(Indonesian, B. 1959)
Merayakan Seni Kontemporer I
signed and dated 'Agus Suwage 2003' (upper left); signed and dated 'Agus Suwage 2003' (lower right)
acrylic on canvas
150 x 140 cm. (59 x 55 1/8 in.)
Painted in 2003
Private Collection, Jakarta, Indonesia
Ashley Rawlings, "All Things Must Pass" in Art Asia Pacific, March 2010 (illustrated, p. 107).
Enin Supriyanto, Still Crazy After All These Years, Jogjakarta, Indonesia, 2010 (illustrated, p. 240).
The National Gallery of Indonesia, Solo Exhibition Agus Suwage: "OughKNguik!!", Jakarta, Indonesia, 2003 (illustrated, p. 46).
Jakarta, Indonesia, The National Gallery of Indonesia, Solo Exhibition Agus Suwage: "OughKNguik!!", 8-18 August 2003.

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Lot Essay

Agus Suwage is one of Indonesia's most widely-exhibited artists. Having studied communication design at the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), Suwage initially went into graphic design before making his foray into art. He has participated in hundreds of museum and gallery exhibitions around the world, including Asia Pacific Biennial in 1996, Singapore Biennial in 2006 and most recently, a retrospective at the Jogjakarta Art Museum in 2009, which was accompanied by a comprehensive monograph of his work, Still Crazy After All These Years. Having a practice of more than two decades long now, Suwage's works have continuously explored the human condition and reflected upon the notion of mortality. Other major threads in Suwage's works include his commentary on socio-political developments in Indonesia as well as his commentary on the art world and reflections upon the self as artist.

This season, Christie's is pleased to present two iconic works of Suwage to market that engages two of his most popular arena of questioning as an artist.

Merayakan Seni Kontemporer I (Celebrating Contemporary Art I) (Lot 447) is Suwage's deadpan critique of the contemporary art world, a system in which truth, criticism and acclaim is oftentimes unproblematically wielded together. Responding to the generally positive mood for the development of contemporary art in Indonesia in the early 2000s, Suwage exposes the endless stream of celebratory confetti being conferred on the emerging contemporary artists.

Luxury Crime (Lot 446) is one of Suwage's most iconic works that tackles the existential and philosophical questions around mortality. Suwage has observed in the past that "creating or producing artwork resembles therapy. In a more universal and spiritual approach, reflecting on the very essence of my personal issues gives way to self-therapy. I analyze things through self-introspection. Luxury Crime imagines the fabled after-life of one who has enjoyed life and continues to seek in its earthly pleasures. What is transcendental and what is material? And who shall judge others on the basis of one's own value system?"

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