FUTURES: Ayako Rokkaku

This spring, the Japanese artist's market expands outside of Asia

Cara Blumstein

Fri, Apr 29, 2022

FUTURES: Ayako Rokkaku

Ayako Rokkaku is a self-taught Japanese artist whose market continues to trend upward heading into the 2022 spring auction season. Rokkaku’s colorful paintings, often created with her bare hands in lieu of a brush, have been gaining momentum in Asia since her auction debut in late 2008. Since 2008, she has had a whopping 288 lots come onto the block.

Ayako has seen a continual increase in lot volume and sale prices, with a particular rise in momentum beginning in 2018. The current record for a Rokkaku painting at auction was set in November of last year when a 2007 painting sold for $811,236 over a $256,764 estimate at Phillips in Hong Kong. This week, Rokkaku had two lots at the Sotheby’s Contemporary Day auction. A 2015 work on cardboard sold for $38,539 over a $25,504 estimate. Later in the sale, a 2008 painting sold for $562,032, more than five times its estimate.


After a plenitude of successful sales in Hong Kong, Seoul, and Tokyo, Rokkaku saw her debut lot outside of Asia this week at Phillips in London. A 2015 work on cardboard was offered with a $25,504 estimate. It sold for $38,539. Her trajectory continues into next week when her work will arrive in Paris. Christie’s is offering two 2006 works each with a $15,968 estimate. Based on her current momentum, she may be the next contemporary artist to follow in the footsteps of Yoshitomo Nara and see her market expand onto the global stage.