The Jakarta Globe takes great pride in the growing prominence of Indonesian contemporary art. Here’s their exploration of the upcoming Sotheby’s sale in Hong Kong of Indonesian art:
On April 5, the Sotheby’s Hong Kong spring sale is set to feature a group of artists from Indonesia. According to Mok Kim Chuan, head of Sotheby’s Southeast Asian Paintings Department, 78 of the 145 artworks that are to be auctioned off are by Indonesian artists.
“We will continue to introduce to collectors a wide array of exceptional Indonesian art, including the very rare Lee Man Fong’s ‘Bali Life,’ which boasts excellent provenance as it was originally given by the artist to a friend in the early 1960s,” Mok said. “It is one of the outstanding examples in Lee’s acclaimed Balinese series.” The chosen works of modern and contemporary pieces, previewed at Sotheby’s Jakarta office in early March, include Affandi’s “Cuenca,” I Nyoman Masriadi’s “I’m Still Lucky” and Agus Suwage’s studies of human psychology, “I See, I Hear, I Feel” and “Don’t Be Amazed, Don’t Be Entitled.”
The sale of these works offers a glimpse of how far Indonesian artists have come in making a name for themselves in the global market. For example, while modern works by the likes of Affandi, Lee Man Fong, S Sudjojono and Hendra Gunawan continue to appeal to collectors, it was I Nyoman Masriadi’s “The Man from Bantul” that set a world record for a contemporary Southeast Asian painting when it sold for $1 million in 2008. […] According to Mok, it was in 2006 that Southeast Asian contemporary art “began taking an upward swing in recognition and sales.”
[…] Vivi Yip, who owns the Vivi Yip Art Room gallery in Jakarta, used to work for Sotheby’s Indonesia representative office. She said interest in Southeast Asian contemporary paintings was a ripple effect from the Chinese art boom of the 1990s. When the auction house introduced the Southeast Asian contemporary paintings category in 2001, it was already clear that Indonesia was poised to lead the way.
“We have the biggest number of contemporary artists [in the region],” Vivi said. “We also have art patrons like Oei Hong Djien and Dedy Kusuma who persistently collected contemporary art when it was still cheap, although I’m sure they didn’t realize that the category would become this big.
[…] Among the contemporary works by Indonesian artists to be auctioned off in Hong Kong next month are “The Tree’s Story,” which shows artist Yunizar’s consistent, imaginative approach to simple objects; a mixed-media piece called “Enjoy Great Artistique Swindle,” by Indieguerillas, a group of young artists who specialize in mixing pop designs with traditional Javanese images; and a set of Andy Dewantoro’s black-and-white acrylic images of quiet nature scenes called “Beyond the Sunrise.”
Springtime for Indonesian Art (The Jakarta Globe)