Saturday, October 29, 2016

Abas Alibasjah | Sidharta Fine Art Auction 20 November & 11 December 2016

Lot #333, Abas Alibasyah, Scenery

Abas Alibasyah  
(Purwakarta, W. Java, 1928 - Jakarta, 2016)

In the 1990s, Abas Alibasyah was most famous for his paintings of rather surrealistic masks and landscapes, but his works could not be easily categorized as coming from the Yogya school of Surrealism nor Decorativism. Devoid of human figure, his landscapes seemed to reveal the artist's melancholy. Although his masks seem to suggest human presence, they also enhance the melancholic spirit of his paintings.

While in Session I, there is a painting entitled Flowers and Mask dating from 1989 (lot #112), in this section there are four other relatively early Abas Alibasjah paintings from two collections. Mascot, 1969 (lot #331) Abstraksi Warna, 1967 (lot # 332) are typical of his paintings from the 1960s, in which the artist seemed to explore colorist abstraction.

Scenery, 1971 (lot #333) is a predecessor of his later melancholic and rather surrealistic landscapes that are devoid of human figures. In this painting, the landscape appears more realistic,  but no less haunting. Somehow it seems to remind us not to neglect our environment.

Last but not least, Cili, 1991 (lot #334) also seems to be a predecessor of his later paintings of masks. The painting extends the artist's exploration of abstraction while including the mask as an icon. Hence, the painting appears more of an artistic expression rather than a realistic description of the subject matter.

Lot #112, Abas Alibasyah, Flower and Mask

Lot #331, Abas Alibasyah, Mascot

Lot #332, Abas Alibasyah, Abstraksi Warna

Lot #334, Abas Alibasyah, Cili

Artworks by Tionghoa (Indonesians of Chinese Descent) Painters (lots #355 - 371)

Lot #360, Lim Kwie Bing, Gunung Kawi Bali

Lot #127, Lim Wasim, Pendet Dancer

Artworks by Tionghoa (Indonesians of Chinese Descent) Painters

(lots #355 - 371)

The Tionghoa (Indonesians of Chinese descent) played an important role in shaping the

history of Indonesian art. As early as 1955, Lee Man Fong already held an exhibition at the

Kolff Bookstore in Batavia and participated in an exhibition that was held by the Dutch

Indies Art Association at Hotel Des Indes the following year.

Lot #358, Lee Man Fong, Bunga Kembang Sepatu

The Indonesian Proclamation of Independence in 1945, was followed the Indonesian

Revolutionary War in 1945-49 and eventually the Dutch recognition of Indonesian

sovereignity at the end of 1949. In 1955, along with other Tionghoa figures and artists, Lee

Man Fong established an organization called Yin Hua Meishu Xiehui (The Organization of

Indonesian Chinese Artists) in Jakarta. They held their first exhibition in January 1956.

Among the names listed as members (other than Lee Man Fong), are Tjio Tek-Djin (whose

portrait by Trubus Soedarsono appears in lot #073 of this auction), and Lim Kwie Bing who

was known to have also chaired the Tsing Feng She and M.M Art Club in Malang. Later on,

Lim Wa Sim also joined Yin Hua.

Lot #355, Lim Wasim, Mencari Kutu

As the definition of national art was never conclusively formulated, the complexity

of the Tionghoa identity (being a mixture or cross section of Indonesian and Chinese),

actually contributed to the diversity of national aesthetics stated Brigitta Isabella, a

researcher who has done research on Yin Hua. Lee Man Fong, for example, often painted

Indonesian subject matter using the hanging scroll format of Chinese landscape painting.

Yet, his European training and aesthetics further complicated and at the same time enrich

the enculturation.

In this auction section we feature the works by several Tionghoa artists, including some

historic works. Liem Kwie Bing's Boy with Kite (lot #369) dates from 1947, while Lee Man

Fong's drawing of a Buddha Figure (lot #357) dates from 1958. Lim Wa Sim's Mencari Kutu

(lot #355), Anton Huang's sketch of a Balinese market scene (lot #364), and Lim Kwie Bing's

intricate renditions of Balinese rituals (lots #370 & 371) all date from the 1960s and '70s).

Lee Man Fong's impressionistic Bunga Kembang Sepatu (lot #358), Liem Tjoe Ing's and From

the 1980s are among others Huang Fong's expressive renditions of horses (lot #359, 360 &

362), Adam Lay's serene painting of gold fish (lot #361), Huang Fong's elegant painting of a

Balinese dancer (lot #365), Liem Tjoe Ing's painting of fishermen by the beach (lot #366).

and his watercolor of reliefs of a Javanese temple (lot #367).

Lot #369, Lim Kwie Bing, Boy and Kite

Lot #365, Huang Fong, Siap Menari (Legong)

Although not grouped in this section, there are a number of other Tionghoa artists whose

works appear here. Among the woman artists, Maria Tjui (whose painting appears in lot

#115), is a Tionghoa artist famous for her expressiveness in her art, and also Ivan Sagito

(whose painting appears in lot #343), was very influential in the development of

Contemporary Indonesian art in the 1980s and 1990s.

Each Indonesian Chinese artist, with their unique cultural paradigms, contributes to the

diversity of Indonesian art.

lot #356, Lim Kwie Bing, Gadis Bali

Lot #357, Lee Man Fong, Budai

Lot #359, Liem Tjoe Ing, Kuda #1

Lot #360, Liem Tjoe Ing, Kuda #2

Lot #361, Adam Lay, Goldfish

Lot #362, Huang Fong, The Power of Spirit

Lot #363, Tatang Kuntjoro, By the Riverside

Lot #364, Anton Huang, Sketsa Pasar

Lot #366, Liem Tjoe Ing, Nelayan

Lot #367, Liem Tjoe Ing, Relief Candi

Lot #368, Liem Tjoe Ing, Lumbung

Lot #371, Lim Kwie Bing, Temple Ceremony

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Hendra Gunawan, Women at the Fish Market

Hendra Gunawan, Women at the Fish Market

Instead of such a "heroic" depiction, although not as realist in style, Hendra Gunawan's rendition of Women at the Fish Market, shows a more realistic nuance, in which the women seem to joke or gossip during their activities. For them, working is as much a social activity as it is a economic activity. This straight-forward yet insightful observation, is the reason that works by Hendra, as a painter well-known for his paintings of common people, are highly regarded by the most serious of art collectors. 

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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Sidharta Fine Art, November 2016 | Discovering Collections For Our Clients

Discovering Wonderful Collections For Our Wonderful Clients

In order to present our clients with an auction, we have to find interesting works or art that someone or another would like to sell. Auction houses usually get works from galleries or dealers, but the most exciting lots usually come from the collections of old connoisseurs who have become detached from the current network of art collectors due to a generational gap or other social matters.

Old collections that consist of a select number of authentic artworks are very hard to come by, and therefore when we do come across one or two it give us great pleasure and satisfaction. It makes us happy and at the same time proud because we envision that our discovery will bring pleasure to our valued clients who also would like to acquire the wonderful art pieces for their collection.

Once in a while through our networks of families, friends and acquaintances, we get introduced to families who consider it time to let go of their collections. Recently, a small yet wonderful collection of Indonesian fine art has been entrusted to be auctioned through our auction house.

The collection consists of various Indonesian art works, some of which we highlight here.

Bagong Kussudiardja, Women Figures 

Rustamadji, Women Carrying Baskets of Fish on their Heads

Dezentje, View of Lake in Mountain Region 

Lee Man Fong, Boy with Water Buffaloes

Nyoman Gunarsa, Legong Dancers

Lim Wa Sim, Pendet Dancer 

Sudarso, Seated Woman Holding a Basket

Tatang Ganar, Seated Woman in Kebaya 

JB Iwan Sulistyo, Two Women with Terracotta Water Vessels 

From the selection of paintings in the possession of the collector, it seems evident that he was fascinated with people a work, and in particular women at work. Various forms of Balinese dances performed by women are shown in different artistic styles by Bagong Kussudiardja, Lim Wa Sim and Nyoman Gunarsa. While Sudarso's painting is of a woman with a basket taking a rest, Tatang Ganar depicts a socially active yet culturally conscious Indonesian woman elegantly and smartly dressed in her kebaya.   
In the collection there is one of JB Iwan Sulistyo's early works, which is a painting of two women carrying water vessels. This painting seems to show a different and in many ways more interesting phase of the artist's oeuvre, which shows traces of his artistic influences. 

Rustamadji's painting of women carrying baskets of fish, suggests not only the women's determination to work hard but also their communal spirit of progressing together, which should be the spirit and ethos of how people do business in the country today. 

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Sunday, July 3, 2016

Sidharta Fine Art Auction 22 May 2016: Basoeki Abdullah's Early Work


Basoeki Abdullah was well-known for his beautiful paintings of women and idealized portraiture. The collection of President Sukarno includes fifty-nine of his paintings, making him the most represented artist in that renowned collection. In the 1960s, he became the court painter of the Kingdom of Thailand. He painted the portraits of many world leaders and dignitaries, as well as prominent personalities, particularly members of the elite in Southeast Asia.

The painting entitled Two Young Women seems to date from the 1940s, when the artist had already started to gain a name for his art, but had not yet established himself as a portrait artist. During this time, his art was more spontaneous, free spirited and fun. The way he applied his signature on this painting is also slightly different from the other paintings from that time. While his signature on his other paintings dating from the 1940s are signed horizontal following more or less a straight line, the signature on this painting seems to follow a upturned curve which suggest a sense of joy on the part of the artist. It is certainly quite a unique painting

Sidharta Fine Art Auction 22 May 2016: Artworks by Lee Man Fong

Artworks by Lee Man Fong
(lots #102 to 104)

The following three lots feature four artworks by Lee Man Fong dating from as early as 1940. The pieces show that he was a versatile artist who was not only capable of working with various media, including water color, pastels as well as ink, on paper, but also different aesthetic genres or styles.

This lot includes two works by Lee Man Fong. The main image is a pastels on paper piece depicting two women, one combing the hair of the other, dating from 1948. On the reverse of this work, is a pastel portrait of a man, dating from 1940.  The piece provides evidence that the artist used the reverse of the earlier artwork for the later work. Further study might be able to reveal the artist's frame of mind when he decided to do this, and make us understand better the life and thoughts of artists during that time.

This unique artwork depicting three Balinese women interacting on a porch of a house, was actually painted in Amsterdam in 1948 and therefore most likely was painted entirely from memory. In 1946, at the time of the Indonesian revolutionary struggle for Independence,  the Netherlands Indies Lieutenant Governor General Van Mook granted the artist a Malino Scholarship, which sent him to study art in Amsterdam. There, for a brief period of time, he experimented with deformation of figures, and this piece is one of its few examples.