• Zhong Cheng 2019 Spring Auction「Morden And Contemporary Art」
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    KOHEI NAWA ( b.1975)

    PixCell - Double Deer 2


    Taxidermied Deer Hands, Glass Beads, Crystal Balls, Metal

    Estimate TWD 9,000,000-12,000,000
    USD 291,500-388,600
    HKD 0-0

    Hammer Price TWD 14,400,000
    USD 458,599
    HKD 3,618,090



Exhibition:"Kohei Nawa: Synthesis," Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Tokyo Japan, June - August, 2011


“Our involvement with the outside world (the world) is through our senses and our bodies. We are aware of what our senses perceive, and call it ‘reality” – Kohei Nawa

Born in Osaka in 1975, Kohei Nawa graduate from Kyoto City University of Arts where he obtained a Ph.D. in Fine Art Sculpture, he also attended a sculptural exchange program at Royal College of Art in London. Since 2007, Kohei Nawa have continued to explored multidisciplinary works.

His widely known series, Pixcell is highly praised by critics, subsequently he became one of the most anticipated young artist post Takashi Murakami and Yoshitomo Nara’s generation.

His artworks are well received in Japan and internationally, he was awarded by Kyoto Prefecture Cultural Award in 2007 and participated many important exhibitions including the 6th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art from 2009 to 2010, “Living in Evolution: Busan Biennale” in 2010 and received First Prize in the 14th Asian Art Biennale Bangladesh in Dhaka in the same year. Currently he teaches as an associate professor at the Fine Arts department at the Kyoto University of Art and Design. 

Kohei Nawa uses found objects such as taxidermy animals covered by glass beads, creating a visually pixelated effect.

Nawa thereby merges the biological concept of the “cell” with the “pixel.” This combination connects the smallest and most basic units of different life forms together; the biological and the digital. The optical illusion momentarily forces the viewer to rethink the law of nature, and changes the way we perceive and interact with the work. He said, “My works uses ‘Cell’ as the design context to represent information, at the same time it gives the medium stylistic possibilities, but behind these works it all involves macroscopic physics.” The macroscopic creations established itself at the dynamic intersection of technology and nature, organic and artificial, numerical and sensory, creating a new path for sculptural work. 

In crafting his “PixCell” series, Kohei Nawa would purchase taxidermy through online auction sites.

As he examines the work on his monitor the object becomes a virtual image made-up of countless pixels, and the arrangement of these pixels becomes the real object; subsequently our perception and awareness of this representation is in a confused state of mind.

When Kohei Nawa adorns the object in crystal beads it modifies the virtual world into real and tangible object.

The beads replace the animal’s flesh and blood and become the hybrid creature’s new cells. The animal hidden beneath dazzling crystal beads generate a dreamy and luminous visual effect, but it also raises the artist’s reflection regarding “What will change the human perception in the future?” This question triggers the artist’s later series that investigates the binaries between skin and sculpture. Kohei Nawa said, “Every time you make a new work, it resonates with the past works from the series, and I reaffirm this connection. My new challenge will arise form the point of recognition.”

Deer is a reoccurring subject in Kohei Nawa’s “Pixcell” series; the animal is decreed scared in Japan, as legend portrays them to be god’s messenger and a sign of good omen.

The current lot PixCell- Double Deer 2 is a rare depicting of two deer’s heads instead of one, the big and small deer are placed together, as if they are gracefully lying on one another. Once the surface of the animal is covered with varying sizes of crystal beads, the crystals act as multiple lenses through which to experience the object, at times even magnifying or distorting the details of the fur and other parts. The aesthetically alluring and sophisticated sculpture seeks to underline the ambiguity relation between truth or reality, as the viewer struggle to ‘possess’ truth and certainty of reality, similar to the way taxidermy try to ‘possesses’ or ‘captures’ movement; the artist explains in an interview, “Undoubtedly, the seemingly glamorous ‘glass deer’ stands before us, however it’s existence is not real.” The light reflecting crystal beads guide the viewers to receiving visual information reading from one bead to the next, thereby creating an uninterrupted and ethereal sensory experience wondering between the contrary phenomena of fantasy and reality, meanwhile provoking an endless imagination to the sculpture as a whole. 

As an artist, Kohei Nawa once said, “I want to consistently breakdown the boundaries of art through design, sculpture, architecture and painting, none should be limited to its form” Full of innovative ideas, Kohei Nawa continued to work with different mediums, in order to revolutionize the public’s anticipated perception of art by challenging their sensory experience through ‘releasing’ a mysterious element that is within the object, thereby creating a new sculptural language. His unique style and sophisticated philosophy establishes his status in the are world on an international scale. Kohei Nawa’s aesthetic style is also incorporated in stage and costume design, he is currently working on the stage design for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic.

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