Daniel Komala’s Larasati was a pioneer in the field of Indonesian Contemporary art. With Sotheby’s Hong Kong sale this weekend brimming with Indonesian painters, Le-Min Lim talks to him about his role in establishing the category:
Europeans and Americans began buying Chinese contemporary art a few years back and are only just waking to Southeast Asian culture, says Sandra Walters, a collector who runs a namesake Hong Kong art consulting company. Masriadi’s works don’t receive as much exposure as those of Damien Hirst and therefore they fetch less money, she says.
Masriadi and Agus Suwage made their auction debut at Komala’s company a few years back and their works were going for a pittance before Larasati’s bigger rivals Sotheby’s and Christie’s International began selling them, says Komala, 47.
“Look at the icons in the Asian contemporary-art market today, they all started at my place,” says Komala, a fourth- generation Indonesian Chinese, in an interview in Hong Kong. “I want to be the Citigroup of the art world, where those who graduate go on to bigger things.”