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Est: $150,000 HKD - $250,000 HKD
Christie'sNovember 28, 2010Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Item Overview


Planet Blossoms
signed 'Tiger' in English; dated '69' (lower right); signed and inscribed 'Tiger Tateishi (Milan)' in English; dated '1969' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
163 x 118.5 cm. (64 1/8 x 46 5/8 in.)
Painted in 1969

Artist or Maker


Tagawa, Japan, Tagawa Museum of Art, The Endless Tiger, 8 April-9 May 1999.


Tagawa Museum of Art, The Endless Tiger, exh. cat., Tagawa, Japan, 1999 (illustrated, p. 15).


Tiger Tateishi's career began as a comic columnist, developing his penchant for inventive storytelling, manga and detailed yet simplistic drawing as seen in the two sets of three early hanging scroll works offered (Lot 1274 and 1275), executed in 1986, just a year before Genetic Wars (sold at Christie's Hong Kong, November
2007). There is a special emphasis placed on these scrolls whose colourful fabric mounting is as spectacularly unique as the drawings within, and are additionally presented in individually signed boxes as though a small gift. As one unrolls the scrolls from top to bottom, viewers are able to "read" his whimsical and imaginative
narratives and immerse in the fine pencil renderings, playfully challenging our visual appetite from the very beginning. Like reading a novel, over the course of the scroll, stories concerning the formation of moons, planets and mystical creatures unfold in a gravity defying space, telling of Tateishi's personal adoration
and curiosity of the universe. Rather than adhering to presenting his subjects in singular perspective, Tateishi creates an illusionistic layer of depth in the spirals and grids in the background as if the scene stretches into infinity. In addition, every corner is filled with infinitesimal details of fruit and signature tigers and an exceptional exploration of adding an alternate, fourth dimension to his works. Time is a consistently explored element, and incorporated with his far reaching imagination, Tateishi's creations lead to imagining a fantastical alternate universe. This is perhaps best exemplified in Planet Blossoms (Lot 1273), a rare early painting from the 1960s, the first painting by Tateishi while in Italy, where he set off in a journey of self discovery. In sequential order from top to bottom, each frame contains a split second of time in the planetary development of Tateishi's exponentially imaginative mind. As viewers we gravitate towards the moon-like planet as it too, pulls itself towards its surrounding stars. In its initial pale stage it begins to transform, deepening in colour as it is swallowed, before it reappears and eventually is reincarnated into a beautiful gravity-free blossoming flower. Perhaps the planetary subject subtly reflects the very formation of Tateishi as an artist, and unknown to him then, the signature elements of his oeuvre.

Auction Details

Asian Contemporary Art (Day Sale)

November 28, 2010, 12:00 AM ChST

2203-8 Alexandra House 16-20 Chater Road, Hong Kong, HK