March 30, 2009

Christie's Continued Interest in Southeast Asia

Southeast Asian Modern & Contemporary Art
Christie's report on the Southeast Asian market for this past quarter:

The market for Asian contemporary art, led by Christie’s International, has grown rapidly in the last few years alongside strong sales in modern and classical art. The Southeast Asian Modern & Contemporary Art sales offers some of the most dynamic and exemplary works of a diverse group of artists working in Southeast Asia. The category is illustrative of the cultural and artistic diversity that marks art from the region and thus stands as a distinctive entity in Christie’s sales of Asian art.

Christie’s has had a specialist department devoted solely to modern and contemporary art in Southeast Asia since 1994. In May 2008, we achieved our highest sales record in the category with a sales total of HK$71.7m (US$9.2m). As the market leader in the field – having established numerous auction sales records of modern artists like Rudolf Bonnet, Le Pho, Le Mayeur, S. Sudjojono, Affandi and Hendra Gunawan – and being amongst the first to recognize the emerging and relevant talents from the region, we are proud to continue exposing the category to the international art community through the strategic sale location in Hong Kong.

Whilst rare and quality works of artists of the colonial and modern periods continue to set price records in the category, contemporary Southeast Asian artists have also come of age in the rapidly growing art infrastructure across different Southeast Asian cities in the recent couple of years buoyed by increased interest in attending exhibitions and collecting contemporary art. Contemporary artists such as I Nyoman Masriadi, Handiwirman Saputra, Agus Suwage, Rudi Mantofani, Ahmad Zakii Anwar, Natee Utarit, Geraldine Javier, Ronald Ventura and Yasmin Sison are creating some of the most exciting and well-regarded artworks which we are proud to offer in our sales.

The breadth of our selection for each auction season is once again illustrated in the most recent autumn sales in November 2008 where a 19th century painting by Philippine painter Juan Luna was offered alongside fresh and progressive works of contemporary artists from Indonesia, Philippines and other countries in the region.

view original article from Christie's site

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