East and West contemporary art works to be auctioned in celebration of love

Inspired by the love and passion of Valentine’s Day, Phillips is holding a special online auction – entitled My Kawaii Valentine.

A group of Eastern and Western artists with different styles – such as Tomoo Gokita, Katherine Bernhardt, Joan Cornella, Li Qing and Mr. Doodle will be showcased in the sale. Their artworks highlight many ways to interpret contemporary love.

Alongside these contemporary artworks, 6 NFT creations will also be on sale.

Lot 13 | Tomoo Gokita | Fake Cezanne #1, Acrylic gouache on linen

Created in 2017
Work: 72.7 x 50 cm | Frame: 87.4 x 64.7 cm

  • Mary Boone Gallery, New York
  • Ross + Kramer, New York
  • Acquired from the above by the present owner

Estimate: HK$300,000 – 500,000

Tomoo Gokita is a Japanese artist best known for his monochrome and grayscale renderings of mass-media archetypes. His paintings and drawings take inspiration from vintage magazines, art journals, film stills and postcards he is known to collect.

The composition pays homage to post-Impressionist painter Paul Cezanne, whose still-life paintings are recognised as amongst the most distinguished lines of artistic inquiry in the history of modern painting. Gokita’s Fake Cezanne #1 shares a particular likeness to Cezanne’s The Vase of Tulips an internationally exhibited painting executed circa 1890, now housed in the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago.

At the centre of both paintings is a bouquet of tulips, narcissus, and delicate buttercups, bursting out from an earthenware vase situated on a tabletop alongside three rounded fruits. A bathing light shines in from the left, highlighting the curves and contrasts of the multi-layered arrangement as dark shadows are cast in its wake.

Unlike Cezanne’s version that is detailed by a rich patchwork of colour, Gokita captures the same subtleties of texture through his signature palette of velvety black, white, and grey. This work has an air of nostalgia, inviting viewers to explore the depths of their imagination as they are transported into Gokita’s dream-like monochromatic world.

Cezanne's The Vase of Tulips (circa 1890)

Tomoo Gokita

Lot 2 | Katherine Bernhardt | Couple in Love, Acrylic on canvas

Created in 2006
121.6 x 91.1 cm

  • CANADA, New York
  • Private Collection, USA
  • Phillips, New York, 30 October 2019, Lot 38
  • Acquired at the above sale by the present owner

Estimate: HK$120,000 – 180,000   

Katherine Bernhardt is an American artist, whose painting style is inspired by batik art and abstract repetition of African textiles. Using bright and bold colours, Bernhardt uses symbols from contemporary pop culture and everyday life such as cartoon characters, popular drinks, subway tickets and cigarettes.

In 2019’s CLOT (streetwear label founded by Hong Kong actor Edison Chen), collaborated with Nike on creating Air Max shoes. In the exclusive pop-up, Bernhardt was a special guest, where her large-scale paintings were exhibited.

In October 2021, one of her Pink Panther paintings which was created for the above event, was showcased at Sotheby's Hong Kong. Estimated between HK$300,000 and 500,000 dollars, it fetched for HK$1.95 million (around US$250,000) dollars.

Katherine Bernhardt

Lot 7 | Joan Cornella | Untitled, Acrylic on canvas

Created in 2016
60 x 60 cm

  • Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner

Estimate: HK$100,000 – 200,000

Joan Cornella is an artist from Barcelona, known for his black humour artworks. They portray themes such as gender, race, religion and politics to satirize society.

He cooperated with the Hong Kong creative studio AllRightsReserved (ARR) several times to launch various figures, which were quickly snapped up.

In 2021, international auction house Sotheby's collaborated with Taiwanese pop star, Jay Chou in the Jay Chou x Sotheby’s auction. Estimated between HK$80,000 and 150,000 dollars, Cornella’s painting garnered HK$630,000 dollars.

Joan Cornella

Lot 1 | Gina Beavers | Ultimate Smoky Eye, Acrylic on linen mounted on panel

Created in 2019
51 x 61.1 cm

  • Private Collection, Europe
  • Acquired from the above by the present owner

Estimate: HK$100,000 – 150,000

New York-based artist Gina Beavers is renowned for her work inspired by images amassed from the Internet.  

Unlike the temporary quality of social media, her paintings are intensely crafted, built up through thick accumulations of acrylic that introduce sculptural three-dimensionality, subverting the flatness of her source material.

Directly meeting the gaze of the viewer in Ultimate Smokey Eye is a large eye accentuated by midnight-black make-up powder. An eyeshadow brush on the left adds the finishing touches, evoking an idea that the painting paints itself. Created in 2019, the work is an example of Beaver’s exploration into the performative aspect of make-up tutorials and how we choose to portray ourselves on the online world.

Gina Beavers

Other highlight lots: 

Lot 25 | Li Qing | Images of Mutual Undoing and Unity · Lurk (Group of four works)

C-print, in artist’s frame (first two works) | Oil on linen (last two works)
Created in 2015
42.1 x 42.1 cm (first two works) | 80.3 x 80 cm (last
 two works)

  • Leo Xu Projects, Shanghai
  • Acquired from the above by the present owner

Estimate: HK$100,000 – 150,000

Lot 6 | Matt Gondek | Tweety and Sylvester, Acrylic on canvas

Created in 2017
152.7 x 121.7 cm

  • Lorin Gallery, Los Angeles
  • Acquired from the above by the present owner

Estimate: HK$90,000 – 120,000

Lot 5 | Kitti Narod | Touch, Acrylic on canvas

Created in 2019
70.4 x 90 cm

  • XSPACE Gallery, Bangkok
  • Acquired from the above by the present owner

Estimate: HK$80,000 – 120,000

Lot 12 | Mr Doodle | Broken Heart, Acrylic on canvas

Created in 2018
40.6 x 101.7 cm

  • Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner

Estimate: HK$50,000 – 70,000

Auction Details:

Auction House: Phillips

Sale: My Kawaii Valentine: Online Auction

Sale Date: 14 February 2022 9pm – 22 February 2022 6pm (Hong Kong local time)

Number of lots: 50