Bloomberg‘s Adam Majendie wraps up a weekend of serious art selling in Singapore as two auction houses and one art fair cleared approximately S$19m worth of art or $13.6m. The two auction houses are Borobudur, which beat its own S$8m estimate to make S$9.6m, and 33 Auction, which sold S$4.4m. Both houses scored big numbers with Indonesian sensation Masriadi:
Borobudur’s star lot, “The Garden at Sanur,” by Adrien- Jean Le Mayeur de Merpres (1880-1958), sold for S$960,000. The oil painting, showing different depictions of the artist’s Balinese wife, Ni Pollock, in a garden by the sea, had a presale high estimate of S$800,000. It was beaten by Liu Wei’s oil painting “Landscape,” which fetched S$984,000, also exceeding its estimate.
Two days earlier, new entrant 33 Auction, founded by gallery owner Linda Ma, sold S$4.41 million of modern and contemporary Asian art, led by Masriadi’s “Bima Mencukur Bapak Arjuna” (“Bima Shaving Arjuna’s Hair”), which fetched S$436,600 including fees. Eighty percent of the lots sold, the company said on its Web site. Borobudur sold 73 percent.
Art Singapore took a much bigger hit, bringing in half of the previous year’s sales for an estimated S$5m. But since the fair had lost more than 60% of its galleries, the figure might be seen as a victory too. After all, fewer galleries were generating a greater percentage of sales. One reason maybe the continuing strength in Southeast Asian art, especially works by Indonesians:
“The Indonesian market has rebounded, but the Chinese market is still weak,” said Andreas. “If you compare the peak, the Chinese market is still 30 percent lower, whereas the Indonesian market has exceeded the peak.”