Christie's Hong Kong between Modernity and the Contemporary

Hong Kong – Christie’s announces its Spring sale of Southeast Asian Modern and Contemporary Art will take place on 30 May at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre. Featuring over 130 quality works spanning the history and geography in the Southeast Asian region, the sale brings together modern masterpieces of undisputed provenance and some of the most sought-after contemporary artworks. The category’s modern masters and contemporary stars continue to be represented by works of the highest quality in the sale which is valued in excess of HK$22 million (US$2.8 million).

A Diverse Offering of Southeast Asia’s Top Contemporary Artists

Against the backdrop of a swift recovery in the contemporary art market worldwide, this season’s selection of contemporary Southeast Asian art continues to lead the market in diversity and depth, presenting collectors with superb examples of works by the best of both established and emerging artists from around the region.

Leading Indonesian painter I Nyoman Masriadi (b.1973) is represented in the sale by four significant works, presenting unparalleled opportunities for collectors. Mr Universe (Manusia Batu) (image left, estimate: HK$600,000-800,000 / US$76,900-102,600) emerges from the artist’s fascination with bodybuilding and its association with power.

Magnificently sculpted, the figure in the work represents the pinnacle in the painter’s visualization of the ultimate human form. Alongside Mr Universe (Manusia Batu) is Man from Bantul (image right, estimate: HK$500,000-700,000 / US$64,100-89,700), the last of four known works from the artist’s sought-after Man from Bantul series to come to market. Depicting a lone boxer and suffused autobiographical elements, the work is arguably the most personal and self-revealing piece from this important series and thus a significant collecting opportunity.

Two exceptional works from Rudi Mantofani (b.1973) and Handiwirman Saputra(b.1975) are featured in this season’s sale. Sebatas Aroma (Limited to scents) (image left, estimate: HK$320,000-480,000 / US$41,000-61,500) by Rudi Mantofani depicts a perfume bottle against a stark barren landscape, a symbol of vanity and a comment on the concern with appearances in contemporary society.

From Handiwirman Saputra comesMerem – Tuturkarena series (image right, estimate: HK$450,000-600,000 / US$57,700-76,900), one of the artist’s most accomplished paintings from his celebrated Tuturkarenaseries in which he composes and paints objects in a variety of spatial arrangements to evoke different sensations from audiences.

Contemporary works from the Philippines continue to find growing interest from collectors and this season’s selection of Philippine contemporary art illustrates the depth and vibrancy of this particular market. Overtones (image left, estimate: HK$150,000-250,000 / US$19,200-32,100) by Filipino Ronald Ventura (b.1973) heads the selection.  Ventura comments on the clash of monotone culture and gaudy capitalism and the social decay brought on by norms that guide daily life. Alongside Overtones is Geraldine Javier’s(b.1970) Ella amo’ apasionadamentey fue correspondida (For she loved fiercely, and she is well-loved) (image right, estimate: HK$150,000-200,000 / US$19,200-25,600), an exceptional and original interpretation of the legacy of Mexican modern artist, Frida Kahlo.

Key works by established artists such as Malaysian Ahmad Zakii Anwar’s (b.1955) Holy cow (estimate: HK$90,000-150,000 / US$11,500-US$19,200) and Thai Natee Utarit’s(b.1970)Venus, the peel of emptiness (estimate: HK$180,000-280,000 / US$23,100-35,900) round out the regional coverage of the contemporary section.