Auction | China Guardian (HK) Auctions Co., Ltd.
2024 Spring Auctions > Asian 20th Century and Contemporary Art
Asian 20th Century and Contemporary Art

Etsu Egami (b.1994)
Rainbow 2021-12(Painted in 2021)

Oil on canvas

45.5 × 53 cm. 17 7/8 × 20 7/8 in.

Signed in English and dated on the bottom
Whitestone Gallery, Hong Kong
Acquired directly by present private Asian collector from the above

A Myriad of Faces, Life's Scenic Traces
The Rainbow under the Brush of Etsu Egami

Born in Tokyo in 1994, Etsu Egami has achieved remarkable success in the contemporary art scene. In 2019, she became the youngest artist ever to be shortlisted for the final selection of the "Outstanding Asian Artists" by the Hong Kong Sovereign Art Foundation. In 2020, she was selected for the prestigious Vision Of Contemporary Art exhibition, which is an exhibition with significant influence that has recommended leading artists such as Yoshitomo Nara, Saeko Rokuho, and Chie Wakiyama—prominent figures in the Japanese art scene today. Simultaneously, Etsu Egami was featured as the youngest artist on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in 2020 and was dispatched to New York as an outstanding artist chosen by the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs. Her works have been exhibited in prominent institutions like the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Grand Palais in Paris, and the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing, making her a standout among contemporary young artists and highly sought after by collectors.

The Winding Spectrum of Images

Etsu Egami is currently pursuing her doctoral studies at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing and has also studied abroad at the Karlsruhe University of Art and Design in Germany. Her experiences in different countries and social environments have led her to focus on the misunderstandings that arise from communication in diverse cultural and linguistic contexts. During her time at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, under the mentorship of the renowned artist Liu Xiaodong, Egami explored the theme of "anthropological research" and eventually developed a series of works that explore portraits through vertical, horizontal, and winding distorted lines, constructing a collection of landscapes that hover between abstraction and representation. In 2020, the sudden outbreak of a pandemic disrupted everyone's lives and prompted Etsu Egami to pay attention to this issue. She attempted to use tangible brushstrokes to measure the distance between people and explore the diverse spectrum of faces in contemporary society—a rainbow of portraits. The artwork presented in this Spring auction, titled Rainbow 2021-12, is part of her series of portraits created after the pandemic.

Profound Reflections on Life

The artwork primarily employs cool tones such as ink green, turquoise green, sapphire blue, and indigo purple. In the centre of the composition, a calmly coloured young man is depicted with contemplative expressions revealed through winding brushstrokes. His gaze is immersed in the texture of his face, captivating observers and leaving a lasting impression. On either side of the central figure, the artist uses evenly spaced brushstrokes to portray arcs of equal length, symbolizing both physical distances and silently narrating the encounters and turning points in interpersonal relationships. In the era of the pandemic, the artist offers her observations: the distance of the soul is affected by the barrier of the physical body, deepening the experience of being "born alone" and resonating with viewers.

Price estimate:
HKD: 50,000 – 80,000
USD: 6,400 - 10,200

Auction Result:
HKD: 48,000



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