Bull Market for South-East Asian Art

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Appearance (2001, 120 x 180cm, acrylic on canvas) by Ahmad Zakii Anwar (Malaysia).

A taste for art pieces from the region has been growing, driven by a range of different factors.

When Indonesian artist and pioneer Raden Saleh sold Deer Hunt for SG$2.8mil in an auction in 1996, it changed the art landscape in Southeast Asia. It whet the world’s appetite for Indonesian masters and Indo- European sojourners based in Bali, among others.

The momentum started in the inaugural auction in 1994. Raden’s The Eruption of Mt Merapi went for a premium of SG$280,000, some 12 times the sales price set in an auction by Holland’s Glerum in 1990.

The next year, Raden’s Lion Fighting A Snake Outside a Grotto in a Tropical Landscape fetched SG$1.8mil. Like Eugene Delacroix, Raden loved painting horses, and his Lions and Tigers Fight over a Dead Horse went for SG$700,000 in Sotheby’s Singapore.


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