428
428
Lee Man Fong
BALINESE WEAVER
Estimate
1,800,0002,800,000
LOT SOLD. 2,600,000 HKD
JUMP TO LOT
428
Lee Man Fong
BALINESE WEAVER
Estimate
1,800,0002,800,000
LOT SOLD. 2,600,000 HKD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Art

|
Hong Kong

Lee Man Fong
1913-1988
BALINESE WEAVER
Signed, inscribed and dated 41
Oil on Masonite board
61 by 83 cm; 24 by 32 3/4  in.
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

Sotheby's Singapore, 16 April 2006, Lot 168
Acquired by the present owner from the above sale
Private Collection, Singapore

Exhibited

Indonesia, Lee Man Fong - Solo Exhibition, Hotel Des Indes, Jakarta, 1941

Literature

Ho Kung-Shan, Art Book Co. Ltd., The Oil Paintings of Lee Man Fong, Taiwan, 1984, p. 116, pl. WB 61, monochrome

Art Retreat, Lee Man Fong: Oil Paintings, Art Retreat Ltd, Singapore, 2005, Volume I, p. 167, monochrome

Catalogue Note

Lee Man Fong is regarded as being an important part of Indonesia’s history of modern art. He moved to Indonesia in 1932, before relocating to Bali where he stayed for many years. The artist’s paintings dedicated to Bali can be seen as a collective study of the archipelago, sharing insight into the island culture from a foreign perspective. Lee Man Fong was especially interested in village life, notably the women and their domestic routines. More sociological portraits than voyeuristic depictions, he represented the women in a respectful light, engaging in daily activities, and oblivious to the outside gaze of the audience.

The present work Balinese Weaver is an exceptionally rare piece from the artist’s oeuvre. The 1941 date of the piece, the socio-realist style that is reminiscent of Rembrandt, as well as the choice medium used, all provide valuable insight into the origins of Lee Man Fong’s weaver motif. This particular female archetype featured prominently in the Balinese works, as if the artist was trying to capture the energy of the weaver, as much as he wanted to accurately represent the female spirit. Weaver is an early rendition of the female weaver motif, and shows the artist experimenting with composition, colors and aesthetics.

During this period in his career, Lee Man Fong’s color palette revolved around earthy hues, perhaps an instinctive need to become more familiar with the island’s natural landscape. Works created a few years later would see the arrival of brighter colors, such as red, orange, and green. Colors found in the tropical flora and fauna, as well as in the women’s scarves and sarongs. As Balinese Weaver pre-dates this development in his paintings, the work is a revealing look into Lee Man Fong’s artistic maturation, and the development of specific motifs that would come to define his Balinese paintings.

Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Art

|
Hong Kong