Top 10: Indonesian Contemporary Artists



Our Friday TOP! Every other Friday Artprice posts a theme-based auction ranking. This week we present the ten best auction results over the past twelve months for Contemporary Indonesian artists.

With China the clear leader of the global art market, artists from neighboring Asian countries have in recent years seen their auction prices take off at a breakneck speed. Although initially China’s sales focused on the country’s domestic artists, Sotheby’s and Christie’s have gradually opened their catalogues to other neighboring countries. Thanks to the vivacity of its Contemporary art scene and its substantially lower prices, the market for Indonesian artists has also posted some superb price progressions. Indeed, with strong support from influential local collectors, Contemporary Indonesian artists have experienced rocketing prices over the past four years and attracted some of the biggest players in the global art market. Sotheby’s made no mistake when it decided to open an office in Jakarta in 2009 (Jakarta is also a free port).
Indonesia is now clearly one of the main beneficiaries of the healthy Asian art market. So which Contemporary artists from archipelago have generated the best auction results over the last year?

Top 10 : Indonesian Artists

Rank Artist Hammer Price Artwork Sale
1 I Nyoman MASRIADI $359240 “Blekik Jones and Soekarno’s Treasure” (2011) 11/26/2011 (Christie’s HONG KONG)
2 Christine AY TJOE $257600 “Langit – Langit Merah (Red Ceiling)” (2009/10) 04/02/2012 (Sotheby’s HONG KONG)
3 I Nyoman MASRIADI $231300 “Are you sure?” (2010) 10/03/2011 (Sotheby’s HONG KONG)
4 I Nyoman MASRIADI $192750 Mr. Universe (Manusia Batu) (2002) 10/03/2011 (Sotheby’s HONG KONG)
5 Christine AY TJOE $192750 Layers for the Circles (2011) 10/03/2011 (Sotheby’s HONG KONG)
6 Rudi MANTOFANI $179620 Sudut Bumi #3, the corner of the Earth #3 (2007-2008) 11/27/2011 (Christie’s HONG KONG)
7 Christine AY TJOE $167440 Bertujuh #1 (The Seven #1) (2006) 04/02/2012 (Sotheby’s HONG KONG)
8 Rudi MANTOFANI $154820 Cakrawala Warna (Colorful Horizon) (2004/07) 01/12/2012 (Borobudur Auction Ptd.Ltd. SINGAPORE)
9 I Nyoman MASRIADI $153960 Uang segar (Fresh money) (2007) 11/27/2011 (Christie’s HONG KONG)
10 Christine AY TJOE $141680 “Please… Adopt this One…” (2007) 04/02/2012 (Sotheby’s HONG KONG)

Still the biggest marketplace in the world according to Artprice’s 2011/2012 Report, China, via Hong Kong, generated 9 of this week’s top 10 results! As for the artists, there are only two: Nyoman Masriadi and Christine Ay Tjoe, both born in 1973.

Born in Bali, I Nyoman MASRIADI studied at the Indonesian Institute of Arts in Yogyakarta. His paintings are mostly archetypes of superheroes, cowboys, soldiers or athletes depicted humorously in the context of a critical view of contemporary society and mass culture. The artist had his first solo exhibition in 2008 at the Singapore Art Museum. Since then, he has exhibited around the world: the Netherlands, Australia, China, France, the United States … His auction debut was in 2003 when his Cuci tangan was offered at Sotheby’s Singapore fetching nearly double its low estimate at $5,000. Few and far between at first, the volume of his works at auction gradually increased as of 2005/2006 (3 per year) to reach a peak of 76 in 2008, including the signature of his current auction record of over $830,000 for the impressive work The Man From Bantul (The Final Round) at Sotheby’s Hong Kong on 6 October. Nyoman Masriadi is the clear winner of this ranking with six places to his name and the top position with Blekik Jones and Soekarno’s Treasure which fetched nearly $360,000 at Christie’s Hong Kong on 26 November 2011. Although he has not exceeded $500,000 since 2010 (I’m Still Lucky and Sok Ngirit (Pretending to be Prudent)), during 2012 none of his emblematic works sold at auctions for less than $120,000 (between January and October)! However, although substantial, his results are well below the price levels of the stars of Contemporary Chinese art.

A graduate in graphic arts and printing at the Bandung Institute of Technology, Christine AY TJOE began her career in fabric & fashion design before turning to art.
Her work has been the subject of many exhibitions, but the one at the Saatchi Gallery in London in 2011 undoubtedly had a leverage effect on her career. Indeed, since the beginning of 2011, sales of Christine Ay Tjoe works have posted an unprecedented surge with more than 15 works selling between $50,000 and $257,000, including her auction record for Langit – Langit Merah (Red Ceiling) at more than $257,000. Buyers who invested in 2006 when her Generation 01 sold for less than $3,400 (at Christie’s, Hong Kong, 26 November) will be pleased to know that a painting from the same year and with the same dimensions entitled Bertujuh #1 (The Seven #1) fetched roughly $168,000 at Sotheby’s Hong Kong on 2 April 2012. With supply and demand booming, the young artist easily found her place in this ranking beside Nyoman Masriadi, winning the four remaining places.

In addition to being at the heart of a bubbling Asian market, benefiting from the strong support of local collectors and carrying more affordable prices than their Chinese peers, Indonesians artists have the advantage of knowing how to export their work. The “Carte Blanche” exhibition has continued to flourish in recent years all over the world, increasing their visibility and generating additional demand. It is therefore a market that deserves close attention and one in which the very young generation is already producing a pack of new stars like Ariadhitya PRAMUHENDRA (born in 1984) who has just joined the stable of the Emmanuel Perrotin gallery and already signed an auction record of nearly $93,000 in 2010 for his monumental Holy Mass charcoal on canvas (150 x 700 cm) at Sotheby’s Hong Kong (4 October 2010).