Home > Appraisal/Auctions, Asian Art, International, News/Events, Painting > SOUTHEAST ASIAN ARTISTS AT AUCTIONS


I neglected  to report  on one of my favorite fields  – SEA art by native as well as western artists who have settled in SEA- 20th century artists from Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia –  if Chinese paintings are too expensive for you, you may want to follow SEA art auctions  taking place in Hong Kong and Singapore. I can remember when an Affandi was not out of the question for a regular budget – now you would have to buy  his ink on paper drawings if you want to find something under $ 10,000/20,000.  And what about Theo Meier, Rudolf Bonnet, Walter Spies, Ari Smitt? The last Ari Smitt I appraised about four years ago, a large floral acrylic was approximately  $ 14,000 – but no more!   
Adrien-Jean Le Mayeur de Merpres was always more expensive but in the recent Christie’s  Hong Kong auction on May 30th,  a  painting titled  Temple Festival in Bali went for  US $ 989,450; his works  sold in the $ 300,000 to $ 400,000 range some five years ago. But not all paintings are readily sold.  It took me some time to broker a painting by the Philippine painter Tabuena but it was easy to sell a Fernando Amorsolo. 
There is an art market for artists from Cambodia and Thailand, right now mainly handled through dealers and prices have steadily gone up. While there is a large expatriate artist community in Bali, it is mainly  ethnic Thai and Cambodian painters. I have clients who wish to sell their Thai paintings from the 1960’s/1970’s and I will probably work on this soon!
A client asked me who commanded higher prices, the expats or the local artists? There are several artists like Affandi, and the eccentric  Indian artist Maqbool Fida Husain (although he died a Quatari national on June 9, 2011) who command very high prices – but not in comparison with Chinese artists.  I would say that with some exceptions, the expat artists sell for less at the moment. 
Christie’s has two sales for South Asian, Indian and SEA art. 1. South Asian Modern and Contemporary Art, September 13, 2011 in NYC, including quite a few Jamini Roy, some not too expensive, M.F. Husain ($ 300,000-$ 500,000), Souza (including several very interesting ink on paper drawings estimated under $ 3,000; and 2. Indian and Southeast Asian Art, September 13, 2011, NYC. I selected a few items that appealed to me……

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