Posts Tagged ‘Southeast Asian art’
Posted by artradar on October 7, 2010
ART AUCTION RESULTS SOTHEBY’S HONG KONG PRESS RELEASE
We present you with the latest press release from Sotheby’s Hong Kong on their autumn sale of modern and contemporary Southeast Asian paintings:
SOTHEBY’S HONG KONG
MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY SOUTHEAST ASIAN PAINTINGS 2010 AUTUMN SALE
TOTALS HK$78 MILLION / US$10 MILLION
(high estimate: HK$45 million / US$5.7 million*)
THE HIGHEST TOTAL FOR A VARIOUS-OWNER SALE
IN THIS CATEGORY AT SOTHEBY’S HONG KONG
ACHIEVING NUMEROUS ARTIST RECORDS AT AUCTION
“FATHER OF INDONESIAN MODERNISM” –
S.SUDJOJONO’S A NEW DAWN SOLD FOR AN IMPRESSIVE
HK$10.7 MILLION / US$1.4 MILLION
OVER 4 TIMES THE HIGH ESTIMATE
FILIPINO ARTIST RONALD VENTURA ’S NATURAL-LIES FETCHED
HK$2.5 MILLION / US$326,000
9 TIMES THE HIGH ESTIMATE
Other artist records were set for works by Indonesian artists including
Gede Mahendra Yasa, Ay Tjoe Christine, Samsul Arifin, Hendra Gunawan and Filipino artist Andres Barrioquinto, among others
Following the tremendous success of the Spring sale, Sotheby’s Autumn sale of Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Paintings today commanded a stunning total of HK$78 million / US$10 million (high estimate: HK$45 million / US$5.7 million*), the highest sale total for a various owners sale in this category at Sotheby’s Hong Kong. Today’s sale provoked active participation in the room and over the phone. There was particularly strong interest in top-end Southeast Asian contemporary paintings, which led to two auction records set for two artists – S. Sudjojono , Father of Indonesian Modernism, and Filipino artist Ronald Ventura.
MOK Kim Chuan, Sotheby’s Head of Southeast Asian Paintings, commented: “Top end Contemporary works fetched strong prices today with many pieces bringing multiples of their pre-sale high estimates. Among Modern works, the supreme highlight was the S. Sudjojono, a museum-quality example of the artist’s work which spurred a fierce bidding battle among nine bidders before selling for HK$10.7 million, a price which was four times the top estimate and set a record for the artist at auction. These results confirm the strategy of using conservative estimates to attract competition and let the market set the price level.”
The sale of 20th Century Chinese Art and Contemporary Asian Art continue in the evening.
Attached please find the relevant press releases, top-ten list as well as an image of the saleroom for your use. Should you need further information, please do not hesitate to contact Sotheby’s Hong Kong Press Office on +852 2868 6755 /Winnie.email@example.com.
* Estimates do not include buyer’s premium
Sotheby’s Hong Kong Press
Related Topics: Southeast Asian art, market watch – auctions, business of art, collectors
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Posted in Artist Nationality, Auctions, Business of art, China, Collectors, Hong Kong, Market watch, Medium, Painting, Southeast Asian, Venues | Tagged: Andres Barrioquinto, art auction results, auction, auctions, Ay Tjoe Christine, Gede Mahendra Yasa, Hendra Gunawan, MOK Kim Chuan, Ronald Ventura, S. Sudjojono, Samsul Arifin, Sothebys, Sothebys Hong Kong, Southeast Asian art, Southeast Asian paintings | 1 Comment »
Posted by artradar on September 15, 2010
VISUAL ART FESTIVAL MALAYSIAN ARTISTS GALLERY EXHIBITIONS ART SEMINARS TALKS
1 Malaysia Contemporary Arts Tourism Festival 2010 or MCAT 2010, organised by Tourism Malaysia, is a new Malaysian visual art festival that is attempting to draw more “high-yield” tourists to the region. To support this festival, the government body has released a useful and comprehensive guide to Malaysian galleries and events.
'Teka Teki' (2010, acrylic on canvas), by Malaysian artist Masnoor Ramli, is one of the works held in the Aliya and Farouk Khan Collection. Image courtesy of Tourism Malaysia.
Presented as a contemporary art festival, it will showcase art from internationally recognised Malaysian-born artists through a series of seminars and exhibitions. Events began in June this year and will continue through October. Key highlights mentioned in the the press release include:
“… a display of Aliya and Farouk Khan’s personal collection as well as several exciting and vibrant works by some of the best internationally-acclaimed Malaysian artists, both young and established ones such as Abdul Multhalib Musa, who is regarded as one of Malaysia’s leading contemporary sculptors; Fauzan Omar; Annuar Rashid; abstract expressionist Yusof Ghani; Eng Hwee Chu; visual artist/writer A. Jegadeva; Dhavinder Gill and many more.
Other art works that will be showcased include those by Ahmad Zakii Anwar, Hamir Saib, Tan Chin Kuan, Shooshie Sulaiman, Umibaizurah Mahir, Kaw Leong Kang, Anthony Chang, Rajinder Singh, Bayu Utomo, Fauzan Mustapha, Stephen Menon, Ivan Lam and the list goes on. Besides the presence of curators and art collectors during the three-month period, world-renowned speakers such as Mika Kuraya from Japan and Russell Storer from Australia will also be there to conduct the seminars.”
To assist festival attendees in finding their bearings in Malaysia’s contemporary art scene, Tourism Malaysia has put together the “Tourism Art Trail“, a directory of contemporary art galleries, seminars and talks on Malaysia’s contemporary art scene, information on places where art tourists can visit as well as events they can attend or participate in.
The festival is projected to contribute RM115 billion and create two million jobs by 2015.
Related Topics: Malaysian artists, festivals, promoting art
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Posted in Artist Nationality, Business of art, Collectors, Emerging artists, Events, Festival, Individual, Malaysia, Malaysian, Professionals, Promoting art, Venues | Tagged: 1 Malaysia Contemporary Arts Tourism Festival 2010, A. Jegadeva, Abdul Multhalib Musa, Ahmad Zakii Anwar, Aliya and Farouk Khan, Aliya and Farouk Khan Collection, Annuar Rashid, Anthony Chang, art collectors, art festivals, art tourism, art tourists, Bayu Utomo, contemporary art, contemporary Malaysian art, Dhavinder Gill, Eng Hwee Chu, Fauzan Mustapha, Fauzan Omar, gallery guides, Hamir Saib, Ivan Lam, Kate Nicholson, Kaw Leong Kang, Malaysian art, Malaysian art collectors, Malaysian art galleries, Malaysian artists, Malaysian contemporary art, Masnoor Ramli, MCAT 2010, Mika Kuraya, Rajinder Singh, Russell Storer, Shooshie Sulaiman, Southeast Asian art, Southeast Asian art collectors, Southeast Asian artists, Stephen Menon, Tan Chin Kuan, Teka Teki, Tourism, Tourism Art Trail, Tourism Malaysia, Umibaizurah Mahir, visual art festival, Yusof Ghani | Leave a Comment »
Posted by artradar on August 25, 2010
KOREA ART EXHIBITIONS BIENNALES ART EVENTS EMERGING ARTISTS
The Busan Biennale 2010 will be held from 11 September until 20 November at several locations in Busan, including the Busan Museum of Art, as well as at the nearby Yachting Center and Gwangalli Beach, under the theme of ‘Living in Evolution’.
The Biennale’s website describes the theme as such:
The official 2010 Busan Biennale poster, designed by Lee Pooroni and based on the theme ‘Living in Evolution’.
We are living individual lives. Yet at the same time, we are living in the processes of evolution. Evolution will continue. But no one knows the direction of this evolution.
This exhibition will try to think through the relations between art, society, world, history and the future by considering the dual time axes in which we are living today.
Featuring 161 works from 72 artists, the art festival will make a new attempt of integrating three existing exhibitions – “Contemporary Art Exhibition”, “Sea Art Festival” and “Busan Sculpture Project” – into one.
The Busan Biennale has been held every two years since the beginning of 2000. This year’s biennale makes an attempt at new discoveries and insights on relations between individuals and mankind, past and future and arts and society.
Kiichiro Adachi, 'Antigravity device', 2009, tulip, soil, neodymium magnet, stainless steel, halogen light.
In an unusual move, the 2010 Busan Biennale will have one single director, Azumaya Takashi, planning for all exhibitions. As an independent curator hailed for his experimental approach to exhibitions, Azumaya has held curatorial posts at the Setagaya Art Museum and the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo. He was commissioner of the 2002 Media City Seoul and guest curator for the 2008 Busan Biennale.
The art festival aims to help forge a closer link between the public and contemporary art through creating connections between the featured works and exhibition venues. Large-scale installations will be placed at several key spots in the city to serve as landmarks, depicting the exhibition theme and symbolising civilisations.
Along with the main exhibition, directed by Azumaya, the 2010 Busan Biennale will be composed of special exhibitions such as “Now, Asian Art” and joint exhibitions such as “Gallery Festival” and “Exhibition at alternative spaces”.
Featuring young and experimental artists from Korea, China and Japan,”Now, Asian Art” aims to tighten regional networks in Asia and strengthen contemporary Asian art. “Gallery Festival” is a set of special exhibitions presented by local art galleries, again featuring artists from Korea, China and Japan.
Educational programs, including a contemporary art course called “Art Story”, will be available. The course is scheduled to open in October and targets adult art lovers and aspiring artists. In addition, a conference of art editors in Asia will be held on September 12 under the title of the “Asian Editors’ Conference”.
Asian artists participating in the 2010 Busan Biennale include:
Donghee Koo, 'Souvenir', 2008, wood, light fixture, mirror, and artificial plant.
Tae Hun KANG
Bal Loon PARK
Sung Tae PARK
Young Sun LIM
Hye Ryun JUNG
Jung Moo CHO
Thaweesak Srithongdee, 'Zoo', 2009, acrylic on canvas.
Dinh Q. LÊ
Shih Chieh HUANG
Related Topics: Korean venues, biennales, emerging artists, promoting art
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Posted in Asian, Biennales, Chinese, Egyptian, Events, Israeli, Japanese, Korea, Korean, Lists, Mongolian, Promoting art, Taiwanese, Thai, Turkish, Venues, Vietnamese | Tagged: Akira Kanayama, Amarsaikhan Namsraijav, Anxiong Qiu, art events, Asian art, Asian artists, Azumaya Takashi, Bal Loon Park, biennale, Bongho Ha, Busan Biennale, Busan Museum of Art, Byungho Lee, Christina Dy, contemporary Asian art, Dalsul Kwon, Dao Aly, Dayeon Won, Dinh Q Lê, Donghee Koo, Emre Hüner, Eunju Kim, Hye Ryun Jung, Imhathai Suwattanasilp, Inci Eviner, Jinyun Cheong, Jung Moo Cho, Jung-Myung Kim, Kenji Yanobe, Ki-Youl Cha, Kibong Rhee, Kiichiro Adachi, Kohei Nawa, Korean art events, Kosei Komatsu, Lee Pooroni, Living in Evolution, MadeIn, Miki Jo, Min-Kyu Kang, Moo-kyoung Shin, Promoting art, Saburo Muraoka, Sangho Shin, SATA, Seung Jung, Shih Chieh Huang, Shinjung Ryu, Shun Yuan, SongJoon Lee, Southeast Asian art, Southeast Asian artists, Sung Tae Park, Tae Hun Kang, Thaweesak Srithongdee, Tomoko Konoike, Viola Luk, Yishay Garbasz, Young Sun Lim, Zadok Ben-David | Leave a Comment »
Posted by artradar on August 3, 2010
ART PROFESSIONAL INTERVIEW MYANMAR ARTIST AND ART SCENE
Late last month, Art Radar spoke with Nindityo Adipurnomo, one of the executive directors of Cemeti Art House, about the recent “+ROAD” collaborative project and exhibition between five young artists from Myanmar and five from Indonesia. He presented our readers with valuable insight into the Indonesian art climate and his perspective on the project.
Art Radar Asia thought it important to find out what is going on in Myanmar, so we contacted Aye Ko, Executive Director of New Zero Art Space and one of the participating artists in the exhibition. Here is what he had to say…
Aye Ko with some of his paintings
Outreaching to one of the most prestigious art centers in Asia
The reason why Aye Ko initiated the “+ROAD” project, as he said, was because he knew that Cemeti Art House is one of the most important art centers in Asia. He had had his first experience with Cemeti Art House when he invited the two executive directors, Nindityo Adipurnomo and his wife Mella Jaarsma, to the ASEAN Contemporary Art Exchange Program in 2009, where New Zero Group tried its best to build mutual understanding and connections with Cemeti. The project was initiated as a further step towards collaboration.
Aye Ko was keen for New Zero Group to learn from Cemeti Art House. He says,
The whole project was what we asked Nindityo for. The detailed program was planned by Cemeti Art House. As you know, Cemeti Art House’s experience is about twenty years, but honestly New Zero is just green. That’s why we need to learn from them.
Access to a passport the major selection criteria for Myanmar artists
According to Aye Ko, the most important consideration in the selection of Myanmar artists to participate in “+ROAD” was whether the artists held a valid passport, which is very difficult and costly to obtain in Myanmar. The second consideration was whether the artists could concentrate on their artwork and be serious about it. The final consideration: selecting a variety of artists who produced different genres and styles of work.
The “+ROAD” project ran for two weeks; an exhibition followed. Although two weeks is not a long time, Aye Ko did have a chance to observe the Indonesian art scene, culture and developing environment, especially during the workshops, when he and the other artists had friendly conversations and shared their knowledge, opinions and ideas. He attributes their successful communication to patience, understanding and a passion for arts, especially new media and contemporary art.
When Aye Ko and other artists brainstormed ideas in workshops, they didn’t know these ideas would be used to put together an exhibition; the news came as a surprise as well as a headache when the Cemeti organisers broke it. The artists began to seriously discuss their ideas: ways of presenting them as well as the use of materials, lighting and space. Aye Ko explained that this process is how great artworks are created and how artists gain respect and admiration from each other.
Myanmar artists need to learn from their Indonesian counterparts
Presentation of ideas and reflections on society were usually different for each of the artists involved in the “+ROAD” project, who had different ideas and emotions because of their unique social-cultural backgrounds and corresponding identities, but Aye Ko appreciated the differences. As he explains,
The sense of art could be promoted through sharing. Different ideas could also help [us] to understand more about their passion and identities. We also have an opportunity to oppose a view point.
Aye Ko felt that two weeks were a rather short period of time in which to brainstorm ideas and produce a piece of artwork, but overall he enjoyed the experience. It gave him the opportunity to discover different ideas and styles in others’ artwork and to learn from the Indonesian artists. As he explains,
I saw how hard working the artists from Indonesia are. I think the Indonesia artists concentrated a lot on their art and the ideas and they feel deeply about their art. I feel that we, Myanmar artists, need to work more, concentrate more and improve our communication.
Aye Ko’s view of the Myanmar art scene and future prospects
Aye Ko believes that projects like “+ROAD” are crucial for educating Myanmar artists and exposing them to international art practices and standards.
[The] Myanmar art scence is isolated from other countries. It needs to develop internationally and take time to develop enough for [the] international [art community]. Indonesian artists are catching up with international artists. [The] international art society is interested in Indonesia artists, in my opinion. There are many museums in Indoneisa but there is only one in Myanmar.
This project is a very crucial event, not only for me but also for New Zero Art Space, Myanmar artists and arts, and new generation artists. Because our country is isolated, it can [be] directed from an isolated country to a free and open art society. With this hope, I am trying to do different types of projects which can give [me] more knowledge.
[By] displaying these exchange programs, Myanmar artists knock the door of international art society for the first time.
As I said, I am planning to make this kind of event in Myanmar. We already did the Nippon-Myanmar Performance Art Exchange (2001/2005/2009), the Hong Kong-Myanmar Performance Art Exchange (2010), the ASEAN Contemporary Art Exchange (2009), and the Artists Residency Program (2010). There will also be the Mekong Contemporary Art Exchange in Vietnam and Bangkok this month. These events motivate me to do more art events continuously in order to promote international standards for local artists and new generation artists.
Related Topics: Myanmar artists, Indonesian artists, art spaces, collaborative art
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Posted in Art spaces, Artist Nationality, Artist-run, Collaborative, Directors, Indonesian, Interviews, Medium, Multi category, Myanmar/Burmese, New Media, Nindityo Adipurnomo, Professionals, Styles, Z Artists | Tagged: +ROAD, +Road| 5 Myanmar Artists + 5 Jogja Artists, artist collaborations, Artists Residency Program, ASEAN Contemporary Art Exchange Program, Aye Ko, Carmen Bat Ka Man, Cemeti Art House, collaborative art, contemporary art, contemporary artists, Emerging artists, Hong Kong-Myanmar Performance Art Exchange, Indonesian art, Indonesian art scene, Indonesian artist, international art community, local artists, Mekong Contemporary Art Exchange, Myanmar art, Myanmar artist, new generation artists, New Media, New Zero Art Space, Nindityo Adipurnomo, Nippon-Myanmar Performance Art Exchange, Southeast Asian art, Southeast Asian artists | Leave a Comment »
Posted by artradar on November 25, 2009
CONTEMPORARY INDONESIAN ART
The Sotheby’s success of contemporary Indonesian artists like I Nyoman Masriadi, who sold a single painting for more than $245,000 USD at auction on October 6th, 2009 in Hong Kong, has grabbed the attention of the art world. There finally appears to be much international interest in art from the politically heated Southeast Asian island nation. However, what is Indonesian art, and is there an ‘Indonesian style’? Art Radar Asia researcher Erin Wooters discusses the emerging style from this part of the art world with renowned Indonesian artist Jumaldi Alfi at Sin Sin Fine Art in Hong Kong before the opening of the ‘Diverse 40 x 40’ exhibition, which features the works of Alfi, Andy Dewantoro, and Nasirun.
Renewal/ Verjungung Series 3-A, by Jumaldi Alfi, 2009. Acrylic on canvas. Image courtesy of Sin Sin Fine Art.
Jumaldi Alfi, born July 19th 1973, is from Padang in West Sumatra, and studied in Java at the Indonesian High School of the Arts and then the Indonesian Institute of Arts in Jogja (also known as Yogyakarta or Jogjakarta.) In 2008 his work sold for upwards of $35,000 USD at Sotheby’s, and he has experienced continued success in 2009. He describes his complicated journey to becoming an artist:
Alfi: My family has a poetry culture. My uncle is a poet and my family prepared me to be appointed to his position, because in our clan we need someone to talk to people with symbolic words. My uncle taught me, but I couldn’t [take his position], because in our poetic culture you need to have very focused writing, from the first to the last word, or else the meaning is gone… Honestly, I did not always want to be an artist. I thought I would follow my uncle, because of our bloodline. But when I chose to be an artist for my career, my mom wanted to know why. They thought artists were not disciplined, so stinky, long hair..
Q: What do you think makes Indonesian art different or unique from other Southeast Asian art?
Alfi: Eighty percent of the artists stay in Jogja.. In Indonesia, especially in Jojga, we live together and have an open community, keeping and sharing the energy… We open our hearts, not just the brain.
Q: So you think the way the people interact is special and different, and that’s what makes the art different?
Alfi: Yea, the place! The city is open, individual, and very personal. Jojgakarta is a small city, and feels like all family. If I am bored or depressed when working in my studio late at night, I can go out, places will still be open, and many artists will be there. I think it’s good. We talk, and then I am back to my studio with a renewed energy.
Q: Is there anything else that makes Indonesian art unique or different from other Southeast Asian art?
Alfi: Yes, our heart.
Renewal /Verjungung Series 2-B, by Jumaldi Alfi, 2009. Acrylic on Canvas. Image courtesy of Sin Sin Fine Art
Q: Are there any subject matters or themes relating Indonesian art?
Alfi: Honestly, we don’t have a connector in Indonesian art. You can’t find something and say – Oh, this is Indonesian style. You can see the style is very modern. We use Western techinique. We use oil and acrylic, but still you can feel it is not Western. It is not Western because when we start working, we don’t use our brain first. We use our feeling, it’s about feeling. If we’re inspired, we work. If not, we stop.
Q: I see. That touches on the next question, which is if there is a distinct ‘Indonesian style’.
Alfi: We don’t have an Indonesian style. Indonesia is only a nation. A nation- basically, we are different. West Sumatra and Java are different. The language, the culture, the food, the character, and the emotional feeling are different. The Javanese people are more defensive than the Sumatrans. Sumatrans are more progressive, and have more heart. Javanese are more quiet.
Q: What is Jogja surrealism, and what inspired it?
Alfi: The 80’s! Jojga surrealism and abstract expressionism is the generation from the 1980’s. In Jojga, the painting is not only surreal, the situation is surreal. Many modern people live there but still believe in traditional mysticism. The surrealism concept in Indonesia and in the West is totally different.
Q: Is your art spiritually inspired or a response to the spirituality in Indonesia?
Alfi: Yes, very much. [It is] not conceptual. Art is the way for me to understand myself.
Renewal /Verjungung Series 4-B, by Jumaldi Alfi, 2009. Acrylic on Canvas. Image courtesy of Sin Sin Fine Art.
Q: Is there a central theme in your artwork or a certain idea you are exploring?
Alfi: It is my idea of myself. It is about myself and what I’m feeling. If you want to know the people, know yourself. If you know yourself, you know the people.
Q: How did you meet Sin Sin?
Alfi: I think we found each other because of her karma and my karma. When I first met her my English was really bad and we couldn’t talk, but when I showed her my work she understood. I felt good energy, and that is very important to me. I knew it was a good situation. I believe in the connection of body language and the aura. Sometimes you meet people you don’t know, but you want to help them. After one minute, you feel like old friends.
Q: What is the nationality of your major collectors?
Alfi: Mostly Indonesian, although the art is making its way to Europe. I think 80% of my collectors are concerned with investment and business, and the rest are serious art lovers.
Jumaldi Alfi is currently exhibiting at Sin Sin Fine Art’s “Diverse- 40 x 40” with fellow Indonesian artists Andy Dewantoro and Nasirun. The show runs from Nov 12- Dec 13, 2009.
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Posted in Gallery shows, Heart art, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Indonesian, Interviews, Jumadli Alfi, Painting, Self, Spiritual, Surrealist | Tagged: Andy Dewantoro, art Jogjakarta, contemporary Indonesian art, I Nyoman Masriadi, Indonesian artists, Indonesian collectors, Jogja, Jogja surrealism, Jogjakarta, Jumaldi Alfi, Nasirun, Sin Sin Fine Art, Southeast Asian art, spiritual art, Yogjakarta | 1 Comment »
Posted by artradar on November 23, 2009
SOUTHEAST ASIAN CONTEMPORARY SCULPTURE
On November 12th, Tyler Rollins Fine Art (TRFA) introduced another Southeast Asian artist to the New York art scene. Bamboo sculptor Sopheap Pich’s first solo exhibition in New York will run until January 9th 2009, ending the Fall exhibition season.
RAFT, 2009 BAMBOO, RATTAN, WOOD, WIRE, METAL BOLTS 89 X 177 X 52 IN.
According to TRFA, Pich has been very active on the international stage in recent years and is now considered to be Cambodia’s most prominent contemporary artist. In addition, Pich’s artwork is currently part of the 4th Fukuoka Asian Art Triennale ending on November 23rd.
"THE PULSE WITHIN" INSTALLATION VIEW
“Issues of time, memory, and the body are integral to Pich’s work. For this exhibition, he has created a dynamic group of sculptural forms derived from the internal organs of the human body, such as the heart, lungs, and intestines. These function as visceral reminders of the past and of the intimate, physical connections between human beings” – quoting TRFA’s website
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Posted in Body, Cambodian, Emerging artists, Gallery shows, Handicraft art, Installation, New York, Rattan, Sculpture, Sopheap Pich | Tagged: art, Asian art, Asian Contemporary Art, cambodia, Cambodian art, Cambodian artists, Emerging artists, New York City, Sopheap Pich, Southeast Asian art, Tyler Rollins | Leave a Comment »
Posted by artradar on April 7, 2009
SOUTHEAST ASIAN ART AUCTION
- 138 lots, 106 sold, sell through rate 77%
- Cheapest lots (under US$15,000) were overlooked in favour of more expensive works by better known artists
- 95 contemporary, remainder modern
- Thin attendance
- Prices slashed by Sothebys – estimates drop more than 50%
- Sale dominated by Indonesian works
- Ronald Ventura and I Nyoman Masriadi drew surprisingly frenzied bidding
- I Nyoman Masriadi achieved the highest prices, albeit much lower than in 2008, 3 of his works appeared in the top 10 for the sale. His not dissimilar sale-topping works (Negotiation 2009 and The Final Round 2008) showed more than 75% drop between Spring 2009 and Autumn 2008.
I Nyoman Masriadi Negosiasi
Half the seats were empty at the start of the thinly attended the 138 lot auction of modern and contemporary Southeast Asian art which kick-started the Sotheby’s series of 2009 Spring sales in Hong Kong. As the 18 or so grim-faced Sotheby’s staff at the telephone bank surveyed the 60 or more empty seats, there was a gluey air of tension.
The first 12 lots of the 95 contemporary works on sale, most at estimates of well under US$15,000, saw gentle bidding but thanks to much coaxing by veteran auctioneer Quek Chin Yeow, all but two ( works by Indonesian artists Eko Nugroho and Dikdik Sayahdikumullah) scraped the estimates and sales were achieved.
The room relaxed and bidding picked up for the next 20 or so lots (13-33) with particular interest shown in:
- Rodel Tapaya (b 1980) Donsadat and the Magic Dog which sold over estimate for HK$90,000 (excl premium) after a tussle between 2 phone bidders and the room
- M Irfan (b 1972) The Artifact of Magic which attracted 4 bidders and achieved a price of HK$235,000 (excl premium) against a top estimate of HK$180,000.
- Yunizar (b 1971) Texs III sold at HK$210,000 against its higher estimate of HK$180,000.
In a dramatic twist this was followed by a run of half a dozen passes and barely-made sales. The first lot called My God offered by heavyweight Agus Suwage (b.1959 Indonesia) almost fell victim to the new twitchiness but just scraped by to achieve its lower estimate of HK$220,000.
Lot 40, the first of the 5 catalogue-featured lots, Lost Notes by Rudi Mantofani, a stunning sculpture of two guitars curved to form a circle, more than met expectations by achieving a price one third higher than estimate. In a testament perhaps to the power of deeper catalogue marketing, the other featured works also did well:
- lot 58 I Nyoman Masriadi‘s (b 1973 Indonesia) painting Negotiation – this acrylic featuring two cowboys facing off, turned out to be the star lot and achieved the highest price in the sale when 4 phone and 2 room bidders pushed the price up to HK$1.4m against a top estimate of $800,000. However this was a mighty fall of over 75% compared with the price achieved for a similar work The Final Round autumn 2008. Negotiation fetched just HK$1.7m (US$217,000) including premium, less than a quarter of the US$1 million price tag for the Boxers.
- lot 67 FX Harsono (b 1949) Tracing the Past achieved its estimate at HK$175,000
Handiwirman Saputra, Soap, Aluminium, 20x100cms
- lot 75 Handiwirman Supatra‘s pink-painted aluminium sculpture Soap achieved a price (HK$300,000) double its top estimate. Originally conceived as a commissioned group of works for Novotel Hotel in Indonesia this was Supatra’s first large-scale sculpture project. Aside from the artist’s one-off, there are 4 versions of the work each in a unique colour.
- lot 88 Ronald Ventura‘s (b 1973) Oh Boy painting – this lot saw the most exciting bidding . The fast-paced overlapping bids keeping the ever-ebullient auctioneer Chin Yeow on his toes and prompted a happy quip about there being ‘no recession’ now.
Ronald Ventura Oh Boy
Lucky 88 for Ronald Ventura
8 is a lucky number in China and it was certainly lucky for Sotheby’s because the lot marked a turning point. After a poor 12 lot run (lots 76-87) in which there were 6 passes and the remainder just meeting the lower estimates, Ronald Ventura‘s lot 88 galvanised the room with its spray gun pre-recession-style bidding from more than a dozen bidders. The remainder of the contemporary artworks in the sale – lots 89-95 – all sold well despite having some of the highest prices in the sale (all over HK$100,000). Ahmad Zakii Anwar Silent City 8 (8 again!) sold at estimate despite a previous pass for a work located earlier in the sale. The other 6 lots by heavyweight artists – Geraldine Javier, Handiwirman Saputra, I Nyoman Masriadi and Yunizar with prices considerably higher than most of the works earlier in the sale (estimates in the HK$100,000 to HK$400,000 range) – all sold with comfortable margins over estimates.
Other lots which drew notable interest included lot 13 Jumaldi Alfi‘s painting The Falls which saw goood bidding and achieved a price of HK$270,000 against estimate HK$230,000 and lot 75 M Irfan‘s (b 1972) Maneuver. 3 room bidders pushed up the price to HK$130,000 against its top estimate of HK$90,000.
There were no major upsets but some passes were surprising including lot 19, an untitled work by Handiwirman Saputra, lot 46 Putu Sutawijaya‘s untitled painting and lot 50 Dadang Christanto‘s work Pilgrim Project 2. Agus Suwage had 2 works in the sale, both did sell but only just.
The auctioneers were clearly happy and entertained the room with jaunty banter. When Kevin Ching, CEO of Asia – known for tongue in cheek bawdiness – placed a bid on Vasan Sitthiket‘s ‘American Wet Dream’, the irrepressible auctioneer Chin Yeow who jokingly refused to refer to the painting by name because it ‘is too rude’, cheekily teased his colleague saying “Not a surprise from Kevin Ching”. “What do you mean?” deadpanned Ching right back.
And happy they deserve to be. Although this sale had one of the lower sell-through rates of the Sothebys 2009 Spring sales due to an excess of cheaper works by lesser known artists, the strategy of presenting predominantly Indonesian works by preferred artists was clearly aimed to please and did please an established clientele: a small number of deep-pocketed Indonesian collectors of Chinese origin and other hard core collectors. And what might the future hold? Maybe deeper catalogue marketing, fewer works by lesser known artists and perhaps we will see a few more 8s sprinkled amongst the lot numbers next autumn.
- prices exclude buyers’ premium.
- Exchange rate HK$7.7 = US$1.
- All artists named are Indonesian except Ronald Ventura and Geraldine Javier from the Philippines
Related links: Bloomberg’s report
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