NEW 006

089
Haroshi,1978 -

Tiger Mask

2018

vintage action figure, wood (skateboard decks), unique

25.3 × 13.3 × 7.2 cm

signed and dated on the bottom, and with an inscription

ESTIMATE :
$16,700 - $23,300
CONDITION

Good condition.
Signed and dated on the sole of the feet, and with an inscription "Montana" on the side of the left leg. Montana is the name of the skatepark association in the United States, called the Montana Skatepark Association (MSA).

The wooden head is in great state and doesn't have any issues in condition.
There are a few spots with paint peeling on the vintage action figure due to its age.
There is rusting in places on the stand due to its age.

DESCRIPTION

PROVENANCE
Montana Skatepark Association's charity auction, Montana

LITERATURE
"Haroshi 2003-2021", NANZUKA, 2021, p. 440

While preparing for a solo exhibition in London in 2017, leading Japanese artist Haroshi (1978-) unearthed a faceless, body-only version of "Tiger Mask" from a cardboard box full of junk in the room of his friend who was a soft vinyl prototype maker. From there, the "Sofubi" (Japanese abbreviation for soft vinyl) series was born through a reverse-thinking approach, combining the torso with the artist's signature wooden-carved masks.

Originated in Japan, soft vinyl toy culture developed significantly with the country's rapid post-war economic growth. Its soft touch and durability made it a popular material for children's toys, and in order to create hit products, various manufacturers produced characters that were popular among children at the time, such as monsters and Ultra Q. The soft vinyl part of this work is also part of that era, originating from the manga serialized in magazines from 1968 to 1971, created by Kajiwara Ikki , and featuring the former villain wrestler Date Naoto as "Tiger Mask." The work, which not only remained in manga but also had an animated version, became a presence in the living rooms that captivated children at the time. In 1969, Nakajima Manufacturing Co. released a soft vinyl version of Tiger Mask and his villainous foes, and it became an explosive hit.

After half a century, these headless soft vinyl figures, losing their value along with passing trends, were brought back to life by Haroshi, breathing new life into them and creating new value within the context of contemporary art. Tiger Mask was presented in a charity auction in 2018 to fund the construction of the Montana Skate Park Association's skate park, while the rival Viking Kid was unveiled at a solo exhibition at StolenSpace Gallery in London in 2017.

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