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Sotheby's Sales of Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Paintings Totals US$13.8 Million
Numerous Artist Records Set Including Andres Barrioquinto, Samsul Arifin, Nguyen Gia Tri and Indieguerillas. Photo: Sotheby's.

HONG KONG.- Sotheby’s Spring 2011 sale of Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Paintings today fetched a stunning total of HK$108 million / US$13.8 million, tripling pre-sale estimate (HK$36 million / US$4.6 million*). The sale set the world record for any Contemporary Southeast Asian Painting at auction and for the artist, when the thought-provoking piece – Grayground by Filipino artist Ronald Ventura sold for HK$8.4 million / US$1.1 million. There was strong interest in important and top quality artworks, proved by active participation in the room and over the phone throughout the sale, which led to numerous artist records, including Hendra Gunawan, Andres Barrioquinto, Samsul Arifin, Nguyen Gia Tri and Indieguerillas.

MOK Kim Chuan, Sotheby’s Head of Southeast Asian Paintings said, “Today’s total of HK$108 million set a record for a sale of Southeast Asian Paintings at Sotheby’s, established numerous artist records, and proves that quality pieces fresh to the market continue to be coveted. Our strong results both for established names and for younger artists making their first appearance at auction demonstrate a market in a healthy state of expansion. The top price of HK$16,340,000 paid for Indonesian artist Hendra Gunawan’s Penari Ular (Snake Dancer) came after an extended bidding battle and was many multiples of the pre-sale estimate, setting a record for the artist. The most extraordinary bidding competition of the day was for Filipino artist Ronald Ventura’s Grayground, a tour de force of hyperrealism and graffiti, was competed for by at least 15 bidders before selling for HK$8,420,000, over 24 times its high estimate, setting a record for the artist and for any Contemporary Southeast Asian Painting at auction. These prices and others, such as the HK$275,000 paid for A Song for Alice by Jon Jaylo (est. HK$60,000) who was making his first appearance at auction, show the value of auction for top pieces. Our debut photography/new media session was well received, and our collecting base is growing with younger collectors entering and competing for new media pieces.”

Bidding opened at HK$300,000 and after around 50 furious bids, Grayground eventually sold at an astonishing price at HK$8.4 million / US$1.1 million, which is over 24 times its high estimate to a phone bidder. (The previous record for Contemporary Southeast Asian Painting was achieved by Sotheby’s Hong Kong when I Nyoman Masriadi’s The Man from Bantul (The Final Round) sold for HK$7,820,000 / US$1,000,725 in October 2008).

Top lot of the sale, Hendra Gunawan’s Snake Dancer (Penari Ular), sold for HK$16.3 million / US$2.1 million (high est. HK$2.2 / US$283,000), setting world record for the artist at auction. The price leaped from a starting offer of HK$800,000 to HK$7 million in the first minute and eventually fetched HK$16.3 million after intense bidding, over seven times its high estimate (HK$2.2 million / US$283,000).

The sale of Fine Chinese Paintings will continue tomorrow at 10am at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

* Estimates do not include buyer’s premium

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