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paintings 29 May, 2022
Gibbon with Her Babies on Rockwork, by Lee Man Fong (1913 – 1988)
Note: I can not upload the Certificate of Authenticity and provenance documents and photos in PDF file. ================= This piece was appraised by in 4th November 2015. ============ 1. RESEARCH & ESSAY ================ The painting art can be traced back to pre-historic periods, which the human's fingers were used as a paintbrush on the cave walls. When it comes to a steady movement of painting art world in nineteenth century, Indonesian artists learned and mastered the styles of European painting. Watercolors is one the most frequently medium to use, and their works bare the gorgeous landscape and romantic themes, which was similar to European paintings. ================ In modern era, there were numerous talented watercolor artists in Indonesia, and they increased on daily basis in the post-war II eras. However, there was a unique style of painting that combines the European art techniques with Chinese art format, like what a Chinese-born artist, Lee Man Fong executed on the present work. This artist’s oeuvre was considered as one of the newly born works in post-war era influenced by ink philosophy, Western technique of oil on canvas, and social change of surrounding environment composed in Chinese art format. The present painting brings the viewers closer to a sublimity taste, and it is that this aesthetic legacy also shares the traditional Chinese painting format and Western technique with an effusive cultural Chinese message. ================ Entitled “Gibbon with Her Babies on Rockwork”, Lee Man Fong meticulously painted the animals by featuring their short tail, long hands, and the body is covered with white-shaded beige fur, while the upper side of its head and face are painted in blackish. Two large gibbons are depicted in squatting on an oak tree branch and precipitously rocks, which one of them shows enfolding her baby and another biting the food. Large rock and oak trees around them are depicted in whitish green-shaded dark with the green and beige background. On the upper right of the painting, the artist writes his signature in black Chinese character with a red square seal mark, while red rectangle seal mark is also written on the upper right side. ================ Born in Guangzhou, China, in 14th November 1913, Lee Man Fong trained both in China and in Western Europe. He lived much of his life in Indonesia, and developed a principally style that blends together a variety of sources for his quite yet passionate vision. Like the present work, the artist frequently turned Chinese brushwork and technique in Nanyang style, but he depended on Western visual practices. The present work certainly was completed after the artist studied the original works of European masters such as Rembrandt van Rijn and Vincent van Gogh when he received the Malino scholarship to Netherlands. Like the present work painted in 1964, Man Fong blended Western art technique with Chinese painting art format expressing a tendency to create the atmospheric effect prevalent in Chinese style ink on paper paintings. To show characteristic taste of Chinese arts, Man Fong embellishes the flavor of tastes by applying the xieyi free-hand style to the twigs of the trees, emitting natural result of the beauty. The artist then combines it with a careful realist style or Gongbi style on the animal figures that represent the beauty of art in Western technique of oil on canvas. ================ On the present work, the artist also composes the multiple representations of perspective creating a dynamic composition that encompasses the viewer in full. The focal point on the present work is not fully the landscape, but it is that of animals in nature around rocks, and trees depicted in crisp detail scrutinizing the viewers of this work. By gazing into the focal point, the figures of gibbon transform from crisp detail to soft brushstrokes on background that establish linear depth. Lee Man Fong experimented with Eastern-style oil painting at the age of 25 in 1937 and decisively committed himself to the incorporation of eastern elements in his paintings in the 1940s. The gibbon’s images are depicted in detail and beautifully full of allure. The gibbons are exquisitely rendered, and the technique of laying on paint or pigment are applied thickly so that it stands out from a surface glaring a great sense of verisimilitude. They are also depicted colorfully alive, vividly realistic and capable of evoking intense emotions despite some parts of old tree and its twigs on this work are painted in slightly simple narrative. The artist set the varied poses of gibbons with their realistic expressions and actions that are complemented by the expressive texture of fur rendered ingeniously with light and dark as well as wet and dry application of paint. The brushstrokes for the oak trees branch and precipitously rock in the setting are also exhibited in natural and precise format. ================ By taking the Chinese root sources of his works frequently, Lee Man Fong represents the subject on this work that gibbon on the present work is cultural symbol of wealth and abundance and celebrated as one of its most important animal symbols. As one of the painter's favorite animal painting subjects, the gibbon or apes is a Chinese cultural symbol of fun, activity, charm and an energetic nature and it is celebrated as one of its most important animal symbols. In his considerable oeuvre, Lee Man Fong oftentimes created a significant number of animal paintings which express the importance and continuing relevance of Chinese culture and its meaning in his life and works. ================ The gibbon or monkey is considered as one of important subjects playing the significant roles in Chinese culture for over two thousand years. The pictorial painting depicting the gibbons were available on Chinese hanging scroll ink on silk in the Southern Song dynasty (1127 – 1279 AD). For example, a Hanging Scroll ink on silk entitled “A Gibbon with Her Baby on A Pine Branch”, was painted by the Chinese artist Muqi (1210 – 1269 AD) during Southern Song dynasty (see fig. 1).1) In the Ming dynasty, the gibbon images also appeared on the handscroll paintings on paper. See the scroll entitled “Gibbons at Play” was painted by the Xuande emperor of Ming dynasty in 1427 AD, and now is in The National Palace Museum, Taipei (see fig. 2).2) The Xuande Emperor of Ming dynasty was known as an accomplished painter, particularly he was skilled at painting animals like the gibbons on the present work. ================ The visualization of the subject on this work indeed exceptionally draws people’s attention to Lee's ability to be a talent artist presenting the animal life in teaching affection, yearning and relationship care for human life. Man Fong also reveals the legend of gibbon as the symbol of the power of innovation and being able to quickly solve the problems as well as conceive how to socialize well in order to be able to achieve their goals expeditiously. Gibbon has become Lee’s beloved and highly sought-after work in Europe and Hong Kong. However, the subject depicting the gibbons like on the current Lee Man Fong’s work is extremely rare for its medium of oil on canvas, as opposed to Lee's more common working in oil on masonite board. The present work painted oil on canvas is exceptionally one of the most celebrated Lee’s gibbon paintings derived from ancient Chinese “gibbon” handscroll paintings of all times of his life and career. The artist’s work painted oil on canvas were completed albeit in a small number, and it was sought-after by collectors. ================ Citation: 1. Gibbon paintings in China, Japan, and Korea: Historical distribution, production rate and context, Gibbon Journal Nr. 4 – 2008, Thomas Geissmann, Anthropological Institute, University Zürich-Irchel, Winterthurerstr. 190, CH–8057 Zürich, Switzerland, 2008, p. 2. ================ 2. The gibbon in China: an essay in Chinese animal lore, Robert Hans van Gulik, E.J. Brill, Leiden, Holland, 1967, p. 95.
Estimate: $25,000 - $50,000
paintings 29 May, 2022
Picking and Gathering Flowers in The Lush Garden, by: Adrien J. Le Mayeur (1880 – 1958)
Note: I can not upload the Certificate of Authenticity, provenance and photos documents since this website does not support PDF file. =============== 1. RESEARCH & ESSAY=============== Acclaimed as the most well-known impressionism painter, Adrien Jean Le Mayeur de Merprès ((9 February 1880 – 31 May 1958) was celebrated as a Belgian-born artist who was proud of his adventure in idyllic places in the world, and Bali island was a throne place he decided for his dwelling. Le Mayeur arrived in Banjar Kelandis village - Bali in 1933, and after renting a house at Banjar Kelandis, he later set up a house with its lush garden as his studio in Sanur village, then finally settled there for his scintillating career as a painter. He was greeted with rapturous beauty of island and geniality of its habitants. He was lured on a young gorgeous girl, a 15-year-old graceful Legong dancer Ni Wayan Polok Tjoglik (1917-1985) or her nickname “Ni Pollok”, for his alluring model and muse in deep love and affection. After three years of their first meeting and working together, Le Mayeur and Pollok got married in 1935. Ni Pollok became the source of inspiration from Le Mayeur’s exotic painting. As his aspiration for his paintings, unsurprisingly, Le Mayeur captured Ni Pollok and maidens depicted as scene of bare-breasted Balinese women in an exotic garden on the present work. =============== Entitled to “Picking Flowers in The Lush Garden”, the artist depicted four young bare-breasted women gathering frangipani petals among blossom trees. The artist executed this work in moderate impressionist style, while the elaborately motifs was painted in dense and short brushstroke with brilliantly earthy palette predominantly in orange and red, beige, green, beige and white to emphasize the lighting effects and figure posing for daily life in the richly lush garden of his villa in Sanur - Bali. Inspired from the late impressionists’ style and pallet, the present painting is dreamy but unimaginative romance of exotic womanhood, a sort of languorous tropical Renoir. “Although his work depicts daily life in Bali, he is still an exponent of late European impressionism, which favors a gentle, earthy palette of yellow, brown, beige and soft blue which is in contrast to the red, pink, orange and purple accents”.1) =============== His oeuvre of the present painting is painted in rapid and spontaneously brushstroke with ecstatic vibrancy displaying a bright visual composed in balance to the orange and red subject with grayish white in the background. The subject was composed in the lush garden set in front of his house’s outdoor that was aesthetically built as a tropical paradise on earth with abundance of flowering plants, including its exuberant frangipani, hibiscus and bougainvillea with foliage surrounding three maidens. Three maidens and lush garden environment occupy the central part of the painting, where one standing figure is depicted in picking up flowers while two is posed in kneeling to pick up and gather the falling and scattered flowers with their hands, and all are surrounded by four large status of Hindu goddesses. It is clearly seen that his favorite model and lovely wife, Ni Pollok, is depicted in watching the maidens from the side of the manor’s balcony in the frontage of window. As if Renoir who loved to show the effect of sunlight on flowers and figures, Le Mayeur also achieved it on the present painting. We can see the sunlight shines from over foliage at the right corner reflecting through the natural lush tree and foliage. The artist applied for the effect of dexterous sunlight at the noon with a warm seductive glow illuminating the maidens’ naked skins of back, arms, calf of feet and faces sections, and the wall of his residence. The artist arranged to create light by painting flowers with just dots and leaves with just strokes of paint, while on the ground with short orange stripes. As if the artist attempted to capture the fleeting effects of afternoon sunlight to the angels in tropical paradise. =============== The subject on the present piece also is tied with religious and culture of Bali Hinduism. In Bali where Hinduism has made a bold statement, and religious ritual is an important part of the daily routines of its inhabitants. Flower is one of the main ingredients in preparation of offerings for the Hindu goddess. The flowers were usually prepared in the morning to daylight when the warm sunshine illuminated the beautiful Sanur Island, and sunshine reflected through floral splendor to the lush gardens and maidens. Ni Pollok and the maidens began collecting the petals for the offerings to goddess. Entitled to “Picking flowers for the Temple” on the present painting, the painting was an embodiment of religious obedience of Ni Pollok and maidens captured by Le Mayeur Ni Polok was Hinduism Bali devout while Le Mayeur was a Christian Catholic. Le Mayeur appreciated and praised Balinese religious life, and he was highly tolerant of his wife’s religious life. When an Indonesian journalist interviewed her in 1976 on her memory of her husband’s life, Ni Pollok asserted, “Sometimes, he took a part of Hindu ceremony in the temple, but he just looked around. He often enjoyed looking at Hindu offerings arranged in soaring with colorful ornaments. He was also amused with Balinese girls wearing traditional clothes and walking in throngs with their heads carrying the offerings for the gods residing in heaven.”2) =============== Le Mayeur’s residence with its garden composition was the artistic source and inspiration for his works. His admiration on his house and its garden was expressed by himself, “Now that my exhibition turned out to be bigger success that I had ever dared hope. I organized my house exactly as I liked it. I intended to surround myself with nothing but beauty. I employed five house servants for Polok.”3) The present piece was created in early Post War II, 1948s, where Lee Mayeur employed a heavier and smaller brushwork and painted in slightly greater detail as a moderate impressionism style compared to his Pre-War II works painted in highly impressionism style with a loose manner depicting two or three figures. Indeed, this glaringly fantastic and energetic painting exudes the natural beauty in a very bold manner. Executed with spontaneous brushwork by confidence, the painting is an apocalypse from the natural beauty that can only be found in unadulterated Bali at that time. Thick brushes of pigments and layers stacking each other create a harmony of colors and vibrancy. Figures of women drawn with tenacity and speed imbues the subject with sense of weight and strength of femininity. Although the subject is portrayed with a fulfilling sense of realism, there can be seen the flowers just dots and leaves just strokes of paint representing the moderate impressionism style from within. The uneven thickness of lines, the blending mixtures of colors, and the freedom of color distribution that was inscribed with artist’s signature at the lower left truly accomplishes a painting worthy of appreciations. =============== Like other artists, the repetition of the same subjects, decorative elements and poses of figures on his iconic house, garden and the beach on the present painting returns again in his works many times. For example. the similar subject and decorative elements and pose to the present painting entitled to “Three Women in the Garden and with One Seated at the Balcony” (size: 100 x 120 cm), was sold at Christie’s Singapore, 2nd April 2000, lot. 25 for S$427,750. or equivalent to US$249,677 (see fig. 1). Another in similar decorative elements to the present painting but in different subject and composition entitled to “Dancers in the Garden (1916)” (size: 100 x 120 cm) was sold at Christie’s Hong Kong, 28th May 2016, lot. 39, estimated US$515,200 – US$772,800 and sold for HK$4,600,000l or equivalent to US$592,480 (see fig. 2). =============== Citation: 1. J. Ubbens and C. Huizing, Adrien-Jean Le Mayeur de Merprès: Painter-Traveller, Picture Publisher, Amsterdam, 1995, p. 127. =============== 2. Yati Maryati Wiharja, Ni Polok, Model dari Kelandis, PT. Gramedia, Jakarta, 1976, p. 50 – 51. =============== 3. J. Ubbens and C. Huizing, 1995, p. 119 ===============
Estimate: $500,000 - $800,000
paintings 27 May, 2022
Jackfruits Seller by the Beach, by Hendra Gunawan (1918 – 1983)
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).
Estimate: $180,000 - $250,000
paintings 27 May, 2022
A Flock of Seven Peace Doves, by Lee Man Fong (1913 – 1988)
Note: I can not upload the PDF file regarding with documents and photos of Certificate of Authenticity and Provenance. ============= 1. RESEARCH & ESSAY: Born in Guangzhou on November, 13 1913, Lee Man Fong perpetuated ‘A Flock of Seven Peace Doves’ on this artistic painting art. He was one of the famous court painters in the era of President Soekarno, and highly talented in creating paintings on animals such as these doves. The present work is painted in vibrant and colorful imagery that shows the blended traditional Chinese ink format and western art style. The artist was a force in the modern art world beyond his peers of his period in the middle 20th century. The portrait of seven doves depicted on this piece is executed in exquisitely and perfectly composition, and the pigment layers are applied densely thereby it stands out from a surface glaring a great sense of verisimilitude. =============== The subject is depicted colorfully alive, vividly realistic and capable of evoking intense emotions despite some parts of an ancient tree with its twigs and mountainside rocks, trunk and root tree elements depicted in the background in slightly simple narrative. The artist developed this aesthetic work by successfully integrating the Chinese and Western styles that was influenced by European artists. While the doves and mountainous rocks are painted in realistic images in European style, but the gnarled trunks of the trees and foliage around the charming group of doves are set in the Chinese expressionistic style or ‘xieyi’ style. ‘Xieyi’ style frequently resembles Chinese ink and brush technique in oil. It is painted in featuring the bold strokes and freehand style commonly dedicated to the Chinese classical literati's painting style belonging to the Chinese Ink Wash. Lee brings the audiences to the nuances of landscape beauty by featuring a dove flying far away over the blue sky while six doves perch atop a steep cliff and rocks in frolic representing a peace and love symbol. As a universally recognized symbol of peace and love, the dove is the precise antithetical symbol to war, violence and sorrow. Further, the number of eight doves on his work of art represents a great sacred message of abundant wealth in pursuing the economic life and external benefits within a peaceful life. =============== In 1946, Lee was commissioned by Dutch viceroy, Hubertus van Mook, to paint a portrait of van Mook’s wife. Amazed by the portrait he painted, van Mook personally recommended Lee for a Malino scholarship in studying European art to Holland in 1946 for several years. When spending the scholarship from the Dutch government, he also traveled around the Europe countries to delve in a new technique of painting art in Holland, and experienced at firsthand Western art museums1). It is obvious that Dutch artists such as Rembrandt (1606 – 1669 AD) played the important role in his work, notably with the analysis of light and shadows, as well as staged scenes to accentuate the visual narrative painted oil on board. Lee’s study of the original works of European masters such as Rembrandt van Rijn and Vincent van Gogh were reflected in his works of the period, such as Man with a Pipe (1949) and The Ballerina (1950), which featured dramatically spot-lit subjects, vigorous brushwork and rich colors2). =============== In 1952, Lee Man Fong returned to Jakarta – Indonesia and his artistic technique development had reached a level of maturity hitherto unseen3). In 1964 he was appointed by first President of Republic of Indonesia, Soekarno, as a palace painter. It shows that his brushworks are applied with a particular aim in his mind, connected with the suggestion of texture, light and shape. Thus, his brushstroke varies in accordance with that aim. By capturing the Europe painting technique, through on the current work of art, Lee successfully blended Western art technique with Chinese painting art format and expressed a tendency to create the atmospheric effect prevalently in traditional Chinese art style painted ink on paper. =============== Lee Man Fong’s works with “Doves” subjects appear regularly at auction and command high prices in specialist sales of 20th century in Hong Kong and Singapore. Lee’s works with “doves” subjects are predominantly painted on panel or boards. For example, the larger piece (size 85.50 x 121 cm) with “Peace Conference” subject (size: 85.50 x 121 cm) signed with ‘M.F. Lee” and painted oil on canvas, was sold at Sotheby’s Hong Kong, 4th April 2011, lot. 349. The piece was then sold at Christie’s Hong Kong, HKCEC Grand Hall, 26 May 2013, lot. 3358, sold HK$3,390,000 or equivalent to US$ 438,798, initially estimated between HK$1,400,000 - HK$1,800,000 or equivalent to US$ 190,000 - US$230,000 (see fig. 1). Lee’s work entitled to “Peace Doves” depicting eight doves signed “M.F. Lee” at lower right (size 70 x 100 cm), and painted oil on panel was sold at Christie’s Hong Kong, 28th May 2017, lot. 331 (see fig. 2). See the similar subject and composition but with smaller size, entitled to “Peace and Prosperity” (61 x 91 cm) that is painted oil on Masonite, was sold at Borobudur Singapore, 21st November 2010, lot. 250, for S$109,800, initially estimated between $S 61,538 – 92,308 (see fig. 3). =============== Citation: 1. Lim, R. (1981, July 15). An artist's life. The Straits Times, p. 4. Retrieved from NewspaperSG. =============== 2. Lim, R. (1981, July 15). An artist's life. The Straits Times, p. 4. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Ministry of Community Development and the National Museum, Singapore. (1987). Lee Man Fong 1987. Singapore: The Ministry. (Call no.: RART 759.95957 LEE). =============== 3. Sabapathy, T. K. (1988, April 11). Painter gave new life to old forms. The Straits Times, p. 27. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
Estimate: $35,000 - $70,000
paintings 27 May, 2022
A Rustic Lakeside Village, by Affandi Koesoema (1907 – 1990)
Note: I can not upload the PDF file regarding with documents and photos of Certificate of Authenticity and Provenance. ============= 1. RESEARCH & ESSAY ========== As the most renowned artist born in Cirebon – West Java in Indonesia, Affandi Koesoema (Cirebon, Jawa Barat, 1907 - 23 Mei 1990) was accustomed to painting by using his own decorative composition and technique. Like on the current piece, Affandi used oil paint to execute images of rustic lakeside village subjects in vividly colored expressionist impasto. The artist employed thick pigment by directly squeezing the pigments out of its tube on the canvas. The present work exemplifies the abstract expressionism style painted in Affandi’s newfound style that is known as “squeezing the tube." As Affandi never painted by using a palette and disliked brushes, the present painting was executed by squeezing with pigments, and then the pigments on the canvas surface was smeared directly by his powerful and dexterously fingers rendering its ribbon-like brushtrokes shape to form the rustic lakeside village scenery in dramatically energy and movement. The present piece also exhibits delicious dense pigments and rich with vibrations representing the enthusiasm and encouragement of Affandi’s works trademark. The artist truly executed it by using his energic involvement to attain a splendid abstract painting style with exotic composition, and he applied the colors in strong hue exploring more dynamic mood on the vibrant rustic lakeside identity in his country. ========== Entitled to “The Rustic Lakeside Village," the present work shows a pleasantly cool nuance, where the village is depicted as a unique abstract composition. The artist’s talented hands and fingers imbued the row of houses while the horse’s chart (Andong) is shown crossing over the street. The village was placed on the edge of the lake adorned with the lush trees, including palm trees and weeds. Whatever our interpretation on the abstract painting, the present work requires us to have an open mind and enter this painting then see where this subject takes us. Thus, the subject on the current work gives us the freedom to explore it and assign our own meaning to this valuable abstract expressionism artwork style. ========== Like the technique applied on the present work, Affandi strongly believed in the moving and bursting energy that flowed during the process of painting. Therefore, applying paint directly from the tube using strokes of fingers and hands directly on the canvas became his preference in order that he could express that burst of energy on canvas.1) Affandi is one of the small group of painters who from 1950 to 1980s succeeded in exhibition his works on regular basis and in gaining critical recognition from connoisseurs and artists around the world. The artist often painted the rural and landscape subjects like the present work, and the subjects have been sought-after in the market. For example, compare with Affandi’s work entitled to “Landscape with Rice Field” (120 x 146 cm) painted in 1982, sold at Borobudur Fine Art Auction, Singapore, 22nd May 2016, lot. 60, with a hammer price US$50,680 (SGD70,000), excluding the buyer’s premium (see fig. 1). Compare with the artist’s work entitled to “Kebun Cengkeh” (size 95 x 140 cm) painted in 1987 was sold at Masterpiece Auction House, the Royale Chulan Hotel Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia, 8th March 2015, lot. 82 with a hammer price US$ 73,332 (MYR 270,000), excluding buyer’s premium (see fig. 2). The village subject of Affandi’s work was more sought-after and gaining the more price record. For example, compare with his oeuvre entitled to “Pagi di Kampung (Morning Day in Village)” (size 100 x 130 cm) painted in 1986 was sold at 33 Auction Singapore, 11th October 2014, lot. 3011 fetching a hammer price US$141,462 (SGD 180,000), excluding buyer’s premium (see fig. 3). However, the present work is different nuance and hue colors from the pieces sold in auction houses. The current piece entitled to “The Rustic Lakeside Village” was painted in 1971 and it artfully plays on elemental joys with a pleasantly villager and dynamic activity that is as original rustic lakeside village in his country, Indonesia. ========== Citation: 1. The Journey of Indonesian Painting: The Bentara Budaya Collection, Efix Mulyadi (Editor), Bentara Budaya, Jakarta (Organization), 2008, p. 277.
Estimate: $40,000 - $80,000
paintings 26 May, 2022
Riding a Water Buffalo, by Lee Man Fong (1913 – 1988)
1. RESEARCH & ESSAY: The piece is exquisitely painted with a boy and a girl riding a Water Buffalo. The buffalo is a tapering-horned animal like a bull walking gracefully, painted in black layered with brownish green on its leather parts. Wearing a wide hat and short-sleeve shirt with a towel hanging around his neck and pants folded on his leg, the boy is depicted guiding the Water Buffalo. His right hand holds the leash while his left hand holds a piece of rice straw. The girl greatly enjoys hitchhiking on the back as well with her left hand holding onto his shoulder. All these scenes are decorated with a large and old dried tree and rocks with weeds growing around the ground. Two lines of black vertical Chinese poems calligraphy and a red round seal mark are written on the upper right, and a red square seal mark is on the lower left. ===== As a painter born in Guangzhou, China, Lee Man Fong was inspired from the Chinese painting technique and subject. Decorated in slightly abstract in quality and skillfully painted with rendering technique through brushstroke, Lee is highly respect depicting this subject with Chinese traditional painting techniques through well-executed brushstrokes in the xieyi (寫意) or freehand style in trailing the traditional Chinese painting art. The freehand style, like on this painting, is also called Southern or Literary style that means “wrote ideas”, and the brushstrokes are closer to the strokes in calligraphy. From early twentieth century, especially with establishment of the Republic of China and lustrous painting art development in Indonesia, the technique was developed and widely influenced by Europe techniques. On the present work, Lee executed and integrated the technique and ideas of Western painting into Chinese painting tradition. Hence, this artwork tends to be simple, bold, and flowing: somewhat impressionistic, paying little attention to detail. ===== Lee Man Fong grasped the philosophy of the meaning of a water buffalo expressed into this work. The nature of the Buffalo tends to be very methodical and slow, but people who have this zodiac are able to approach projects or assignments slowly though surely to the best for them. Water Buffalo (Bubalus arnee) is a type of animal indicated as Chinese native buffalo living in swamp and wild. This animal is believed to be a tame animal for 4000 years ago in Chinese empires. Water Buffalo is symbolized as perseverance and patience because its nature and behavior are slow yet tenacious and continues to step forward for sure. Lee Man Fong highly fathoms the taste of traditional Chinese art combined with Western painting technique. He is able to put the philosophy notions and the symbol of wild Water Buffalo (Bubalus arnee) into the art of beauty to be able to be experienced by each level of enthusiasts of the Southeast Asian arts beauty. ===== The interest in Southeast Asian artworks market indicates the strong demand. Like the current piece, the theme “Riding a water buffalo” painted by Lee Man Fong have been become prestigious choice and appetite among the prudent collectors. For example, a similar subject and style to the current piece is a “Riding a water buffalo”, sold at Larasati Singapore, dated 9th April 2005, lot. 20, sold for S$117,000 (see fig. 1). Compare with the Lee’s smaller painting (105 x 50.5 cm) depicted with the similar theme dated 1977, included in Oil Painting, Lee Man Fong, Vol. 2, Siont Teja, Art Retreat, Singapore, 2005, illustrated in color, p. 204. The piece was then sold at Borobudur – Singapore, dated 9th June 2012, lot. 165, estimated between S$100,000 to S$150,000 (SGD) and sold for S$292,800 or equivalent to US$227,564 (see fig. 2). ===== Citation: 1. Oil Painting, Lee Man Fong, Vol. 2, Siont Teja, Art Retreat, Singapore, 2005, p. 204.
Estimate: $90,000 - $150,000