Lot 056

b. Indonesia, 1959


Signed and dated 'AGUS SUWAGE '2007' (lower centre)
Oil on canvas
150cm x 120cm

Private Collection, Indonesia.

ESTIMATE  RM 27,000 - 35,000


Often using himself as a subject in his works, Agus Suwage comments on the social-political issues in his own distinctive narration: witty and cynical. The present lot (as part of his popular series I Want to Live Another Thousand Years), however, shows the artist’s alternative methodology in capturing the social issues. Taken from a famous poem by Indonesia’s poet Chairil Anwar titled Aku (I), Suwage’s black-and-white portrait series depicting political, pop, historical and religious legends from various backgrounds such as Bruce Lee, Mother Teresa, Marilyn Monroe, Sioux Chief from Indian
tribe and of course, Chairil Anwar, the famous rebellious poet who was the main inspiration behind the producing of the series. Here, Suwage portrays the famous Sitting Bull, a Teton Dakota Indian chief under whom the Sioux tribes united in their struggle for survival on the North American Great Plains.

Suwage observed that in recent years, tobacco companies have been focusing on Indonesia as their huge, lucrative market. The work takes its strength from the dissonance between its cheekily iconoclastic portrayal of figures whose influence on history has already been canonised, and its discordant hint at the less explicit forces shaping Indonesia today.

Agus Suwage studied graphic design at Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB). He has participated in numerous group exhibitions and held solo shows within the region and the USA . He has also participated in artist residencies around the world, including India, Japan and Australia. His works has been collected by prestigious museums including Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Japan, and the Singapore Art Museum. He is now considered as Indonesia’s most revered and internationally active contemporary artist with approximately 150 museums and galleries having exhibited his works worldwide.

"Agus Suwage: Still Crazy after All This Year”, Enin Supriyanto (ed.), Indonesia, 2010