Artist: Kohei Nawa (Japanese, born 1975)

Period: Heisei period (1989–present)

Date: 2011

Culture: Japan

Medium: Mixed media; taxidermied deer with artificial crystal glass

Dimensions: H. 80 11/16 in. (205 cm); W. 59 1/16 in. (150 cm); D. 78 3/4 in. (200 cm)

Classification: Sculpture

Credit Line: Purchase, Acquisitions Fund and Peggy and Richard M. Danziger Gift, 2011

Accession Number: 2011.493a–j

Rights and Reproduction: © Kohei Nawa


This taxidermied deer has been completely transformed through the artist’s use of variably sized “PixCell” beads, a term he invented. PixCell combines the idea of a “pixel,” the smallest unit of a digital image, with that of a “cell.” Whether intentionally or unintentionally on the artist’s part, PixCell-Deer#24 resonates with a type of religious painting known as a Kasuga Deer Mandala, which features a deer—the messenger animal of Shinto deities—posed similarly with its head turned to the side, and with a round sacred mirror on its back. In Japanese art, the deer is often depicted as a companion of ancient sages and has auspicious and poetic associations.