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JACKY TSAI | SECONDARY MARKET OPPORTUNITIES

May 2nd 2014
The response to Jacky Tsai’s work since we first started exhibiting it three years ago has been phenomenal. Now one of our most prolific and sought-after artists, his innovative and eye-catching pieces have been the star of the show at recent art fairs in Hong Kong and New York, and there’s no sign of him slowing down anytime soon. Angie talks more about Jacky and his work below.

Chinese artist Jacky Tsai has had quite an exciting few years since he first started exhibiting his artwork back in 2010. Following his debut solo show in Notting Hill in the summer of that year, he was introduced to me by a then colleague, which led to a studio visit a few weeks later. At this point I never knew how much we would be working together in the years that followed.

Jacky was best known as the creator of the iconic ‘floral skull’ image that graced the catwalk in Alexander McQueen’s Menswear collection in 2008. Having spent some time at the British designer’s fashion house while still a student at Central St Martin’s college, Jacky’s input into a symbol that went on to become a trademark for McQueen was an important one. A few of the works I saw during this first studio visit included the famous skull image, but it was the other works I was most interested in at the time. A particular piece Wave caught my eye. Printed onto silk, this creation by Jacky consisted of a collage of found images from popular culture, fused together to form a fabric-like pattern. Imagery related to Jacky’s native China such as oriental trees and flowers, birds and butterflies, along with Chinese dragons and symbols had been merged together with pictures more associated with Western culture like surfers, trapeze artists and Maurice traveller vehicles resembling Del Boy’s Robin Reliant. To describe it, you would never think it would have worked, but when you see the piece, it’s extremely pleasing to the eye and everything just fits together; and this is a talent of Jacky’s that has continued to translate through his work to the present day.

In May 2011, Eyestorm hosted an auction at the May Fair hotel, London, and I selected two of Jacky’s works to be shown there. Both on silk, one piece was Wave and one featured the McQueen skull. Both sold on the event night and it was at this point that I began to think this artist could cause a bit of a stir. We took the work onto Eyestorm and after a couple of months, Jacky was asking advice about publishing his own screenprint edition, so I helped him find Advanced Graphics, who printed Floral Skull, his first edition on paper. Based on the McQueen skull, this image took a three dimensional angle and looking back now, formed the basis of the Life-Sized Floral Skullptures that came the following year. Surf was the next edition published; this time a Giclee, Jacky again saw this as a personal project. This print, which works along similar lines to Wave in terms of subject matter, proved to be very popular and only one or two prints now remain from the edition. It wasn’t until 2012 that Eyestorm started publishing Jacky’s work, the first piece being Flying Tiger. A matching pair to Surf; a Giclee at the same scale and edition size (they’re both editions of 30), Flying Tiger has been a steady seller, the base colour as pink perhaps being an ‘acquired taste’.

The Eyestorm editions that followed really saw Jacky come into his own as he returned to his original skull creation and transformed it into what have become four of his most successful and fastest selling works. Having formed a new relationship wit Jealous Print Studio, just down the road in Shoreditch, our first two screenprint editions with Jacky, Soul Harvest and Golden Harvest, were born. The former a larger edition size at 50, it was an affordable piece at a substatial scale that was instantly well-received. But it was the latter, its sister print, that first got Jacky’s creative juices flowing. Excited at the prospect of working with the enthusiastic, talented and professional team at Jealous, Jacky really pushed the boundaries with this print and along with the printing team produced something really quite spectacular with Golden Harvest. Small sheets of real 24 carat gold leaf were hand-laid in the background, which in turn revealed the hologram-like 3D skull imagery first seen in Floral Skull the previous year. There were special effects in the skull itself as butterflies and feathers were brought out with red in amongst the blue. An edition of just 10, this piece was pretty special, and the sales proved it as it sold out within weeks.

Following these two prints, Jacky decided to make another pair, this time with the skull in red and silver. Vermilion Garden and Vermilion Light again were very popular, with the former providing the more affordable, higher edition version and the latter it’s more exclusive friend. Having experimented with various techniques in Golden Harvest, Jacky was inspired to do something even more daring, and in Vermilion Light, this time using hand applied palladium leaf instead of gold (a more valuable option than silver!), he also used a glow-in-the-dark ink within the skull, which was only revealed once the lights were out and was perfect for the ‘surprise’ factor he was looking to include in this piece.

Next came Stained Glass Skull, a dominant and colourful piece that has been extremely well-received by collectors since its release a few months ago. And Jacky’s most recent creation was the magnificent Gambling Skull series, which saw him create 15 unique oversized playing cards, Ace through to King with two Jokers that made up his own suite of diamonds. Launching with Jealous at Art 14 at the end of February, and then making an appearance in Hong Kong a couple of weeks later, these Eyestorm prints were sold out completely by the close of Affordable Art Fair New York City in the first week of April. Retailing at between £5,160 and £5,640 each, this is quite an achievement even for Jacky Tsai!

We’re excited this week to have selected pieces from Jacky’s sold-out editions available for the first time. Vermilion Light, Golden Harvest and Wave are all now available on the secondary market.

See them all in more detail and buy or make an offer online here.
ANGIE DAVEY
Creative Director
JACKY TSAI
Vermilion Light
 
JACKY TSAI
Golden Harvest
 
JACKY TSAI
 
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COLLECTORS ARE LOOKING FOR 'SOLD-OUT' PRINTS BY JACKY TSAI
Golden Harvest
The master of Chinese pop art, Jacky Tsai, has over the past five years become a sought after artist by collectors who love his innovative visual dialogue, between traditional Eastern craft and Western pop art.

If you own a print, which is now sold-out and you wish to sell, we have clients who are looking for select pieces. You can get in touch with us via the Contact page, which you can find here.
 
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