Sotheby’s Hong Kong Autumn 2011 Sale of Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Paintings fetched a promising $10.6 million, more than doubling the presale estimate ($4.2 million), with 81% of the lots sold and 95% sold by value.
|Gunawan – Tuak Manis (Sweet Wine)|
There were enthusiastic bid both for canvases by S. Sudjojono and the largest known work by Hendra Gunawan (above) to ever come to auction, which achieved $925,641.
The two following top lots were by S. Sudjojono, proving that modern masters were outperforming contemporary artists this time around.
|S.Sudkojojono's Petruk Dadi Ratu|
In the late 70s, S. Sudjojono (1914–1986) became fascinated with using wayang (shadow puppet) tales to convey social and political commentaries. In Petruk Dadi Ratu, a Javanese wayang story, the jester Petruk – seen as the embodiment of the common people – becomes drunk with wealth and power as he briefly ascends to the throne. Sudjojono created the present work - Petruk Dadi Ratu (Petruk Becomes King in 1979, as a political allegory to criticise the New Order government in his witty and piercing manner. This painting expresses a surge of new artistic creativity in Sudjojono’s late oeuvre and foretells a significant moment in Indonesia’s history that was to occur about two decades after the completion of this painting. It sold for $494,872.
|Women in Garden|
Records were also set for ‘Nanyang’ artists Cheong Soo Pieng and Georgette Chen.
|Untitle (Balinese Girl) by Cheong Soo Pieng|
|Georgette Chen’s Lotus|
Georgette Chen’s Lotus sold for $141,026.
In the contemporary art section, I Nyoman Masriadi and Ronald Ventura continue to produce many of the top lots, securing their place in the heart of collectors.
|Masriadi's Are you Sure?|
This painting assembles the witty visual elements that are iconic of I Nyoman Masriadi’s works. The composition is simple: a zoomed-in image of a couple sitting side by side looking at each other, both faces revealing signs of tension. Ahead of them is a beautiful sandy beach and the azure blue sea – though no one is enjoying the vista. The visual narrative and Masriadi’s scribbles seem to suggest an unspoken plot about the complexities of relationships.
|Ventura's Battle Field|
Ay Tjoe Christine’s Layers For The Circles sold for $233,333