Artist : Lee Man Fong (1913 – 1988) ===== Medium : Oil on Masonite board ===== Signature : Chinese poem & date at the upper right ===== Height : +/- 104 cm ===== Width : +/- 51 cm ===== Period/Date : 1978, acquired in 1978 ===== Country : China - Indonesia ===== Condition : Good ===== Re-Examined Date : 20th November 2018 ===== Authenticity# : P-1032/10/07/2001 ===== 1. RESEARCH & ESSAY =============== The present work exhibits a Balinese dancer that is exquisitely depicted as a woman wearing dance clothing, starting from “gelungan uleg” fully with complexities on top of her head, badong and pink necklace on her chest and neck, long “jarik” with batik design along with brownish “udet” on the lower part, as well as pink shawl unraveled lengthwise scattered to the floor. The dancer is adorned showing the Balinese “Kebyar” dance performed singly (solo). Two black lines of vertically Chinese poems and a red round seal mark are written on the upper left, and a red square seal mark on the lower right. All the scenes of this object are painted in greenish with bluish hue background showing a blank decoration space of the background. =============== With meticulous brush craftsmanship, Lee Man Fong produced this work by adopting Chinese art techniques “Gongbi”, worked carefully, in detail, beautifully and neatly, although parts of the tree are painted by freely expressive xieyi style. As a Chinese-born painter, Man Fong is very passionate at adopting themes by using Western techniques with a sense of Chinese art formats. Man Fong provides the scenes related to the art of beauty and Balinese life on the theme of the present work. The theme on the present work adopted a Balinese Kebyar Dancer. Balinese dance art has various types, including the types of such Kebyar dance. What differentiates between Kebyar dance and other Balinese dances, the suppressions of Kebyar Dance are the dancers itself interpreting the music feels with their facial expressions and supple moves. As a well-known painter who ever lived and stayed in Bali, Man Fong with his skillfully brushworks is able to record the dance show stage of a Balinese dancer with her clothes and full of ornament accessories as well as facial expressions and supple body moves as if following the music of Kebyar dance. =============== Born in Guangzhou, China, Lee Man Fong (1913 – 1988) is the pioneer artist of Indonesia-Singapore, who started learning painting since his childhood. Before relocating to Batavia (Jakarta) in 1932, Lee Man Fong studied art at the Anglo-Chinese School until 1929. Under Mei Yutian’s direction, the artist studied the Lingnan (岭南) style of Chinese brush painting, while he also studied oil painting under Huang Qingquan. When he arrived in Jakarta, his first career was a Dutch advertising firm Kolff, and then was a Chinese pianist in Batavia, now Jakarta. In 1941, Lee Man Fong was fully dedicated to be a professional painter. =============== In 1949, Man Fong received Malino scholarships from the Governor General of Netherlands Van Mook to deepen fine arts in the Country of the Windmills. Three of his works were well accepted. During his stay in Europe, he visited United Kingdom, France, Switzerland, Italia, Luxemburg and Belgium. This work cannot be separated from the inspiring results of his experience and adventure when he visited Bali Island and working briefly there in 1941. The works with the ‘Balinese Dance’ subject such as this become his masterpiece object, and the artist displayed them at various European countries till achieving success and fame as an international painter. Compare with Lee’s work entitled ‘Balinese Dance’ (103 x 49 cm), oil on board, sold at Sotheby’s Hong Kong, 8th June 2021, Lot. 2009, for HKD226,800, initially estimated between HKD180,000 – 260,000 (See fig. 1). Another entitled ‘Balinese Dancer’ (89.5 x 54 cm), was sold at Phillips Hong Kong, 27th May 2018, lot. 30, for HK$562,500, initially estimated between HK$220,000 – HK$350,000 (see fig. 2). ===============
Height : +/- 104 cm ========== Width : +/- 51 cm
PROVENANCE OF ARTWORK ========== Lo Wing Tjong (1851 – 1934) to Liem Guan Kwee (22th September 1901 – 25th March 1987) to Liem Syuhada (12th June 1927 – 22nd April 2000) to Current Owners (Descendants) The present painting was acquired directly from the artist in 18th August 1978 in Jakarta by Liem Guan Kwee (22th September 1901 – 25th March 1987), a son of Lo Wing Tjong (1851 – 1934), a Diplomat and Chinese community leader in Batavia under Guangxu reign (1875 – 1908). The acquisition of the present artwork was seven years after Lee Man Fong was retired from a Presidential Palace painter in President Soekarno’s reign. ========== In 2001, the present artwork was researched and authenticated by team of National Archaeology, Art and Culture Foundation in person deriving from Southeast Asia artworks, paintings and Chinese ceramics experts. The foundation itself was led by Professor Abu Ridho, an Asian art scholar and consultant, former curator of National Museum of Jakarta – Indonesia, and author of Chinese art books. The physical examination of this artwork and its authenticity is certified on an official letter of statement and agreement that was signed by professor and legalized by public notary ‘Royani, SH’, dated 8th April 2002. In 2004, the government of Republic of Indonesia recorded this legacy especially regarding with its authenticity, historical artwork and the ownership of property or legal rights. This artwork was appreciated and archived officially as a national cultural heritage object by Culture and Museum Agency of Government of Indonesia, Jakarta, number 863/-1-853.3, dated 14th April 2004. =========== In 2018, this artwork was re-researched by team of National Archaeology, Art and Culture Foundation. The team of experts in the respective field re-researched and re-analyzed this artwork by more elaborate manner. The re-research and re-analyzing include its technical or stylistic analysis, documentary research and comparison with similar artist or periods. All of them are relied on archives, art libraries and reputable art and antique commercial institutions or auction houses enabling to strongly establish its eligible quality and authenticity. ========== All documents and photos of its provenance and certificate of authenticity are included in separated page.
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The presented object appears to be a painting made in oil on a mansonite board with the measurements of 104 x 51 cm. The painting depicts a Balinese dancer. It appears to be made, signed, and stamped by LEE Man Fong (1913-1988). It differs in the style of the depiction from other works by LEE Man Fong.
Comparable objects were recently offered and sold on the international auction market. This piece is in good condition and there is no serious damage visible in the images provided.
A fair market estimation for an authentified artwork by Lee Man Fong would be between 30.000 to 60.000 USD.
This estimate is based on actual recent past recorded auction sales of comparable items. Retail "asking prices" can be higher and may vary.
An artwork of such high potential value requires further authentication research. This estimate is provided on the condition of authenticity.
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