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Japanese Artist's Cartoon Breaks Record after Being Sold at $25 Million in Hong Kong

The auction took place at Hong Kong's convention center during the Sotheby's 5-day marathon auction, while the city saw protesters firing and throwing petrol bombs and police responding with teargas.

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Updated:October 9, 2019, 6:30 PM IST
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Japanese Artist's Cartoon Breaks Record after Being Sold at $25 Million in Hong Kong
(Twitter / @@Sothebys)

Painting of a cute but menacing cartoon girl by a Japanese artist became the highlight of Sunday’s contemporary art auction. The painting was sold for a whopping USD 24.9 million (approximately Rs 176 crore). The painting made by Yoshitomo Nara is a caricature of a girl titled as "Knife Behind Back". The painting was a new world record for the Japanese artist.

The painting is of a girl wearing red tunic with one of her hands behind her back, holding the knife declared in the title.

The auction took place at Hong Kong's convention center during the Sotheby's 5-day marathon auction, while the city saw protesters firing and throwing petrol bombs and police responding with teargas.

Nara created the seven-foot by seven-foot canvas in 2000 after he returned to spending 12 years in Germany.

"A new world auction record for Yoshitomo Nara has been achieved in our #HongKong Contemporary Art Evening Sale, with 'Knife Behind Back', sold for HK$196m / US$25m, nearly five times the previous auction record set earlier today," Sotheby's wrote on Twitter while sharing a photo of the painting.

"Knife Behind Back announces a double-edged warning: the painting’s title broadcasts the presence of a weapon, whose absence in the image is made more marked and more menacing. Not only is there a knife, but it is hidden with intent, primed for attack," Sotheby's website said.

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