Jackfruits Seller by the Beach, by Hendra Gunawan (1918 – 1983)

May 27, 2022. 14:19 UTC
Jackfruits Seller by the Beach, by Hendra Gunawan (1918 – 1983)


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Note: I can not upload the PDF file regarding with documents and photos of Certificate of Authenticity and Provenance. ============= 1. RESEARCH & ESSAY In 1957, Hendra was a lecturer at the Indonesian Fine Art Academy (ASRI) in Yogyakarta. At the same time, the artist also involved in the establishment of LEKRA (Lembaga Kebudayaan Rakyat) or People’s Institution of Culture. LEKRA was immensely associated to ideology of PKI (Partai Komunis Indonesia) or Indonesian Communist Party. After only eight years of his activity in LEKRA, the bloody massacre of 10th September 1965 movement imploded upon his country – Indonesia inflicting he was imprisoned in 1965 in Kebun Waru – Bandung – West Java after the banned PKI party was accused to be a party on coup attempt against Soekarno’s government. Incarcerated from 1965–1978, Hendra Gunawan kept painting and creating his works by using the rough canvases with subjects reflecting the lower-class society’s struggle, patience for a harmonized family, and other social life’s activities, such as fish mongers, merchants, and family’s or villager’s activities. His oeuvres executed in behind the prison were mostly signed with his typical name’s signature, date of creation with a mark “KW” as an acronym of Kebun Waru, the name of the prison house where the artist passed his life during 1965 - 1978. =============== Entitled ‘Jackfruits Seller by the Beach’, the present work was painted by Hendra Gunawan in 1974 in behind the jail. With his underlying passion and talent for painting, the present painting evoked a unique sense of style on its own. The present work is a unique aesthetic associated with form of expression or application of Hendra's creative skill and imagination. Thickly execution and spontaneous brushstrokes with contrasting and vivid colors spark the contoured elegance on the current painting. Although his expressionistic artwork was fairly simplistic in first sight, Hendra still put his attention towards the color composition’s balance between the main figure of the painting as a focal point and its surroundings, so that the viewers could develop their focus on what the messages the artist was trying to convey. Since his career, Hendra Gunawan has not dramatically changed his choice of themes in his works. Hendra executed his works revealing people in contexts of work activity and play, life struggle, in celebration events, and wars. The women figures depicted on Hendra's works are various types, which are not clearly distinguishable individuals and there is ample substance for a fascinating discussion of their many roles and meanings. =============== The present artwork is brightly painted in bold and free brushstrokes applying the earthy vibrant colors, predominantly in blue, beige, green, black with tranquil blue and sea green with boat bustle activity around the mountainous scene in the background. She is depicted in sitting on a large rock and selling the soursop fruits and, from a distance, several people are seemed to be unloading fishes near two sailboats that were ported in the bay. The woman figure is created and stylized in unique facial, expressive body movement, big hips, and graceful long thin arms with big feet calves. The figure enraptures representing a mothering beauty, voluptuous busty, her undulating body wrapped in bright-colored batik cloth. Her body is related to that of Wayang or shadow puppet performance from Javanese culture, the handcrafted characters made out of buffalo or cow leather. The viewers may see her body that is famously known for the characters of Ramayana and Mahabharata in shadow puppet performance. Hendra made the present woman’s body as a source of inspiration that is never exhausted. This unique woman body is often interpreted by admirers with a variety of interpretations, which not only interpret their aspects of sensuality. =============== The amazing aspect of this visual art is her kebaya and jarik that are painted in intricate execution resembling Javanese batik style, a fabric that uses the wax-resist dyeing technique celebrated for its vibrancy of colors and patterning. It is undoubtedly that the present painting elucidates the influences of wayang and batik style and the viewers can perceive an audacious simplification of forms. The contrasting areas of brilliantly lit colors are also used for a marvelously decorative effect representing batik style, and a strong rhythmical surface design that also illustrates a quality of the cloth. The present work illuminates a consistent theme, which is inexhaustible commemoration about woman and annunciates the mysterious poetic meaning in everyday life of woman in ‘Jackfruits Seller by the Beach'. =============== Hendra Gunawan’s paintings are frequently depicted with coastal indigenous people living in close relationship with their environments, ocean and beach. ‘Jackfruits Seller by the Beach' subject on current painting is unique and remarkable example of Hendra Gunawan oeuvre, bearing all the hallmarks of the artist’s characteristic style. Soursop fruits (Annona muricata) are dark green, ovoid and have a whitish and aromatic flesh that are usually peddled by women in the artist’s country. The women from the lower-class society frequently support their husbands earning a living for his family. Hendra Gunawan’s artworks with in the market keep on being very strong and on growth with stellar results in the art markets such as Christie’s Hong Kong and Sotheby’s Hong Kong. Compare with his work, entitled ‘Girl with Jacfruit’, (133 x 87 cm.), sold at Christie’s Hong Kong, 25th November 2007, lot. 100, for HKD 1,087,500, initially estimated between HKD 400,000 – HKD 550,000 (see fig. 1).


Height : +/- 149 cm ========== Width : +/- 99 cm


2. PROVENANCE =============== PROVENANCE OF ARTWORK: Lo Wing Tjong (1851 – 1934) to Liem Guan Kwee (22th September 1901 – 25th March 1985) to Liem Syuhada (12th June 1927 – 22nd April 2000) to Current Owners (Descendants) =============== The present painting was acquired directly from the artist on March 1974 in Bandung 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) of China. The acquisition of the present happened when the artist was imprisoned in Kebun Waru (KW), Bandung, West Java. As Liem Guan Kwee was an art and antique dealer, she travelled around the nation and visited the renowned artists, like Hendra Gunawan, to acquire the valuable artworks for his business and collection at that time. =============== 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 that had been researched by team of National Archaeology, Art and Culture Foundation and signed by Prof. Abu Ridho on Certificate of Authenticity, the present work was also re-researched by one of great grandsons, Faisal Hasan, who was graduated from Master of Art (MA) Program of LASALLE College of the Arts – Singapore with subject of Asian Art Histories. The great grandson re-examined and re-analyzed this artwork by more elaborate manner. This re-examination includes 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.

Answered within about 19 hours
May 28, 08:59 UTC
By George

Fair Market Value

$180,000 - $250,000 USD

Suggested Asking Price

$200,000 USD
What does this mean?

Dear Faisal.

Thank you for your help and patience.

The presented object appears to be a painting made in oil paint on canvas with the measurements of 149 x 99 cm.
The painting depicts a woman sitting at the beach and holding a jackfruit in her hands. This artwork has the title "Jackfruit Seller" and is signed and dated in the right lower corner. This painting appears to be made by Hendra GUNAWAN (1918-1983) and comes from a private collection.
Comparable objects in size and motif by Hendra Gunawan were recently offered and sold on the international auction market. 

This piece is in good condition and there is no severe damage visible in the images provided.

A fair market estimation for an authentified artwork by Hendra GUNAWAN (1918-1983) would be between 180.000 to 250.000 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.

With kind regards,


This is a conditional appraisal, which means that we have not verified the authenticity of this item. Click here to learn more about the authentication resources that Mearto offers.
Faisal hasan, ma May 28, 15:12 UTC

Dear George,
The measurement of this painting is: Height: 149 cm, and Width: 99 cm.

Best regards,

This item is for sale

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