Auction results- Ventura dominates SE Asian contemporary sale; Ay Tjoe Christine surprises

Ronald Ventura's colossal painting, Grayground, which measures nearly 4 meter long) was the top lot of Sotheby's Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Paintings Auction, selling for $1.1 million. The rise of the Filipino artist at auction in the last couple of years is nothing short of phenomenal, and as he broke the US$1 million, is currently more expansive than Indonesian darling Nyoman Masriadi, whose Juling (Cross-Eyed) "only" sold for $464,000. Ventura's epic battle, a tug of war between good and evil, depicts carnage, chaos, confusion, but also contains some humour and wit. It shows the artist's drawing skills at their best and the detailing is amazing.

Ay Tjoe Christine

Young indonesian female artist Ay Tjoe Christine was possibly the revelation of this auction. Her piece The Undercovering of Us sold for  HK$1.34 mln (well above its HK$170,000—250,000 estimate), while another one titled Left layer and right layer (photo) sold for HK$ 1.7 million (compared with HK$180,000—250,000).

Hendra Gunawan
Overall, Sotheby’s sale of Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Paintings fetched US$13.8 million, tripling the pre-sale estimate. There was strong interest in important and top quality artworks, proved by active participation in the room and over the phone throughout the sale, which led to numerous artist records, including Hendra Gunawan, Andres Barrioquinto, Samsul Arifin, Nguyen Gia Tri and Indieguerillas. The top price of
$2.09 million paid for Indonesian artist Hendra Gunawan’s Penari Ular (Snake Dancer) came after an extended bidding battle and was many multiples of the pre-sale estimate, setting a record for the artist.

Looking at the details of the auction, 21 lots went unsold, including a Jumaildi Aldi, a rather uninspiring Ahmad Zakii Anwar, a Le Pho, and an abstract Chen Wen Hsi.