These days you’re not a serious emerging market unless you have a serious emerging art market star. Indonesia nominates I Nyoman Masriadi. Here’s Bloomberg on his prospects in the upcoming Asian contemporary sales in Hong Kong and his first solo show in Singapore:
In the past two years, Masriadi, 35, has become a poster boy for Indonesian contemporary art. Christie’s International sold his painting “Used to Being Stripped,” depicting one of his trademark stocky black figures, for HK$4.2 million ($538,000) in May in Hong Kong, an auction record for Southeast Asian art. In an Indonesian sale in 2006, his “Angels” was offered for 10 million rupiah ($1,088) with no takers.
“Masriadi is one of the vanguards for Southeast Asian Contemporary,” said Mok Kim Chuan, Sotheby’s head of department for Southeast Asian paintings. “His prices have been skyrocketing.”
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“Many regard him as Indonesia’s answer to Chinese contemporary art,” said Michael Koh, chief executive officer of Singapore’s National Heritage Board, which hosts the 8Q show. “He’s hot and never had a solo show, so it’s quite groundbreaking for us.”
The rapid rise of Indonesian artists and the slump in global financial markets have prompted some collectors and critics to suggest that art prices may fall.
That will be tested in October, when Masriadi’s new work and his 4.5-meter-wide triptych “The Man From Bantul — The Final Round” from 2000 go under the hammer at Sotheby’s first evening sale of Asian art in Hong Kong. “Bantul” has a top estimate of HK$1.5 million ($192,000).
But Masriadi is not the only Indonesian artist gaining ground. Newsweek offers its own guide to the boom in South East Asian painters:
The pace of Masriadi’s rise has been unusual but not unique in the region. The Indonesians Rudi Mantofani, Agus Suwage and Handiwirman Saputra have also done very well at recent, though the prices paid for the work of Mantofani, the second highest-paid Indonesian, remain well behind Masriadi’s. Artists in Thailand and Malaysia are also enjoying a boom. Their success reflects collectors’ rising appetite for Southeast Asian work, which still tends to go for a fraction of the price of Chinese art. Now the boom is creating new challenges for in the region, which can no longer afford many of the suddenly popular artists.
Indonesia Artist Masriadi Slays Ogres, Cuts Batman Down to Size (Bloomberg)
Turning Black to Cash (Newsweek)