Lot 254
  • 254

Handiwirman Saputra

500,000 - 800,000 HKD
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  • Handiwirman Saputra
  • Menahan I (Supporting I)
  • Signed and dated 2007; Signed, titled and dated 2007 on the reverse
  • Acrylic on canvas
  • 165 by 165 cm.; 65 by 65 in.


Kuala Lumpur, Valentine Willie Fine Art, Cilukba! (Peekaboo!): An Exhibition By Kelompok Seni Rupa Jendela (Jendela Art Group), May 26 - June 16, 2007


This painting is in good condition overall. There are indications of minor wear and handling around the edges. There are a spots of brown media accretions throughout the surface, but unobtrusive. Under ultraviolet light inspection there is no evidence of restoration. The colors to this work has a slight warmer pink tone in reality than the catalogue illustrated. Unframed, on stretcher.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.

Catalogue Note

Handiwirman Saputra has attracted much global enthusiasm for his oeuvre, for the works are visually intriguing, while inspiring a creative dialogue between the artist and his audience. A combination of two-dimensional and three-dimensional pieces, they are a marriage of surrealist aesthetics with found objects to establish an artistic narrative. Saputra is widely recognized for his works that embrace a mostly white colour scheme, with the compositions possessing a certain depth within the constrictive paradigm. The colour white transcends its presumed limitations, creating pieces that are luminous, and seemingly alive, within their existing frames.

A key member of the artist association Kelumpok Jendela (Jendela Group), Saputra has established himself as a fresh voice in Indonesia’s contemporary art scene. Unlike his peers the artwork is not encouraged by political or economical issues, rather Saputra finds inspiration within the objects themselves. Reminiscent of Marcel Duchamp’s ideology of transforming readymade objects into works of art, Saputra’s oeuvre are a collection of seemingly disconnect items that find a rebirth within the artist’s creative vision. Be it sculptures or paintings, the artist has enabled the viewer, through the method of free association, to apply meaning onto the given narratives.

The present painting Menahan I (Support I) perfectly exemplifies the artist’s philosophy. A humanoid figure inhabits the work, his white form standing alone within a white frame. Only the presence of what may be a scrunched up piece of paper (also white), briefly diverts the viewer’s attention from the scene that is quietly being played out. Save for the enigmatic presence of the figure, whose head is gently turned as if to question the viewer, or perhaps to receive an answer, the painting is absent of familiar signs or symbols.

Saputra acknowledges that sometimes the titles chosen for the works rarely share similarities with the stories themselves. Menahan I (Support I) may confirm this dynamic, for the being that occupies the canvas has the viewer questioning what the artist had in mind when he produced the painting. It may be said that Saputra inspires the artistic narrative, however it is the public’s want to fill in the blanks, within a subjective discourse, that provides the narrative with its own unique structure.

Many of the artist’s paintings are visual interpretations of actual objects placed in real time situations. Saputra’s creative technique is to pair foreign items, photograph the new creation, and than subsequently paint what he sees in the celluloid image. This three-step system serves to separate the object from its origins, cast it off into a new reality, and incite a fresh relationship between the subject and its viewer. Menahan I (Support I) is the result of such process.

By placing familiar shapes and forms out of context, Saputra has redefined how the public interacts with their environment. Therefore the title of the current work may in fact be referencing the audience, rather than the anonymous figure. The artist has gifted the viewer with a fresh perspective, ultimately influencing how he as the onlooker chooses to interpret the paradigm in question.