Lot 218
  • 218


320,000 - 550,000 HKD
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  • Arin Dwihartanto Sunaryo
  • Qerramath
  • Signed and dated 2015; Signed three times, dated 2015 and 15 on the reverse
  • Pigmented resin and volcanic ash mounted on plexiglass panel (triptych)
  • Each: 180 by 155 by 4 cm; 70 3/4  by 61 by 1 1/2  in.Overall: 180 by 465 by 4 cm; 70 3/4  by 183 by 1 1/2  in.


Private Collection, Singapore


This work is in good overall condition as viewed. Unframed.
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Catalogue Note

It could be said that Arin Sunaryo’s art is driven by impatience. Qerramath is yet another dynamic, expressive work from his explorations in the resin medium, specifically chosen because of its rapid 15 minute drying time and its ability to form complex solid layers. Merging the aesthetic of Abstract Expressionist painting with industrial tools and application methods, Sunaryo has established a niche for himself as one of Indonesia’s most unconventional, inventive artists working today, with works included in the collections of the Guggenheim Museum in New York. The present piece is entirely composed of pigments and volcanic ash, mixed within the resin and scattered right until the moment it dries, creating a highly unique, unpredictable final product. It preserves a short, frenzied moment of inspiration, forever suspended in resin, as Sunaryo pushes the technical limits of expression in painting. The artist was born in 1970 in Bandung, studying fine art at the Bandung Institute of Technology and the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. It was in London that he first developed an enduring fascination for the movement and flow of liquids on canvas, starting with oils until his discovery of resin in 2008, which immediately became his visual trademark. His resins are fully synthetic and industrial-grade, allowing the artist to select exact shades from the entire CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and key/black) spectrum and tap into infinite colour possibilities, ultimately infusing his work with the greatest immediacy of colour.

In a marked tonal contrast from his previous work, Qerramath - as part of his Volcanic Ash series – is darker and more muted, bearing a colour palette dominated by blood red and black on a somber ash grey backdrop. All of this dwarfs the accents of white sparsely scattered across the panels, giving the work an ominous, looming atmosphere. The piece deliberately mimics the very moment of an eruption, ash and colour expanding across the frame uncontrolled. Sunaryo captures the paint in action; as different pigments mix together, they combine to yield diverse, complex shades, such as where the red bleeds into black to form subtle browns. As is characteristic of abstraction in art, rather than creating a naturalistic reproduction of this chaos, Sunaryo’s work instead strives to capture its random energy directly. The artist splashes and drips the pigmented resin onto the plexiglass panel, foregoing the restricting control of brushstrokes in favour of gravity and the material’s natural flow. His work therefore pays homage to the Abstract Expressionism of Jackson Pollock or Joan Mitchell, with intense, organic movement and forceful colours.

The resins in Qerramath also accumulate in layers – where the pigments are suspended in the midst of movement itself – giving the shapes dimension and a real, tactile quality. Even solidified, the paint retains its fundamental fluid form and glossiness. As Sunaryo himself explains, ‘In the first glance, it probably looks like a flat landscape, but when we take a careful look we see its deepness.’[1] Ultimately, his work captures the liminal shifts between the liquid and solid, and the static and kinetic - freezing a microsecond for posterity.

In Qerramath, Sunaryo fully embraces the ‘natural character’ of resin and the creative possibilities that chance and randomness offer. In the end, the artist fuses both the synthetic and natural to reinvent the Expressionist idiom on his own terms, creating a symphony of colour, shape and mood.

[1] Arin Sunaryo, as quoted in interview with IndoArtNow.