern digital poster, but if you look at it up close, you can see the stacking and overlapping of colours, and the subtle differences that created a colourful visual effect. For example, the background is covered with pure white and countless pink dots equidistant from each other, and the body of the girl is covered with glittering stars and coloured chocolate beans, etc. Although Mr. does not focus on three-dimensional depiction, he perfectly constructs the layers of front, middle, and backspace in the same plane composition. A fantasy scene that transcends time and space, and even the sun and moon shining together, showing how the artist paced back and forth in front of the canvas, examined it, layered the paints, and looked at the whole work cautiously. This is Mr.'s determination to transcend Japanese cartoon culture and become a serious artist on the international stage, shining just like the stars and moon in his painting.

Price estimate:
HKD: 3,700,000 – 5,000,000
USD: 471,300 – 636,900

Auction Result:
HKD: 4,560,000



All information contained in this website is for reference only,
and contents will be subject to change without prior notice.
All estimates and auction results shown in currencies other than
the Hong Kong Dollar are for reference only.
Although the Company endeavors to ensure the accuracy of the information,
it does not guarantee the accuracy of such information.
And hence will not be responsible to errors or omissions contained herein.

Wechat QR Code

Please use the "Scan QR Code"
function in Wechat