Artivist, observes and reports on developments in the Bali and Indonesian art scenes
Larasati’s Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Art live auction on Aug. 22 will present 25 artworks of fine art to suit a range of tastes and budgets for sale. All lots go under the hammer from 2:30 p.m. and are available for inspection now. The online preview virtual exhibition allows the audience to navigate their way through digital display rooms and to appreciate the beautiful and diverse array of work by artists from Indonesia, Singapore and Europe. (http://larasati.com/media.php?module=home)
Works in a range of media are offered, including an etching, pencil drawings on paper, ink and color on rice paper, pastels on paper, watercolors on paper, along with works in oil and acrylic paint on canvas. A highlight of the auction are works by Singaporean artists, the renowned Liu Kang (1911-2004) and Cheong Soo Pieng (1917-1983). Both are pioneers of Singaporean art and leaders of the tropical Nanyang style, a term used to characterize the development of Singapore art in the 1950s and 1960s. Other prominent artists are Chen Cheng Mei (1927), a second-generation Singaporean female artist and graduate of the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and Teng Nee Cheong (1951-2013), a multiple award-winning artist known for his distinctly colorful and exotic aesthetics.
For people wishing to start collecting, the following works are worthy of consideration. Dutchman Auke Sonnega (1910-1963) first visited Bali during the 1930s and traveled throughout the Indonesian archipelago, later settling in Ubud, Bali, in the 1950s. His stylized depictions of the Balinese people and landscape have been compared to the iconic German Walter Spies (1895-1942). Sonnega had a significant influence upon his fellow countryman Arie Smit (1916-2016), convincing him to leave the Dutch colonial army and live out his dream of becoming an artist. Lot 802 Teng Tjin Hwa 1949 and Lot 803 Bali Torso 1950 are pencil drawings on paper that reveal Sonnega’s prowess and distinctly fluid lines. Both works come with an estimated value of between Rp 7 million (US$472) and 10 million.
Paul Husner (b.1942) continues the long line of Dutch artists inspired by the vibrant colors and culture of tropical Bali. Four attractive watercolors on paper are available. Lot 804 Sanur Beach, Bali 1995, 27 x 37 cm; Lot 805 Sanur Beach, Bali 1995, 27 x 37 cm; Lot 806 Sumatra Musician 1995, 65 x 50 cm; and Lot 807 Fishermen in Sanur, Bali 1995, 28 x 37 cm all have an estimated value of between Rp 4 million and 6 million.
For intermediate level collectors of Indonesian art, the following paintings by renowned artists are worthy of attention. Lot 809 Balinese Dance 1992, by Arifien Nief, reveals his colorful signature style that delightfully exaggerates the figure and has an estimated price of between Rp 38 million and 48 million. Dadang Christanto (b.1957) is an international artist whose oeuvre includes painting, drawing, performance, sculpture and installations. His most iconic works speak eloquently for the victims of oppression and social injustice during the turbulent history of Indonesia. Lot 814 untitled, 2007, is a mixed media on canvas composition that has an estimated price of between Rp 40 million and 50 million. The Legend from Old Earth, 1992, Lot 816 is an oil on canvas picture by Ugo Untoro (b.1970, Purbalingga, Central Java). It comes with an estimated value of between Rp 18 million and 25 million.
Connoisseurs of Singaporean art will be interested in Lot 810 Balinese Ladies, 1970, by Liu Kang, that captures the colorful ambience of the Balinese culture and landscape. His oil on masonite composition by an artist who during his early years studied in Europe reveals the influence of some of the masters of western painting. It has an estimated price of between Rp 450 million and 550 million. Lot 82, entitled Still Life, 1992, by Cheong Soo Pieng is an ink and color on rice paper study that comes with an estimated price of between Rp 90 million and 120 million.
Paintings that will capture the attention of aficionados of Indonesian art are as follow. Lot 811 Inside a Temple Court, 2005 by Arie Smit has an estimated value of between Rp 220 million and 320 million and is accompanied with a certificate of authenticity from the Neka Art Museum, Bali.
Surabaya-born artist Fadjar Sidik (1930-2004) represented a new aesthetic language of the industrial age and made a significant contribution to the development of modern abstract art in Indonesia. Lot 823, a 65 x 65 cm oil on canvas entitled Dinamika Bidang has an estimated value of between Rp 65 million and 85 million.
Ahmad Sadali (b. Garut, West Java 1924- 1987) first studied at the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) and then was appointed as a lecturer at ITB. Awarded a scholarship to study fine arts in the United States in 1956, during his academic journey he earned the title of professor. Sadali is a pioneer of Indonesian modern abstract art and became known as a painter with religious Islamic calligraphy nuances and distinct coloration. He was highly productive working in various forms, including sketches, sculptures, murals, interiors and graphics. Lot 825 Symmetry in Violet 1967 is a 62 x 42 cm oil canvas abstract composition with excellent provenance from a private collection in Germany and has an estimated value of between Rp 300 million and 400 million.
The works of iconic Balinese woman artist Murni, I Gusti Ayu Kadek Murniashi (1966 - 2006), have over the past decade received increasing attention from national and international collectors. There is growing demand for her distinct paintings, which often reveal the darker elements of female experience within a traditional patriarchy, that equates to investment opportunities. Two works are available in this sale, Lot 815 Purnama Berdasi 1995 and Lot 818 Misteri 1998.
Artworks by other popular names in this sale include Willem Gerard Hofker (1902-1981, the Netherlands), Nashar (1928-1994 Indonesia), pioneering Balinese modernist Nyoman Tusan (1933-2002), leading Indonesian contemporary artists Agus Suwage (b.1959) and Entang Wiharso (b.1967) and one of the iconic Javanese painters of the 20th-century Widayat (1919-2002). Lot 822 Laut Dalam by Widayat is a vibrant oil on canvas undersea depiction. It has an estimated price of between Rp 120 and 150 million and comes with a certificate of authenticity from Museum Rudana, Bali.
Potential buyers bidding over the phone, absentee bidders or real-time internet bidders are advised to contact Larasati and enquire about the color reproduction accuracy of the images contained within the online catalogue to ensure that what they wish to purchase can be realistically appraised. The absence of reference to the condition of a lot in the catalogue description does not imply that the lot is free from faults or imperfections, therefore condition reports of the works, outlining the paintings current state and whether they have repairs or over painting are available upon request.
Provenance, the historical data of the works' previous owners, is also important and is provided. An information guide including before the auction, during the auction and after the auction details, including conditions of business, the bidding process, payment, storage and insurance and shipping of the work, is also available. A buyer's premium is payable by the buyer of each lot at a rate of 22 percent of the hammer price of the lot.
The online catalogue, complete with a guide for prospective buyers, is available to the public and should be studied carefully by anyone wishing to participate in this auction.
To comply with COVID19 pandemic regulations, there will be no public viewing days. Viewing will be on-line only and Larasati will provide bidders with any information concerning the lots offered. However, it may be possible for bidders who have already registered for phone or on-line bids as well as those who have placed written/absentee bids to view the artworks physically by appointment. Larasati can only provide a limited number of slots for physical viewing, and it will be on a first-come-first-served basis. By-appointment only physical viewing will not be available a day before auction day and on auction day.
Live bidding in this sale is available by phone or online. (wng) (www.invaluable.com)
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.