Artivist, observes and reports on developments in the Bali and Indonesian art scenes
Singaporean painter Cheong Soo Pieng (1917-1983) was renowned for his distinct artistic voice. He described the Southeast Asian indigenous tribal people within a modern language of elongated limbs and torso, with almond-shaped faces and eyes. A driving force in the development of Modernism in visual art in early 20th century Singapore, he was a pioneer of the Nanyang painting style.
The Nanyang style mixed Chinese ink painting techniques and European modernism fused with the tropical landscape. It was practiced by migrant Chinese painters in Singapore in the 1950s. The regional art movement paid tribute to the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA). Lot 825 Sisters (1978) by Cheong Soo Pieng is a stunning picture with both organic and otherworldly qualities and is one of the highlights of 25 lots of fine art going under the hammer in Jakarta on Oct. 3.
Larasati’s upcoming Modern, Traditional and Contemporary Art Jakarta auction features a range of Southeast Asian and Indonesian art, from sketches on paper to oil and acrylic on canvas compositions. The works are by an array of international artists, from throughout Southeast Asia to the Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Argentina and Australia. Some of the well-known names included are Rudolf Bonnet (the Netherlands, 1895-1978), Donald Friend (Australia, 1915 - 1989), Siew Hock Meng (b. 1942, Malaysia) and pioneering Balinese modernist Nyoman Gunarsa (1944 - 2017).
Livestreaming from 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, the sale offers works for the tastes and budgets of new collectors, along with intermediate and seasoned collectors. The Virtual Exhibition on Larasati's website allows convenient access to the preview presentation of the sale within a virtual space. This dynamic platform enables visitors to navigate their experience, with a close-up observation of all works.
Buyers with small budgets or new collectors can take note of the following works. Lot 801 Pura Batoe Karoe, Oeboed, Bali (1948) is a limited edition 46 by 29 centimeters print made in Holland, edition 31/100 by the renowned Dutchman Willem Gerard Hofker (1902 - 1981). It has an estimated price of between Rp 5 million and Rp 7 million. Lot 802 is another pencil on paper sketch, Pantji Sarikusuma (1949) 35 by 26 cm, by Dutchman Auke Sonnega that comes with an estimated value of between Rp 5 million and Rp 7 million.
The famous Swiss colorist painter Theo Meier (1908-1982) gained a controversial reputation while living in Bali over nearly two decades. Lot 808 Portrait of a Balinese Dancer (1940) is a simple yet strong 47 by 32 cm pencil sketch on paper by Meier that has an estimated price of between Rp 5 million and Rp 7 million. Lot 821 a. Baris Dancer b. Djanger Dancer (1985) by Indonesian painter Krijono (1951 - 2011), are each 65 by 50 cm oil on canvas, and come with estimated prices of between Rp 9 million and Rp 12 million.
For collectors with mid-range budgets, the following works are attractive. Lot 813 Bali Festival by Batuan painter Ida Bagus Made Widja (1912 - 1992) is an acrylic on paper work depicting a Balinese cremation ceremony that has an estimated value of between Rp 15 million and Rp 18 million. Trajectory: Posthumous Solo Exhibition of I Nyoman Sukari held in July 2019 in Yogyakarta was one of the most important exhibitions in Indonesia during last year. The presentation was two years in the making and featured over 130 works in an array of genres by one of the most prolific and talented Balinese artists of all time. Sukari (1968-2010) unfortunately has been neglected by the Indonesian market.
Due to the extent of the research and documentation of the artist's career along with the chronological presentation of the exhibited work, the organizers were able to create real and tangible values for Sukari's breathtaking body of works. While his paintings are typically dark and moody, the sale of Lot 823 Eternal Flight (2000) presents both intermediate collectors and connoisseurs a rare opportunity to own a work by one of the masters of Balinese art. This powerful 150 by 150 cm oil on canvas composition is signed and dated on the lower left. It has an estimated value of between Rp 40 million and Rp 50 million.
Other distinct works of interest in the sale are Lot 817 Playing I (2015) by Singaporean artist Jane Lee (b. 1963). This unusual and stunning composition pushes the limits of the materiality and techniques. It is a UV inkjet print on stacked maple white 350 grams paper, with dimensions of 15 by 125 cm which has an estimated value of Rp 150 million and Rp 180 million. Lot 819 Untitled (1961) by well-known senior Singaporean painter Chen Cheng Mei (Tan SeaH Boey) (b. 1927) is an oil on canvas composition of a seaside village scenario. Defined by strong yet minimal visual elements, it has an estimated price of between Rp 75 million and Rp 85 million.
Connoisseurs will be interested in the following works. The rich and seductive visual delights of the tropics distinctly resonate from Lot 824 Corny’s Pelangi (1989) by Filipino painter Jeremias Elizade Navarro (1924-1999). This potent 47 by 61 cm oil on canvas composition captures the ambience of looking out into nature from a room in the famed Pelangi Hotel in Ubud, Bali. The picture comes with an estimated value of between Rp 90 million and Rp 120 million.
Renowned Indonesian abstract painter Fadjar Sidik (1930-2004) was formerly an art teacher and the director of the Indonesian Academy of Art (ASRI) prior to the university being renamed the Indonesian Arts Institute (ISI) in Yogyakarta in the 1980s. Sidik was revolutionary in his visual language and use of space and form. Lot 816 Formasi Bidang Hijau (1977) by Sidik is a pulsating green and blue 105 by 95 cm oil on canvas composition that comes with an estimated value of between Rp 80 million and Rp 100 million. Lot 825 Sisters (1978) by Cheong Soo Peng will also be on the radars of seasoned collectors of Southeast Asian art and comes with an estimated price of between Rp 650 million and Rp 850 million.
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 it has repairs or overpainting, are available upon request.
Provenance, historical data of the works' previous owner/s, is also important and 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 available. A buyer's premium is payable by the buyer of each lot at the 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 all wishing to participate in this auction.
To comply with the COVID-19 pandemic regulations, there will be no public viewing days. Viewing will be online 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 online 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 based upon a first come first serve basis. For appointments, "physical" viewing will not be available one day before auction day and on auction day. Live bidding in this sale is available by phone or online on www.invaluable.com. (wng)
Your premium period will expire in 0 day(s)close x
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.