• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2380

    Southeast Asian Modern and Contemporary Art

    25 November 2007, Hong Kong

  • Lot 2

    AGUS SUWAGE (b. Indonesia 1959)

    The art of punishment I

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    AGUS SUWAGE (b. Indonesia 1959)
    The art of punishment I
    signed and dated 'Agus Suwage 2004' (lower right) and titled (on the reverse)
    oil on canvas
    59 x 78 3/4 in. (150 x 200 cm.)


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    "Suwage is usually reticent about the intentions behind the making of his art. As in real life, he rarely explains; he shows, smiles, and walks away. He shape-shifts and slides, slipping in and out of characters on canvas, playing the tortured, the oppressor, the revered, the jester, the fool, the glut, the masochist. Framed within the image of the artist in his myriad guises are layers of socio-political commentary and a critique of human nature. Meanings are multi-faceted and difficult to pin down, new associations and possibilities are produced at each turn. His quiet statements often deliver stealthy blows, calculated moves designed to hit different notes on the emotional and intellectual scale. The personality behind each painting provides an insight into the artist's personality and inner thoughts, at times brazen, introspective or sharp with social satire." (Adeline Ooi, Pinning down the fool exhibition catalogue, Valentine Fine Art Gallery, 14 Oct - 6 Nov 2004, p. 1).

    Agus Suwage has used his own images incessantly. Often as the jester on his canvas, he clowns, laughs, sneers and comments on the issues. Indeed the artist has quite a few issues: the society, the environment and on religion. The present work adopts a seemingly humorous stance on a self-inflicted punishment which makes the composition itself a parody of the title.