• Southeast Asian Modern and Con auction at Christies

    Sale 2721

    Southeast Asian Modern and Contemporary Art

    30 November 2009, Hong Kong

  • Lot 1194

    AFFANDI (Indonesia 1907-1990)

    Farmer boy in the rice field

    Price Realised  


    AFFANDI (Indonesia 1907-1990)
    Farmer boy in the rice field
    signed 'AF' (lower right)
    oil on canvas
    33½ x 42½ in. (85 x 108 cm.)

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    "Affandi would spend a long time looking for painting subjects, and then a long time studying the subject, probing into its being, until he felt he had become part of it. Only then would he start squeezing and smearing paint from the tubes on to the canvas, working it with his fingers, palms, wrists, and the back of his hands. Painting for Affandi was a process of fixing into colour and form the storm of energy from his emotions which had arisen through concentrating on something which had initially inspired him." (Astri Wright, Soul, Spirit, and Mountain: Preoccupations of Contemporary Indonesian Painters, Oxford University Press, Kuala Lumpur, 1994, 112).

    Astri Wright described the process after the interview with the artist when the writer saw a work of the artist, of which the creating process related to him. "Against the wall near us, up on a ledge, the canvas he had painted that very morning sat drying. It depicted a man selling balloons, a playful cloud of coloured spheres above his head. Affandi had seen him at the Sekaten night fair and had become so enamoured with the sight that he had asked this man to come to the gallery the next day. After spending a couple of hours painting him, he had bought all his balloons as recompense for the trouble" (Ibid, p. 111-112)

    It is no doubt that Affandi painted from life. The familiarity he bears toward his subjects endowed his works with a sense of intimacy and passion that overwhelm the viewers. The present work depicts a field with a boisterous growth of vegetation endowed only with a boy in the lower left corner and a few scattered crows splattering on the otherwise overpowering yellow hue of the composition. Despite the simplicity of the composition with just the boy, the birds and the field, the infused energy of the artist managed to represent the blowing wind of the scene, evidenced by the swirling and swaying of the vegetation and in essence successfully capturing the riotous feel of the moment.