Indonesian Art Growing in Popularity With Regional Collectors: Reviewing Sotheby’s Hong Kong Autumn Sales 2016

sothebys-auction-scene_modern-and-contemporary-asian-art-evening-sale-image-coutesy-sothebysScene from the Sotheby’s Sale 2 October, Affandi’s “Borobudur and the Sun” 1984, sets a new world record for the artist selling for US $ 1.26 million. All Images courtesy of Sotheby’s  Hong Kong.


More than 290 items of fine art went under the hammer in two auctions of special interest to collectors of Indonesian Modern and Contemporary Art during Sotheby’s Hong Kong Autumn Sales 2016. The Modern and Contemporary Asian Art Evening Sale 2 October, and the Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Art Day Sale 3 October featured paintings by the prominent Indonesia artists. More than half the total of auction lots sold achieving prices over their high estimates, reflecting a well-curated sale aligned with the current market.

affandi_borobudur-and-the-sun                        “Borobudur and the Sun” 1984 – Affandi.

There were two notable highlights of the Modern & Contemporary Asian Art Evening Sale, of the four works by Indonesia’s most internationally renowned modernist Affandi (1907-1990), 2 sold within their estimated prices, however Lot # 1034 “Borobudur and The Sun” 1984, estimated between US$ 585,000 – 880,000 set a new world record for the artist selling for US $ 1.26 million, including the buyers premium.

ay-tjoe-christine-when-it-is-the-only-path-of-going-home-image-courtesy-of-sothebys-hong-kong“When It Is the Only Path of Going Home” – Ay Tjoe Chrsitine. Sold for US $ 429,000.

Indonesia’s most sought after female contemporary painter Ay Tjoe Christine (b.1973) is distinguished by her sensitive, yet often dark and moody abstract compositions. Lot # 1071 “When It Is the Only Path of Going Home”, estimated price between US $ 77,500 -104,000 sold for a whopping US $429,000. Another work by Affandi, Lot #1035 “Balinese girl with Piglet” estimated between US $ 232,000 – 322,000 sold for US $ 505,000.

lee-man-fong_satay-vendor-with-mother-and-son “Tukang Sate Dengan Anak & Ibu” – Lee Man Fong. Sold for US $ 161,000.

Lot # 1064 by Lee Man Fong (1913-1988) “Setelah Mandi” with an estimated price between US $ 77,000 – 116,000 sold for US $ 145,000. Lot # 1061 “Village Life” 1975, by Hendra Gunawan (1918-1983), estimated between US $ 710,000 – 1,100,000, sold for US $ 846,000, while Lot # 1073 “Proud” 2012, by Nyoman Masriadi (b.1973), estimated between US $ 258,000 – 387,000 sold for US $320,000.

09_hendra-gunawan_chicken-vendors               “Pedagang Ayam” – Hendra Gunawan. Sold for US $ 350,771.

Highlights of the 3 October Modern & Contemporary Southeast Asian Art Day Sale include Lot # 399 “Landscape Gunung Kawi, Bali” by Srihadi Sudarsono (b.1931), estimated price between US$ 49,000 – 71,000, sold for US $ 89,000. Lot # 391 “Pedagang Ayam” by Hendra Gunawan estimated between US $154,000 – 232,000, and sold for US $ 350,771, and Lot # 368 “Three Women in the Garden” by Adrien le Mayeur (1880-1958) estimated between US $ 154,000 – 232,000 sold US $ 319,821.

srihadi-sudarsono_landscape-gunung-kawi-bali       “Landscape Gunung Kawi, Bali” – Srihadi Sudarsono. Sold for US $ 89,000.

Again Ay Tjoe Christine was popular, Lot # 218 “When I See It Is The Only Way Home #1”, estimated between US $ 38,000 – 64,000 sold for US $ 258,000. Mochtar Apin (1923-1994) with Lot # 385 “Memecah”, a wonderful abstract triptych with an estimated price between US $ 38,000 – 64,000 sold for US $ 92,720. Lot # 364 “Exotic Nude With Gong” by Antonio Blanco (1923-1991) with an estimated price between US $ 8,000 – 12,000 sold for US $ 25,972.

2-lot-368-adrien-jean-le-mayeur-de-merpres_three-women-in-the-garden   “Three Women in the Garden” – Adrien le Mayeur. Sold US $ 319,821.

Lot # 227 “Seven Magnificent Masterpieces #1&2”by Bali’s Gede Mahendra Yasa (b.1967) is from a series focusing on the exploration of Balinese aesthetics, with an estimated price between US $ 38,700 – 64,500 the works sold for US $ 116,000. Collectors responded with enthusiasm to works by emerging artists demonstrating the healthy development of the market, two Indonesian artists with strong results were Oky Rey Montha (b. 1986) Lot # 225 “The Dark Salvador” estimated price between US $ 5,800 – 8,300 sold for US $ 11,284, and M Irfan (b. 1972) with Lot #237 “One Day For Good Day” estimated between US $19,000 – 25,000 and selling at US $ 40,000.

mochtar-apin_memecah-triptych-1 “Memecah” – Mochtar Apin. One third of the triptych that sold for US $ 92,720.

The recent death of renowned Dutch colorist Arie Smit (1916-2016) was an enormous loss to Indonesian art. Thirteen paintings within a range of prices went under hammer, four failed to sell, while 8 sold within the estimated prices, however Lot # 348 “Full Moon in Bali”, estimated price between US $ 14,000 – 20,000 sold for US$ 20,956. Other well known artists included in the sales were S. Sudjojono, Dullah, Agus Suwage, Entang Wiharso, Agung Mangu Putra, Heri Dono, Rudolf Bonnet and Willem Hofker.

gede-mahendra-yasa_i-seven-magnificent-masterpieces-image-courtesy-of-sothebys“Seven Magnificent Masterpieces #2” – Gede Mahendra Yasa.  His two works sold for US $ 116,000.

“In 1996, Sotheby’s began selling Southeast Asian Art in Singapore. The auctions for the category moved to Hong Kong in 2008, providing a platform for increased international exposure,” said Sotheby’s Hong Kong Head of Department, Southeast Asian Art, Kim Chuan Mok.

“Southeast Asian art is considered relatively affordable compared to art in other regions, making it a popular entry point for new collectors. Indonesia dominates the region’s art market with a greater than 50 percent market share based on total auction sales at Sotheby’s and Christie’s.”

lot-348_full-moon-in-bali                     “Full Moon in Bali” – Arie Smit. Sold for US$ 20,956.

An example of the buoyancy of this market was evident at the 2015 Sotheby’s Autumn Sale with Hendra Gunawan’s “Bathing in the Shower” selling for US $ 1.3 million, more than 5 times higher than the most expensive Southeast Asian painting sold at the first auction for the category in 1996. The results of the 2 & 3 October auctions confirm the growing demand for Indonesian modern and contemporary art by regional collectors (Taiwan, Hong Kong & Japan), especially works by the maestros, by collectors seeking quality.


“Proud” 2012 – Nyoman Masriadi.  Sold for US $320,000.

Words by Richard Horstman


Life Lines: Ketut Sugantika

13996261_10205477680140088_8086067610478221642_o                                                 Ketut Sugantika

Abstract painting is arguably the most questionable, yet curious code of artistic expression of all.

To the uninformed it may appear as a senseless experimentation, a waste of energy, time and materials. They may doubt its purpose, and ask what visible beauty can be possibly  captured within its nondescript forms?

The creative process, however involves the artist setting out upon a personal journey, where conscious, preconceived structures are far from the desired outcome. The process involves an intimate exploration of feelings, with the aesthetic results being difficult to predict.


When Indonesian artist Ketut Sugantika embarked on his quest to create a series of paintings for his exhibition ”Life Line” at Tadu Contemporary Art in Bangkok, open from 30 November – 9 December, he was preoccupied with only one thought, to address the feelings and emotions of the most recent period of his life.

In the evenings during the months of May through to September he would retire to his studio in Singapadu, Bali, committed to reflect on his life. The energy of memories, both wonderful and otherwise, he would then translate into vibrant works of art.


An essential approach to abstract painting is to detach from the workings of the conscious mind, and simply allow intuition steer the motion and momentum of the brush strokes. Color too is an important part of this process because this too reveals various things.

Sugantika’s outpouring translated into a visual code that may initially be perceived as rather simple, yet this is far from the point. Abstract painting has no boundaries, what’s important is to follow the inner voice. Gone was his characteristic style of abstract painting from the past, characterized by dynamic explosions of color and form. Yet what evolved was colorful flowing lines resonating from his heart.


Within these seemingly simple expressions may be revealed responses to his recent experiences in life. His wavy lines are far from being straight and rigid, yet are curving up and down, a reflection of the roller coaster of life.

Experimenting with aesthetic elements Sugantika utilizes both acrylic and oil house paint with alternating levels of sheen and an array of color combinations. Ranging from iconic Balinese cultural symbols, red, black and white through to compositions predominated by white yet in relationships with greys, black, yellows or blues. He tests various unusual fusions, from pink to light green and mauve, all in the process of engaging with his inner self.


Some surfaces he scratches back to reveal under colors, while in other compositions the busy, random, pulsating background colors shine through to create potent contrasts. Drips of paint flow across adjacent lines, in both vertical and cascading motions adding to the visual impact. The omnipotence of color is constantly interacting within and without, while on the subliminal level it is communicating directly with the sub conscious mind.

“Through the layers of color that are overlapping, layer by layer, I have tried to cover up certain memories so that they became faint. But the more I try to cover them up, the more this seems obvious,” Sugantika said.


“In fact I left a few colors in the background showing through to be part of the work’s aesthetic impact. Such is life. In the end I must admit that these memories become an inseparable part that bring color to my life. Therefore the brush strokes of color resemble wavy lines such as frequency lines, or natural lines within the landscape. Of course, they are a reflection of human life which is never constant.”

“Good and bad memories remain a part of my life’s journey pushing me to explore and study myself in the process of becoming whole.”


“Life Lines” opens 27 October – 12 November at Tadu Contemporary Art, 2225 Soi 87 2/F, Thaiyarnton Building (Sukhumvit), Bangkok, Thailand (+66) 0-2331-8848

Text features in exhibition catalogue.

Words & Images: Richard Horstman
















Jakarta – An Art Kaleidoscope During August 2016

1771-curator-mikke-susanto-explaining-the-significance-of-the-painting-by-raden-saleh-penangkapan-pangeran-diponegoro-1857-during-the-curators-exhibition-tour-image-richard-horstman 17/71 Goresan Juang Kemerdekaan Curator Mikke Susanto during the Curators Tour of the National Gallery of Indonesia

The Indonesian art world has good reasons to rejoice. Not only has August been declared The Month of Art by the Provincial Government of Jakarta and Indonesia’s Creative Economic Agency, but with three prominent art events under wraps, we may now reflect on the significance of the month gone by.

These world-class events, two international boutique art fairs and one landmark Indonesian modern art exhibition, reach further than mere art dealing. They have helped consolidate Jakarta’s presence as a leading Asian art hub, and thus strike a deeper chord than that of art: that of identity and national pride.

art-stage-jakarta-2016_general-fair-view-2-jpg-image-courtesy-of-art-stage-jakarta-2016                               Art Stage Jakarta 2016

This was underlined by the main exhibition of the month, held from 2 – 30 August at Jakarta’s National Gallery of Indonesia, which presented 28 paintings from the big collection (over 3000 works) assembled by Indonesia’s founding father President Sukarno. Titled 17/71, Goresan Juang Kemerdekaan (The Brushstrokes of the Independence Struggle) it was opened on August 17th, on the 71st anniversary of the proclamation of independence by the current President Joko Widodo.  The exhibitions featured scenes of the independence struggle by Indonesian maestros such as Affandi, Sudjojono and Raden Saleh alongside pictures of iconic Indonesia by painters such as Rudolf Bonnet, Srihadi and Walter Spies.

This event was followed successively by the first edition of Art Stage Jakarta, an offshoot of Art Stage Singapore, held at the Sheraton Grand Jakarta Gandaria City from 5 to 7 August, and by Bazaar Art Jakarta (BAJ) 2016, the eighth installment of Indonesia’s first and biggest art fair, held at the Ritz-Carlton Jakarta, Pacific Place from 25 – 28 August. The characteristics of each fair’s differing approaches to engaging August revealed their individual brand appeal.

art-restoration-display-at-bazaar-art-jakarta-2016-image-by-baj2016                  Art Restoration Display by Monica Gunawan at BAJ 2016

Art Stage Jakarta (ASJ), themed “Heart Beat of Asia”, featured 49 international and Indonesian galleries, BAJ was supported by 42. Presenting over 1500 works from 19 local galleries BAJ 2016, themed “Food For The Soul # Indonesian Pride”, was joined by 23 international galleries from the USA, Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea, France, Malaysia, Philippines, Japan, Hong Kong and Spain. ASJ was represented by international galleries form Singapore, Japan, Philippines, Malaysia, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Germany, Australia, and Russia.

While both fairs showed some of the best available international contemporary art, local galleries all exhibited their highest quality work to match foreign competition. Importance was placed on displaying Indonesian modern art via auction houses and a few selected galleries, and art projects.

kawan-kawan-revolusi-1947-sudjojono-image-richard-horstman     “Kawan Kawasan Revolusi” 1947 – Sudjojono 17/71 Goresan Juang Kemerdekaan

ASJ featured a comprehensive VIP program, including exclusive visits to the homes of top Indonesian collectors to view their private collections.  This was supported by two special exhibitions Affandi: The Human Face and Expose: The Collectors’ Show, and an array of iconic contemporary works throughout the exhibition space. BAJ 2016’s diverse program including EDUart, educational art programs, performances, children’s painting competition, Art Charity Auction, merchandise stores, and projects inspiring future generations of creatives lent to a greater community appeal. Both fairs included programs of informative art talks. Big attendances were backed by strong sales, with many sold out gallery booths.

20160805_150003Sotheby’s Indonesia Director Jasmine Prayseto Discussing  Affandi  During ASJ 2016 Media Tour of the Special Exhibition of Affandi: The Human Face

Auction houses have led the way in promoting Indonesian art abroad and their presence was significant in educating fair goers and collectors, as the majority of Indonesia’s modern art is in private collections.  Sotheby’s was instrumental in the ASJ’s Affandi exhibition, and at BAJ previewed works by Indonesian masters, living and deceased, from their upcoming Hong Kong Autumn Sales.  Complimenting this at BAJ was Sidharta Auctioneers, ISA Art Advisory, and a special modern art project.

Both fairs were also the platform for international galleries to introduce their international artists to Indonesian collectors and fair attendees. Collectors had the advantage of choosing from international art, and regional art, some being rich in distinctive cultural flavors appealing to local tastes; a bonus to purchase on home turf thus avoiding shipping and import issues. Both art fairs featured big name local artist’s works, trophy pieces with potent social status value. Collectors with a sharp eye sought out the rising stars of Indonesian art who show distinctive styles and promise, while their prices are yet to become too high.

huge-crowds-at-bazaar-art-jakarta-2016-image-courtesy-baj-2016                          Huge Evening Crowds Were a Feature of BAJ 2016

Art Stage’s move to Indonesia is a clear signal of the strength and potential of the market and the quality of Indonesian art. With art increasingly being seen as a store of value and an asset class, and local art being considered cheap by global standards the world’s eyes are increasingly focused upon Indonesia.

Overall Indonesia is the winner, the art industry and collectors being the beneficiaries. Opportunities for networking, cross-cultural dialogue and exchange are also essential to the evolution of the Indonesian art world. Yet arguably the most significant factor, underpinned by the National Gallery exhibition is the reminder that creativity is a potent feature of the Indonesian identity, and a timely hint to the masses of the relevance of art and culture to the nation.


Mall Art Installation by Eko Nguhoro at Pacific Place Jakarta During BAJ 2016

20160808_200603       Painting by Walter Spies in 17/71 Goresan Juang Kemerdekaan























“Bali Landscapes” – Willem Kerseboom

fullsizerender1                              “Bali Landscape #4”  120 x 100cm

Willem Kerseboom had no intention of living in Bali when he first visited six years ago. Bali, however, is an intriguing, multi dimensional world. He became seduced by the distinctive qualities of the island, it’s culture, and the beauty of the local people. “I fully understand what the painters Bonnet, Hofker and Spies appreciated about Bali. Only here can these influences be absorbed,” Kerseboom said.

“At first I didn’t pay much attention to the landscape – it grew on me.”

20160817_111824                       “Bali Landscape #16”  80 x 100cm

Born 1948 in the Netherlands, from an early age Kerseboom loved to sketch and doodle, experimenting with color and form. During his teenage years he developed a passion for oil painting. He studied Dentistry from 1968 – 1975 at Utrecht University and then engaged in his own professional practice for the next seventeen years. In 1992 Kerseboom became an art dealer and the founder/director of the AFA art fair in Den Bosch until 2008. He studied art at AIS (Amsterdam Institut voor de Schilderkunst) 2000 – 2004, and then philosophy at UVA Amsterdam from 2004 – 20007.

20160817_105925                      “Bali Landscape #18” 80 x 80cm

The deeper insights into philosophy helped Kerseboom understand the metaphysics of art, the aesthetics and the processes of going beyond thought. “It’s been very helpful to study the pioneers of the abstract movement in order to have a greater understanding of their exploratory processes into new ground.”

Rarely, if ever did Kerseboom paint landscapes, he focused on portraiture, and during the 70’s was fascinated with abstract minimalism art. Later on at art collage he was influenced by the collective “After Nature” who had broke with the conventions of the time in Holland and reverted back to Van Gogh’s style.

20160817_111722                              “Bali Landscape #8” 80 x 100cm

“I could only consider myself as a painter, or a non-painter,” Kerseboom said. “Working as a dentist for 17 years allowed few opportunities, however while on holiday, when I felt free I did some strong expressive works.”

“Despite considering myself a non-painter, my desire to paint was alive and well inside.”

In 2014 Kerseboom’s wish was to create a series of Bali paintings for an exhibition in Ubud. It would be the first serious, large body of work he had put together for many years. His initial approach to interpreting his subject, the tropical landscape, was in a very Dutch way. His secret however, was in the process of allowing himself to become free, and in tune with his natural surroundings.

20160817_105031                             “Bali Landscape # 19” 80 x 80cm

“I never work on location, always in my studio in North Bali where I find the peace to be open to pure potential. My creative process begins with no real image in mind. I apply some color, and then things seem to materialize in front of my eyes. A simple brush stroke is sufficed to create a suggestive form, and in the case of a palm leave this is easily achieved. I am addicted to the colors that I see in Bali. They are not the natural of course, yet colors that are exaggerated.”

“My desire is to capture a certain beauty.”

20160817_104623                           “Bali Landscape #25” 100 x 80cm

When we focus upon Bali’s tropical landscape we may decipher a wealth of color, texture and form. Yet Kerseboom has no interest in portraying this detailed reality. His imaginary, abstract snapshots are omnipotent with suggestion, and evocative of illusory worlds.

Bright yellows contrast with blues, while reds collide with verdant greens, purple confronts orange. Shimmering and vibrating, an orgy of color performs before our eyes. Kerseboom’s use of darker blues and greens, however add conflict, triggering emotional responses. His brushstrokes are mix of the subtle, along with the bold.

20160817_105545                                “Bali Landscape #22” 120 x 100cm

Tall palms and trunks stand upright and powerful. Delicate flowers, at times in soft colors may appear floating, somehow in auras of grace. The vegetation, often back lit by flaming red and yellow sunsets, may be depicted in mere dots, dabs and strokes. His compositions can be oceans of movement, or a fusion of polarities, in which order succumbs to the chaos.

Kerseboom’s daring Bali landscapes seem to melt and dance, bathed in delicious light.

20160817_111857                            “Bali Landscape #42” 100 x 80cm

The aesthetic experience can be both exciting and dramatic, or soothing and calm, while wonderful, powerful, healing colors saturate our subconscious mind. This body of work is a milestone; being some of the best he has ever produced.

“I feel a great sense of freedom since I have simplified my life.”

20160817_105740                         “Bali Landscape #23” 100 x 80cm

While engaged in his creative process a mix of elements come into play, including confidence, detachment and trust. Yet Kerseboom admits that there is also some tension inside. “It’s important that I have 50 years experience working in this medium. Oil is unforgiving.”

“It’s essential my intuition be channeled in the one fluid and spontaneous flow.”

20160817_111941                          “Bali Landscape #3” 120 x 100cm

The Bali landscape is an infinite source of inspiration. Labelled as “like no other”, countless foreign painters have ventured to the island in search of the unique qualities of light, and potent creative experiences.

Following in a long line of Dutch painters who have graced Bali from the 1930’s onward, (Bonnet, Hofker, and Smit to name a few), decades later comes Willem Kerseboom, the “non painter” with a gift for capturing Bali’s vibrant landscape.

“I would like to be appreciated as a painter of maturity and skill. I believe this is revealed in my work.”

20160817_112029                          “Bali Landscape #36” 100 x 80cm

“Bali Landscapes“ showcases the talent of Willem Kerseboom at the TiTian Art Space, Ubud open 29 October continuing through until 7 January 2017.

This text is taken from the exhibition catalogue.

Words & Images: Richard Horstman
























“ArtDenpasar” – Denpasar Art Space

made-budhiana-gunung-dan-kehidupan-2016-acrylic-on-paper                          “Gunung dan Hidupan” 2010 – Made Budhiana

The opening of the Denpasar Art Space (DAS), its potential to stimulate the development of Bali’s art scene, is good reason for optimism within the local art community. Highlighted by the inaugural exhibition “ArtDenpasar” open 20 August, this is a positive signal from the Denpasar City Government in their belief in the value of art, and how it can contribute to the local tourism and creative economies.

“In the spirit of the anniversary of the independence of the Republic of Indonesia on 17 August, from the Denpasar Art Space we present “ArtDenpasar”, the inaugural exhibition marking the start of this venue as a new cultural enclave,” said Chairman of the BPPD (Regenial Board for Tourism Promotion) of the City of Denpasar Ida Bagus Gde Sidharta Putra.

20160916_144445                      “Legong Tapak Dara” 2016 – Ida Bagus Putra Adnyana

“The BPPD evolved two years ago as a partner with the Denpasar City administration to improve the international image of tourism, to increase tourism arrivals, foreign exchange earnings, and to conduct research into business development and tourism.”

Situated in the heart of the city on Jalan Surapati, opposite the popular Lapangan Puputan Badung and the nearby Museum Bali, DAS will complement Denpasar as a cultural destination, while adding excitement to the creative art scene.

“Consolidating the image of tourism while introducing Denpasar as a city heritage, a city of culture and creativity, will make Denpasar more attractive to visitors and art lovers  from around the world,” Sidharta Putra said. “Understanding that art and cultural tourism is important to Bali, the increasing preservation and development of traditional and contemporary art and culture are assets to future tourism development.”

20160916_144316                                     “Heritage” 2016 – Romi Sukadana

Well known historian and art critic Jean Couteau said, “ Of course a venue such as the Denpasar Art Space is much needed, with a team of curators, budget, autonomy, and with a strong future vision. Its ability to create large-scale and collaborative events in other venues is also important.”

ArtDenpasar, which continues through until 20 September features works by well-known local artists within the Bali art scene including Achmad Pandi, Apel Hendrawan, Ari Winata, Tjandra Kirana, Dayu Bulan Oka, DP Arsa, Gung Man, Gus Alit, I.B Ari Munartha, I.B Putu Purwa, I.B Putra Adnyana, I.B Putu Gede Sutama, Jango Pramartha, Listya Wahyuni, Made Budhiana, Made Duatmika, Made Wianta, Made Wiradana, Ni Nyoman Sani, Nyoman Wirata, Romi Sukadana, Teja Astawa, Uuk Paramahita, Wayan Paramartha and Wayan Redika. The opening was punctuated with a performance by renowned Bali based, Japanese choreographer and dancer Jasmine Okubo.

20160916_142906     “When She’s Thirsty I Give Her My Bloodstain” 2016 – Dayu Bulan Oka

Made Budhiana (b. Denpasar1959) is responsible for creating a fresh, new direction in Balinese abstract art. “Gunung & Kehidupan” 2010, mixed media on canvas, is a fine example where colorful, angular and abstract forms combine and contrast against blank areas of canvas. The negative spaces formed in the composition become powerful and interesting visual features. His style allows both form and color greater freedom to become individual features within his compositions, while adding to the overall aesthetic impact.

Ni Nyoman Sani is widely respected as a multi disciplined Balinese female artist, recently, however she has been quiet on the local art scene and her participation in ArtDenpasar is a welcome respite. Sani exhibits “Present” 2016, a panel of four 30 x 21 cm charcoal on paper sketches featuring simplified angular figurative forms in fashion designs.

20160916_143013                             “Negeriku Indonesia” 2016 – Achmad Pandi

Romi Sukanda is a talented and versatile Sanur born painter. “Heritage” 2016, is an oil on canvas composition of traditional Balinese jukung fishing boats, featuring the characteristic Gajah Mina forms decorating the bow. Once a common sight along the beaches of Bali’s the iconic Gajah Mina, or elephant fish, is a mythical guardian creature taken from local folklore tasked with fortifying the boat during its journeys out on the seas.

Contemporary art photographer DP Arsa highlights the strength and durability of Indonesian women in his photo installation “Super Mom” featuring images of women carrying enormous loads upon their heads, each printed on round steel plates.

20160916_144539                                    “Tainted Love” 2016 – Jango Pramartha

Dayu Bulan Oka is also another talented local female artist and her acrylic and oil composition “When She’s Thirsty I Give Her My Bloodstains” 2016 is a vibrant and potent work. Her thought-provoking observation about urban and city life features a naïve composition of a cat with big eyes and long white claws, dark red contrast against blue and black coloration giving the work strong visual tension. The cat’s body is decorated with crude forms resembling buildings and physical structures.

Ida Bagus Putu Purwa contributes “Body Movements, The Series” 2015, a dynamic and spontaneous figurative work in his popular signature style. Renowned for his humorous and satirical cartoons in Bali’s iconic Bog-Bog Magazine Jango Pramartha’s naïve “Tainted Love” 2016, is a highlight of the exhibition. This refreshing acrylic and charcoal work on paper is both balanced and restrained in its coloration and composition structure.

20160916_142943                                  “Denpasar Moon” 2016 – Nyoman Wirata

One of the highlights of the ArtDenpasar  exhibition is “Denpasar Moon” by Nyoman Wirata. Dynamic coloration and  abstract elements combine to  dominate the composition that at a glance is both mysterious and intriguing. Upon closer inspection, symbolic forms are revealed from within the depths of its milieu referencing the Balinese Hindu culture. Three distinctive layers form the composition, symbolic of  heaven, earth and the underworld, flowers and  figurative forms appear as if floating and dancing around the composition. “Denpasar Moon” reflects the endless process of birth, destruction and renewal.

Incredible detail and technical skill are highlighted in Wayan Redika’s painting “Ayah Dari Bunda Jauh”, while Ari Winata’s two contributions reveal his versatility and talent as well. Three dimensional works add to the strength of the exhibition, including the wood craving “Mari Menari” by Ida Bagus Ari Munartha, a wonderfully balanced figurative composition, “Taksu Segara” 2016 by Apel Hendrawan, Ida Bagus Alit’s humorous and eccentric large breasted figure “Nyonyo Lambih”, and Ida Bagus Putu Gede Sutama’s contemporary work made from timber and steel “Terkoyak” 2016.

Words & Images: Richard Horstman

20160915_132005                                   “Taksu Segara” 2016 – Apel Hendrawan

20160916_143320                                    “Bluish Calligraphy” 2014 – Made Wianta

20160916_144031                                             Painting by Ari Winata

20160916_144514                                            “Super Mom!” 2016 – DP Arsa

20160916_143345                         “Ayah Dari Bunda Jauh” 2016 – Wayan Redika






Larasati Traditional, Modern & Contemporary Art Auction: Bali 21 August

made-sutama-the-dream-image-richard-horstman                                “The Dream” 2015 –  Made Sutama (b. 1977 Keliki)

Eighty works of fine art went under the hammer before an enthusiastic floor of bidders at Ubud’s ARMA museum 21 August Larasati Traditional, Modern & Contemporary Art auction. The attractive array of paintings in Balinese traditional styles and Indonesian modern and contemporary genres offered good buying opportunities in prices ranges suitable for new collectors and connoisseurs alike.

From the beginning of 2016 real time bidding has been available through the Larasati website, opening the auction to a global audience. The auction featured spirited bidding both on the floor and via telephone, and purchases online. Most of the works sold within their estimate prices while for new collectors purchases were available starting from Rp. 3.5 million.

20160820_181740                                      “Aksi Badut and Topeng” – Ketut Sadia (b. 1966 Batuan)

Ida Bagus Putu Sena (b. 1966 Tebesaya, Ubud) is a remarkable talent, his characteristic style while being extraordinarily detailed, features dark and moody compositions. Lot #523 “Shadow Puppet Show” 2009, estimated price between Rp. 75 – 90 million, was hammered down for Rp. 95 million. (all works incur a 22% buyers premium on top of the auctioneers selling price). Lot #530 “Petani’ 2003 by Ketut Kasta (b. Peliatan 1945), a beautiful figurative work in muted pinkish hues, serene in its simplicity was estimated between Rp. 25 – 30 million and sold for Rp. 40 million.

Iconic Dutch painter Arie Smit (1916-2016) died in March at home in Ubud, only days short of reaching the golden age of one hundred years old. Responsible for the development of the “Young Artists” style of Balinese traditional art in the early 1960’s, since his passing prices for his some works at Hong Kong auctions have noticeably increased.

putu-deaw-bedil-suasana-pasar-image-richard-horstman                                    “Suasana Pasar” –  Dewa Putu Bedil (1921-1999)

Of the three lots available, Lot #546 “A Girl Leaving the Temple” estimated between Rp. 65 – 75 million, sold for Rp 65 million, Lot #547 “The Forest“ estimated between Rp. 95 -120 million sold for Rp. 85 million, while #548 “Boy” 1988 estimated price between Rp. 270 – 320 million, however failed to sell.

Works of painstaking miniature detail characterize the Keliki School of Balinese traditional art. Three excellent paintings were available by up and coming artists who represent the future of this genre. Lot #519 “The Dream” 2015 by Made Sutama (b. 1977 Keliki) is a colorful fantastic composition, estimated price between Rp. 10 – 12 million sold for Rp. 9.5 million. Lot # 520 “The Death of Kumbakarna” 2014 by Putu Kusama (b.1986 Keliki) with an estimated of Rp. 12 – 15 million sold for Rp. 17 million via the internet, and Lot # 550 “Festivity at Temple” by Made Ocen (b. 1974 Keliki) undervalued with an estimate price between Rp. 10 – 12 million and sold for Rp. 9 million. Each of these works offered excellent buying for the seasoned collectors along with those with mid range budgets for good long-term investments.

a-a-gede-anom-sukawati-mengarak-jero-gede-image-by-richard-horstman            “Mengarak Jero Gede” 2003  –  A.A. Gede Anom Sukawati (b. Ubud 1966)

A rare old work by the renowned Batuan painter Wayan Bendi Lot # 555 “Tourists in the 1950’s” estimated price between Rp.15 – 20 million sold for Rp. 14 million. Lot # 505 “Aksi Badut and Topeng” by another outstanding Batuan painter Ketut Sadia with an estimated price between Rp. 16 -20 million sold for Rp. 16 million offering good value buying for this innovative composition. Considered an “outsider artist” Putu Dewa Mokoh (Pengosekan 1936-2010) is a painter of unusual, often quirky and humorous compositions. Lot # 502 “Berenang di Laut” estimated price between Rp. 18 – 22 million sold for Rp.16 million, while Lot #558 “Hunting in the Forest” estimated price between Rp. 28 – 35 was hammered down for Rp. 30 million.

ketut-kasta-petani-2003-image-richard-horstman                                       “Petani’ 2003 –  Ketut Kasta (b. Peliatan 1945)

The Pitamaha artist’s collective played a decisive role in the development of Balinese modern traditional art from 1936-1945 and two works by deceased masters of the collective were available. Lot# 567 by Gusti Ketut Kobot (1917-1999) “Garuda Whisnu” was undervalued for its size of 105 x 75 cm, estimated price between Rp. 90 – 110 million and selling for Rp.85 million. While Lot #568 by Ida Bagus Made Togog (Batuan 1913 – 1989) “Story of Dukuh Siladri” a shimmering work of exceptional quality and condition, estimated price between Rp. 270 – 350 million, sold for Rp. 350 million.

Lot # 569 “Suasana Pasar” Dewa Putu Bedil (1921-1999) is a extraordinary work of balance and beauty, being undervalued at the estimate between Rp. 75 – 90 million, it sold for Rp. 95 million. Of the contemporary works available sought names such as Jumaldi Afli, Ugo Untoro and Dede Eri Supria attracted only marginal attention, yet offered good buying opportunities for new collectors wishing to purchase works by big name artists.

arie-smit-a-girl-leaving-the-temple-photo-by-richard-horstman                               “A Girl Leaving the Temple” – Arie Smit (1916-2016)

The most prized work of the afternoon was the final item, was Lot # 580 “Mengarak Jero Gede” 2003 by A.A. Gede Anom Sukawati (b. Ubud 1966) arguably Bali’s finest living traditional painter. His 75 x 135 cm acrylic on canvas composition, a stunning dance scene of detail and vibrancy, estimated price between Rp. 160 – 190 million, realized determined bidding selling for a world record price for the artist at Rp. 345 million, inclusive of the 22% buyer’s premium.

Words & Images: Richard Horstman

20160820_182538             “Story of Dukuh Siladri” – Ida Bagus Made Togog (Batuan 1913 – 1989)

20160820_181951                   “Berenang di Laut” – Dewa Putu Mokoh ((Pengosekan 1936-2010)













National Gallery Singapore Presenting and Archiving Indonesian Art

Farah Wardani. Image courtesy of NGSAssistant Director of the National Gallery Singapore Resource Center Indonesian Art Historian Farah Wardani. Image Courtesy NGS

A meeting point for major civilizations, religions and colonial powers, Southeast Asian art has experienced a turbulent social and political history defined by a complex relationship between local traditions and influences from the West. Open from November 2015, the National Gallery Singapore (NGS) oversees the world’s largest public collection of modern Southeast Asian art.

Boasting over 8,000 works including paintings, sculptures, printmaking, photography and video from the 19th and 20th centuries, housed in two immaculately restored and transformed national monuments – the former Singapore Supreme Court and City Hall – the NGS works together with international museums to jointly present Southeast Asian art in the global context.

bosch-brand-forest-fire-raden-saleh-1849-ngs-uob-souteast-asia-gallery-image-richard-horstman               “Bosch Brand” (Forest Fire) 1849  – Radan Saleh, National Gallery Singapore

Two exhibitions currently running at the NGS highlight Indonesian art. “Between Declaration & Dreams: Art of South East Asia Since the 19th Century” features nearly 400 artworks (over 90 by Indonesians) in the UOB Southeast Asia Gallery. The exhibition brings together the defining art movements and styles in the development of Indonesian modern art. From the “grandfather of modernism” Raden Saleh (1811-1880), featuring his 1839 composition “Wounded Lion”, to the “pretty pictures” Mooi Indies landscape genre that prevailed until early in the 20th Century.

Sudjojono (1913-1986) and friends next challenged the paradigm with a new nationalist style while banding together in the collective, PERSAGI (Persatuan Ahli Ahli Gambar Indonesia, 1938). The exhibition continues with the likes of Affandi, Hendra Gunawan, Walter Spies, and A.A Gede Meregeg to the 1970’s avant garde with the iconic work from the Gerakan Seni Rupa Baru movement, “Ken Dedes” by Jim Supangkat (1975 remade in 1996), and the 1993 video documentation by Krisna Murti,”12 Hours in the Life of Agung Rai the Dancer.”

ken-dedes-jim-supangkat-1975-remade-1996-image-richard-horstman                         “Ken Dedes” 1975 – Jim Supangkat, National Gallery Singapore

In the Singtel Special Exhibition Gallery “Reframing Modernism”, open from 31 March- 17 July, was the NGS’s first international collaboration, with the Center Pompidou of Paris. The history of modernism is a story of influence: that artistic movements developed in Europe and America and then spread to the rest of the world. The landmark exhibition focuses on the practices of individual artists in the West and Southeast Asia and how they can be connected to one another.

Drawing on over 200 iconic works exhibiting side-by-side are Kandinsky, Matisse, Picasso and Chagall, to name a few, along with Indonesian masters including Lempad, Sobrat, Sudjojono, Affandi and Hendra Gunawan. Labeled as ambitious exposition by some foreign critics, this is a unique opportunity to engage with some of the master works of modern art, complimented by the presence of Indonesians, and is an essential insight into modern art development. Emphasis was given to the architect-cum-artist icon Lempad (1862-1975), whose line sketches revolutionized Balinese art, and the mysterious, pioneering female modernist Emiria Sunassa (b.1894 Nth Sulawesi – 1964). Dubbed an artist, nurse, princess, elephant hunter, plantation administrator, businesswoman and social activist, Sunassa began painting at the age of 40.

sculpture-by-edie-sunarso-painting-sudjojono-purusing-a-poster-1956-image-richard-horstman  Sculpture “The Head  of Monument for the Independence of West Irian”  – Edi Sunarso, National Gallery Singapore

While both exhibitions, presenting some of the finest local art with curatorial attention bringing it into greater context, in a world-class institution are a boon for Indonesia, it is the less publicized, archival projects occurring deep within the sanctum of NGS that will garner increasing international interest to Indonesian art, along with added value.

“People tend to see archives as merely a library, knowing its important, yet often taking them for granted,” said Farah Wardani (b.1975 Jakarta), who after 10 years as Director of IVAA (Indonesian Visual Art Archive center) in Yogyakarta was recruited to NGS as Assistant Director of the Resource Center to oversee building the archival inventory. “I am excited to be a part of this enormous NGS project, the first highly focused, professional effort to archive SE Asian and Indonesian art history with international standards. It’s a starting point,” she adds.

dscf5310      “Title Unkown” (Abstract in Orange) 1968 – Ahmad Sadali, National Gallery Singapore

“Setting up the fundamentals of Indonesian art history involves the digitization of information, so we partner up, mostly with artist’s families, then sort through photo albums, diaries, catalogues and interviews, often finding the unimaginable,” Wardani revealed, having recently worked with the Sudjojono Center archiving almost 4000 items by the artist.

“Archiving requires great time and energy, yet the resources can be used in many different ways. Archives are artifacts that bring value by activating life into the artwork adding to the sustainability of the eco-system.”

“Archiving and database resources enable Indonesian art history to come out in the open,” Wardani said, commenting on what the project means for Indonesian art. “How many people actually study the masters of Indonesian art? It is still a niche art, a very unique subject, with a short and intense history. This is a wonderful opportunity for the international community to learn about more Indonesian art.”

dscf5163 “Mereka Yang Terusir Dari Tanahnya” (Those Chased Away From Their Land) 1960 – Amrus Natalsya, National Gallery Singapore

With the increasing engagement of Indonesia art and archival information and hence the relative growth in international appreciation, foreign institutions, curators, collectors and the curious will target the nation’s home grown art, ultimately benefiting the Indonesian art eco system in many ways, including financially.

Words & Images: Richard Horstman


dscf5153                      “Perusing A Poster” 1956 – Sudjojono, National Gallery Singapore

dscf5256                          “Pasar” 1943 – Emiria Sunassa, National Gallery Singapore

National Gallery Singapore

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