Sotheby’s Hong Kong online auction, Figure and Form: Modern Art Featuring Bridging Generations, Property from an Important Southeast Asian Private Museum focuses on works that capture the spirit of artists from the 20th century, as well as the various ways in which they challenged established norms of figurative practice, creating new and wholly modern forms of art.
Among many highlights in this auction are works from ‘Bridging Generations’, a single-owner grouping of Southeast Asian modern and contemporary art. This collection features iconic works by Srihadi Sudarsono, Adrien-Jean Le Mayeur de Merprès, Rudolf Bonnet, Sunaryo, Mangu Putra and Lee Man Fong.
The sale also includes a selection of modern portraits, which range from Walasse Ting’s exuberant paintings of women to Chiu Ya-Tsai’s introspective depictions of solitary figures. These works are joined by delightful depictions of animals, with auspicious rabbits, soaring birds, majestic elephants, and other wild beasts mediating our understanding of our relationship with nature. Sculptural works by Lai Chi Man, Dolorosa Sinaga, Ahmad Sadali, and Sunaryo are also offered in the sale, as well as editioned works by Asian Modern masters Sanyu, Chu Teh-Chun, Zao Wou-Ki, Fan Ho, presenting both new and seasoned collectors the opportunity to acquire works by some of the most recognisable names of the Modern era.
Art is the key to bridging generations within a community, with works that express shared ideas of beauty and experiences of diverse cultures. Following the strong result of Sotheby’s Modern Art October series, in which Hendra Gunawan’s Fish Market from the same grouping achieved HK$9 million, this sale presents the second iteration of ‘Bridging Generations: Property from an Important Southeast Asian Private Museum’, a single-owner grouping of modern and contemporary art, a passion project that seeks to create a strong sense of cultural identity and a powerful connection between art and the community. Among the many highlights are Srihadi Sudarsono’s Dinamika Legong which expresses the aesthetic and transcendental principles of Indonesian dance, and Rudolf Bonnet’s Farmer from Njuh Kuning, which reveals his incessant curiosity and unyielding commitment to studying the lives of the Balinese communities, joined by Lee Man Fong’s enigmatic portrait of a Tibetan village girl.
藝術讓人互相分享對美的看法以及不同的文化經歷，因此藝術對社區而言，是世代之間溝通的關鍵。承接「跨世代・東南亞重要私人美術館珍藏」於蘇富比現代藝術 10月拍賣的驕人成績——其中亨德拉・古拿溫《魚市》 以港幣9,000,000高價成交，本次拍賣再度呈獻「跨世代」收藏。從這個收藏的內涵可見，原藏家熱愛藝術並希望以藝術建立更強烈的文化認同感，建構藝術與社區之間的連繫。拍賣亮點包括斯裡哈迪・蘇達索諾描繪出印尼舞蹈的美感與靈性昇華特質的《雷貢舞》、反映出魯道夫・邦尼對峇里島人文風情的無限嚮往與探究熱情的《Farmer from Njuh Kuning》，以及李曼峯滿有神秘色彩的藏族村莊姑娘畫像。
Artists have always been inspired by holding a mirror to themselves and others. The advent of photography as a medium changed the way artists in the 20th century approached portraiture, and as a result, they pushed the boundaries of the art form and took artistic liberties that deviated from strict verisimilitude. Thanks to their stylistic innovations, these faces have been immortalized in way that are at times realistic representations or symbolic expressions of the artist’s relationship to the subject. Walasse Ting's vibrant work reflects the artist’s joie de vivre and an open appreciation for beauty – of flowers, women, or nature. The worlds of André Brasilier are often populated by musicians and beautiful women, while Chiu Ya-Tsai’s lonely portraits offer hints to the artist’s own inner world, and Tony Wong’s figures exist in mysterious realms that that evoke fables and mythology.
“A landscape will alter according to the mood of the person who sees it, and in order to represent that particular scene, the artist will produce a picture that expresses his own personal feelings. It is these feelings which are crucial: nature is merely the means of conveying them.”
Landscapes are a means for the artists to express inner states of being. While Le Mayeur identified as an impressionist, who sought to emulate beauty through the use of colour and light, his idyllic compositions offered a sense of remove from the pressures of modernity and the violence of a war that deeply affected him. Pang Jiun, who also admired and studied the works of Claude Monet, sought in his own work to blend fragments of memories with the expressive forms of Western art and the spiritual tones of Chinese literati painting. Arie Smit had the soul of a romantic wanderer, travelling extensively throughout Indonesia, capturing the beauty of the archipelago in vibrant depictions of nature. His use of colour plays with visual perception, recreating a landscape that is partly a memory and partly imagined.
The popularity of animals as a source of inspiration to artists for centuries has always been matched by the enthusiasm of those who may have commissioned their depiction, as well as collectors. The impulse to assign symbolism to animals is linked to our awareness of what it means to be human, and this understanding connects art and cultures throughout history. Depictions of animals were projections of allegories, aesthetic muses or symbols of creation – reinforcing widely-held mythology or beliefs. While Lee Man Fong’s Rabbits summon luck and the soaring bird in Popo Iskandar’s Burung signifies freedom and eternity, the magnificent elephants by the temple in Adrien Jean Le Mayeur’s Udaipur represents wisdom and royal power.
We take a look at highlights of works that express form and figure in sculptural or three-dimensional language – executed by different artists working in the 20th century.
The sale presents editioned works by Asian Modern masters Sanyu, Chu Teh-Chun, Zao Wou-Ki, Fan Ho, offering both new and seasoned collectors the opportunity to acquire works by some of the most recognisable names of the Modern era.