Sotheby’s Returns to Singapore to Host a Modern and Contemporary Art Auctionand an All-Encompassing Exhibition at Marina Bay Sands this Summer Following Record-Breaking Success in 2022
Testament to the Growing Importance of Collectors in Southeast Asia &
To Sotheby’s Continued Pan-Asian Outlook with Recent and Forthcoming Initiatives
In Shanghai, Seoul & Hong Kong
Modern & Contemporary Auction
To Take Place at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore on 2 July 2023
With a Preview Exhibition from 29 June-1 July
“We are pleased to return to Singapore as we continue to invest behind more initiatives in the city-state as part of our ambition to further engage with the regional collecting scene in Asia.”
Nathan Drahi, Managing Director, Sotheby’s Asia
“Sotheby’s is strongly committed to the region; nurturing and growing opportunities for deeper levels of engagement with local communities is of utmost importance to us. We have broadened our activities not only to meet collectors where they are, but also to support regional cultural ecosystems. In the years to come this ecosystem will continue to mature and grow in Southeast Asia, and Singapore is central to this vision.”
Jasmine Prasetio, Managing Director, Sotheby’s Southeast Asia
This Summer, as part of Sotheby’s ongoing 50th Anniversary celebrations in Asia, Sotheby’s will present an expansive exhibition of art and luxury objects at the iconic Marina Bay Sands, the ultimate destination for luxury and the arts. The week will be led by a Modern & Contemporary Art auction on 2 July with over 60 offerings by artists from the region and beyond, and includes a grouping of fresh-to-market works by celebrated female artists such as Georgette Chen, Christine Ay Tjoe, Jane Lee, Kei Imazu, and Yayoi Kusama, alongside highly important masterpieces by pioneer modernists such as Liu Kang and Srihadi Soedarsono as well as established international masters Le Pho, Chu Teh-Chun, Wu Guanzhong, and Fernando Botero.
In addition, the four-day showcase (29 June – 1 July) will also include a series of panel talks to further connect and foster cultural dialogues with the community. Sotheby’s is also delighted to present an exhibition of abstract expressionist works by Korean artist Je Yeoran in her first debut in Singapore. For luxury enthusiasts, a magnificent collection of exquisite and rare jewels and jadeites await. Following a global tour that includes New York, Dubai, and Hong Kong, Michael Jordan’s legendary “The Dynasty Collection”: The Complete Set of Michael Jordan’s ‘Air Jordan’ Six Championship Sneakers, which represent the historical and cultural impact of a global icon’s legacy, will also be on view in Singapore during this week.
Sotheby’s has a long-established footprint in the region, having launched its first sale of Southeast Asian paintings in 1996 with bi-yearly auctions held until 2007. Last August saw Sotheby’s triumphant return to the island city-state in 15 years, which achieved a record-breaking total of SG$24.5m/ US$18m – surpassing its pre-sale expectations.
Sotheby’s Modern & Contemporary Art Auction on 2 July:
Sotheby’s Modern & Contemporary Art auction is a major cross-category curated sale with a focus on artists practicing in the 20th and 21st century. Carrying an overall estimate in the region of SG$18m / US$12m, the sale will be led by the renowned Singaporean painter Georgette Chen’s Lychees and Peaches, a rare oil painting of emotional intensity and Christine Ay Tjoe’s The Team of Red, a powerful composition from a crucial period in the artist’s career. An outstanding line-up of works by internationally acclaimed names will also be offered, including works by Franco-Chinese masters Chu Teh-Chun and Wu Guanzhong, a unique piece reflecting the American West Coast landscape by Jennifer Guidi, and Treasure, a large-scale painting by Huang Yuxing. The auction also presents an extraordinary group of monumental works by masters from the region, including Le Pho, Mai Trung Thu, Liu Kang, Srihadi Sudarsono, Cheong Soo Pieng, Fernando Cueto Amorsolo, and Ahmad Sadili, to name just a few. The auction will be livestreamed via sothebys.com.
Please find the catalogue here.
Elsewhere in Asia:
As the market leader in Asia, Sotheby’s Hong Kong saw once again successful results in its Spring auction series, with Chinese art achieving its highest total for the category in nine years (US$209m), with 96% of the lots sold across its four sales. In addition, at the Sotheby’s Marquee evening sales in New York this May, Asian collectors accounted for more than a third of the total sale value of its Modern Evening Auction.
Sotheby’s continues to harness its presence across the APAC region as the world’s gateway, offering exceptional international artworks and objects in response to the ever-increasing demand from a growing collector base in the region. Having recently launched a new, innovative space in Shanghai, as well as a series of localized experiences for collectors in Mainland China, Sotheby’s will also reveal later this year further details of upcoming activities in the region, including the much-anticipated opening of its Maison in the heart of Hong Kong, reaffirming Sotheby’s commitment to fostering the collecting scene in Asia.
Celebrated Women Artists
Georgette Chen, Lychees and peaches
c. 1940-1945, oil on canvas, 65 x 50 cm
In excess of SG$1,200,000 / US$890,000
Renowned 20th century Singaporean painter and one of the most
celebrated women artists in Asia, Georgette Chen’s works are exceptionally rare and only a handful of oil paintings remain in private hands. Inspired by still life paintings, but with a desire to make it her own, Chen’s work draws on Chinese, Southeast Asian and Western motifs; she was also influenced by her experiences living between Mainland China, Paris, and her adopted homeland of Singapore in later life. The sublime Lychees and Peaches, as in other examples of Chen’s still life paintings, encourages viewers to think about their own harmonious inner peace and optimism, focusing on the life and love that flourish amidst the vicissitudes of hardship and global upheaval.
Christine Ay Tjoe, The Team of Red
2013, oil on canvas, 150 x 125 cm
Est. SG$650,000 – 1,300,000
One of the most acclaimed artists in Indonesia, Christine Ay Tjoe’s
diverse practice encompasses painting, drawing, sculpture, and largescale installations; through her works she addresses themes of philosophy and spirituality, as well as the human condition perceived through her own subjective experience. Painted in 2013, The Team of Red was created during a significant period in her career when her compositions became fuller and adapted a more vivid color palette. Working predominantly with the colour red, this painting is among the artist’s most desirable works to ever appear at auction.
Jane Lee, Melt VII
2017, acrylic and heavy gel on fiberglass, 180 x 150 cm
Est. SG$80,000 – 120,000
One of the most important contemporary women artists in Southeast Asia, Jane Lee redefines and pushes the boundaries of paint through her oeuvre. Utterly resplendent and captivating in its textural and chromatic complexity, Melt VII is a dynamic and playful archetypal work, which investigates how painting defines space and interacts with its environment.
Jennifer Guidi, Our Hearts In Balance (Painted Universe Mandala SF3F, Pearly Purple, Natural Ground)
2018, acrylic and sand on linen, 233.6 x 188 x 4 cm
Est. SG$300,000 – 500,000
One of the most acclaimed rising artists in the international art world, Jennifer Guidi integrates her observations of light, color and form into her practice and presents the mesmeric and otherworldly landscapes of her hometown, Southern California. For the present work, a unique piece in the Painted Universe Mandala series, Guidi applied a thin layer of sand before mapping a cartography of rhythmic lines through the periodic application of color. Swelling with the mystic energy of religious iconography, the large-scale sand and acrylic painting expands upon the artist’s dynamic use of dimensionality, color and abstract geometries to compose landscapes that challenge our perceptions of the relationship between the metaphysical and physical space.
Regional and International Established Artists
Le Pho, Jeune fille à la fleur
Ink and gouache on silk, 56 x 38 cm
Est. SG$260,000 – 380,000
A rare work of timeless beauty, Jeune fille à la fleur hails from a
crucial, early period in the artist’s oeuvre before Le Pho shifted to
working exclusively with the medium of oil paint. The present work
serves as a testament to the artist’s sophisticated mastery of silk painting techniques and the glorious heights of Vietnamese modernism. The work gracefully renders a young lady enjoying the fragrance of a flower, an important and recurring motif in the artist’s opus, which symbolizes purity and captures the essence of femininity.
Liu Kang, Pounding Rice
1953, oil on canvas, 125.5 x 202.4 cm
Est. SG$380,000 – 500,000
One of the most prominent figures in the history of Singaporean art, Liu Kang is known for his pioneering status as a founding father of the Nanyang style of painting, which came to represent a distinct Southeast Asian viewpoint through the amalgamation of elements gleaned from both the Western and Chinese painting traditions. Executed in 1953 following Liu Kang’s pivotal trip to Bali the year prior Balinese Women in Village is a masterwork and one of the two largest works by the artist ever to be offered at auction.
Kazuo Shiraga, Kari
1991, oil on canvas, 60 x 72.5 cm
Est. SG$300,000 – 500,000
Widely recognized as a pioneer of Japanese action painting, Kazuo
Shiraga is the first-generation member of the post-war artists\ collective, Gutai Art Association. The work’s title ‘Kari’ means to ‘hunt’, to ‘raid’ and to ‘gather’, epitomizing the dialectic relationship between beauty and violence – the paradigm of the post-war Gutai artists. Fierce and primal, yet charged with a hypnotic grace and fluidity, this masterpiece echoes both the signature raw blood-red of Shiraga’s early 1950s works yet exhibits a balletic dynamism that attests to the artist’s matured mastery of his renowned feet-painting technique.
Other Exhibition Highlights
The Dynasty Collection | The Complete Set of Michael
Jordan’s ‘Air Jordan’ Six Championship Sneakers
Sotheby’s is proud to present The Dynasty Collection, a set of 6 individual Air Jordan sneakers – each one worn by Michael Jordan in the clinching games of his 6 career NBA championships. The set consists of an Air Jordan VI (1991), Air Jordan VII (1992), Air Jordan VIII (1993), Air Jordan XI (1996), Air Jordan XII (1997), and Air Jordan XIV (1998). This set represents the most valuable and significant collection of Air Jordan sneakers ever brought to market.
Je Yeoran, Usquam Nusquam
2022, oil on canvas, 182 x 182 cm
Alongside Sotheby’s Modern & Contemporary auction, the exhibition at Marina Bay Sands will also showcase abstract paintings from Korean artist Je Yeoran’s signature Usquam Nusquam series. Born in 1960, Je’s thickly impastoed and luscious paintings are inspired by nature, the four seasons, and human energy flows. Instead of a traditional paint brush, Je uses a squeegee, and each work becomes a performative accumulation of bodily gestures, driven by her internal impulses. Je believes art is about supporting life and finding happiness from it. Je takes reference from her mother’s deft approach to dealing with life, ‘my mother turned a patch of barren ground into fertile land that she cultivated. I wish my work would do the same.’ Her paintings represent the juxtaposition of colour and movement, intertwining antagonism and dynamism, expansion and contraction, anger and ecstasy. These elements are skillfully balanced in her works to ultimately bring calm and a peaceful state of mind to the viewer. This harmony is reflected in the title of her most prominent series, Usquam Nusquam, where the visual power of the paintings amount to everything and nothing at the same time.