• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2616

    Southeast Asian Modern and Contemporary Art

    30 November 2008, Hong Kong

  • Lot 346

    PUTU SUTAWIJAYA (b. Indonesia 1970)

    Mikir banyak aku tinggal (Thinking too much, I leave)

    Price Realised  

    PUTU SUTAWIJAYA (b. Indonesia 1970)
    Mikir banyak aku tinggal (Thinking too much, I leave)
    signed and dated 'Putu Sutawijaya 05' (lower left)
    oil on canvas
    78 3/4 x 55 1/8 in. (200 x 140 cm.)


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    Figures in the paintings of Yogyakarta-based Balinese artist Putu Sutawijaya are invariably pictured in graceful states of flight, their seeming light-weightedness and fleeting movements transporting the viewer away on poetical and meditative journeys where the painter's aesthetic celebration of humankind through the dance and expressiveness of his painted figures erases the events of contemporaneous life where human lives are belittled and have become mere sacrifices for larger political causes. The painted human figure is central to the philosophical framework of Sutawijaya's art practice. As the artist himself often proclaims, the human body is what he finds as the best medium to express suffering, pain, laughter and fear.

    In the present lot, Mikir banyak aku tinggal (Thinking too much, I left), dance and music drive the dynamism in the composition. Though we cannot hear it, we can fathom that the individual figures, arranged rhythmatically on canvas, are driven by a passion larger than their individual selves can muster. It is such an unknown element that imbues each figure with universal emotions - joy, happiness, sadness and peace - that can be found in the midst of chaotic contemporary life. With highly accomplished and precise but spontaneous line work, the artist realistically captures the essence of movements of the human body and develops them into distinctly varied compositions reflecting different personal and social situations in his works.