Lot 086

b. Indonesia, 1959


Signed and dated 'AGUS SUWAGE 2004'
with Chinese seal (lower right)
Watercolour on paper
53.5cm x 66cm

Private Collection, Kuala Lumpur.

ESTIMATE  RM 13,000 - 15,000

Internationally established Agus Suwage is a leading Indonesian contemporary artist who creates works that explore the complex issues of identity and the ever changing socio-cultural and political landscapes. These elements are integrated with the use of ‘self’ as a means to place the artist within the narrative structure of his work. Besides acting as mere self-representation, his figurative works also serve as a basis to assess his relationship with society. He employs humour, cynicism and mimicry allusions to convey ambiguousness within his work that is mainly imbued with paradox.

Agus’ strong focus on self-portraiture began during the early stage of his artistic career. By the mid 1990s, he has gained international recognition with his provocative drawings, paintings, sculptures and he is known for producing works using a myriad of mediums ranging from photography, print, collage, video to installation among others. He is also known to adopt appropriation in his works that include objects, famous icons or other existing imagery. In this piece, an androgynous figure seems to ward off some unseen, unknown threat, shielding the face from injury or revelation. The lyrics of a song titled Paranoid Android by British rock outfit Radiohead is inscribed in the background with red ink. The handwritten script resembles a journal entry. A similar rendition of text and image is repeated again during his residency programme at Singapore Tyler Print Institute (STPI) in 2009. The body of work produced resulted in a solo exhibition titled CIRCLE.

Agus Suwage attained his MFA in Graphic Design from the Bandung Institute of Technology, Faculty of Fine Art and Design Indonesia in 1986. He has participated in numerous international art events including the 2nd Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art in Brisbane, Australia in 1996, the Gwangju Biennale in South Korea in 2000 and the Singapore Biennale in 2006. In 2009, he was accorded a major retrospective by the Yogyakarta National Museum and the Selasar Sunaryo Art Space in Bandung. The exhibitions were accompanied by a 670-page monograph Still Crazy After All These Years, chronicling his art and life. He has held over 25 solo exhibitions and has been featured in more than 150 museums and galleries around the world. His recent one man shows are CYCLE No. 2 at Tyler Rollins Fine Art, New York and CYCLE NO. 3, Arndt Gallery, Berlin, Germany in 2003.