Indonesian Art in Demand.

Art Stage Singapore had an undeniable success in January as the media report an increase in visitors, participants as well as strong sales. Owing to the fair’s platform format, rather than typical booth layout, it gives the opportunity for smaller galleries and emerging artists to showcase their work and allow them to have a better access to collectors.

Those strong sales could not have occurred if not for the fair’s added effort to attract the “right quality of collectors”. Indeed, according to various art news reports, collectors were more eager to ask for overall information of the artists and their plans for the future. One gallerist present at the fair hoped that “collectors will be keener to collect artists who are focused, determined and resilient in achieving their artistic ambition.” (For more information visit link form Art Radar).

Sussing out and inviting passionate and knowledgeable collectors to the fair is imperial for emerging artists. The purchases of influential collectors will factor in determining the future trends and value of these artists.

” Prominent collectors can influence what others collectors buy and can ultimately boost an individual artist’s market” (Wagner, E & Wagner, T, 2013. Collecting Art for Love, Money and More)

This enthusiasm from the part of the collector, to understand the artist’s art and future ideas, seem to have reversed the value markers in terms of collector’s activity. Before, the buying factors involved knowledge and connoisseurship, with the hope that one day the artist will become of historical importance. Today, on the contrary, agents look at price trends; thus signifying if the work is expensive the artist is successful. Nonetheless, at the fair, the former aesthetic factors seem to dominate the monetary ones, which will probably help Southeast Asian contemporary art to attract more international buyers.

This trend seems to be occurring, as Indonesian art was a popular sale at the fair. The demand for Indonesian art used to be mostly a homegrown affair. Now, however, this is changing  as collectors from Hong Kong, London and Berlin are training their sights on the country. This is good news for Indonesian art since the country has an underdeveloped arts infrastructure. According to Bloomberg, “The Indonesian Association of Art Galleries consists of only 18 dealers, and there are no public contemporary-art museums in this country of 253 million.” Lorenzo Rudolf, the founder of Art Stage Sinagpore, adds that there may be a strong number of artists and collectors, yet there are no structures to support it.

Here are some of the most popular Indonesian artists at Art Stage Singapore and who you should keep an eye out for:

Heri Dono

He is one of Indonesia’s best known contemporary artists as a painter, sculptor and installation artist, represented by the London Gallery Rossi Rossi. The artist is mostly recognised for his installations influenced by popular Javanese folk theatre, cartoons and animation. He creates astonishing characters and strange juxtapositions, joined by the everyday to comment on political social issues. To view his paintings please visit Rossi Ross Gallery link. Browsing through many of his paintings, they are indeed theatrical, disturbing yet humouristic. The bright and dominant colours of green and red do engage the viewer. His art work presented at the fair, titled “Extraterrestrial Troops”, was an omnibus of contemporary figures (such as artists, prominent leaders and other agents of change) riding in a fleet of glass vehicles, each with an anonymous navigator, wearing a green frog mask in a enactment of the film “The Mask” (1994).

Heri Dono, Extraterrestrial Troops, 20 pieces. From: (Photo credit: Art Stage).

Heri Dono, Extraterrestrial Troops, 20 pieces.
From: (Photo credit: Art Stage).

Christine Ay Tjoe

Ay Tjoe is from Bandung, West Java, and is one of Indonesia’s most prominent female artists. She was represented by Ota Fine Arts at the fair, who is proud to announce that it will be its mother gallery this year. The artist has experimented and mastered the dry-point technique, which is a printing method where a design is etched directly on a metal printing metal. This has thus taught her the importance of lines.  Consequently, lines and curves have become significant in the structure of her works on paper and canvas. Her work presents itself as delicate, melancholic yet possesses movement and pace, resulting in an interesting sensorial experience. Ay Tjoe proved popular at the fair for her “Big Portion Only for the Red” (2013) painting:

Big Portion Only for the Red, 2013, Oil on canvas, 150x165cm

Big Portion Only for the Red, 2013, Oil on canvas, 150x165cm

I Nyoman Masriadi

I Nyoman Masriadi lives and works in Jogiakarta and is represented by Paul Kasmin Gallery. He is also a prominent Indonesian contemporary artist and specialises in acrylic painting. He offers immediacy and humour as he comments satirically on the human condition. He achieves this by depicting superhuman figures which narratives offer witty and often biting social commentary on contemporary life and global popular culture. One of his most notable works is “The Man From Bantul” (The Final Round), which  sold for five times its estimated price at  US$1,000,725 at Sotheby’s (Hong Kong).


Yunizar‘s work stands out in terms of colour, texture, brushwork and rhythm. His works are highly tactile that entices the viewer to feel the piece. The play of lines and textures coming together to create clear rhythms and strong compositions, as well as the predominant colours of yellow, brown and green, remind me of the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring. In reality, Indonesian art is partly recognised by Jogja surrealism, which is part of Yogyakarta where Yunizar studied art making. Jogja surrealism is greatly inspired by the 1980s, thus explaining some elements of the two artists mentioned. However, the play of lines is influenced by abstract expressionism movement.

Veteran Bintang (Star Veteran), 2014, Bronze, 51x29x75cm, 3 ed 2 ap. From:

Veteran Bintang (Star Veteran), 2014, Bronze, 51x29x75cm, 3 ed 2 ap. (Present at Art Stage Singapore) From:

Pose I, 2011, Acrylic in canvas, 100x200cm. From:
Pose I, 2011, Acrylic in canvas, 100x200cm. From:


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