Auctioneer sees Korean, S.E. Asian art "next big thing"

Tue Oct 7, 2008 4:24am EDT
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By Miral Fahmy

SINGAPORE (Reuters Life!) - Move over Chinese contemporary, the head of one of Asia's leading private art auction houses sees Southeast Asian and Korean works as the next big thing on the Asian scene -- which he predicted would hold up against the troubles roiling the world's financial markets.

Daniel Komala, CEO of Larasati Auctioneers, told Reuters that Southeast Asian and Korean artworks were bargains compared to the record-setting prices of Chinese contemporary works, and their quality was just as good.

"We have to thank Chinese art for dragging up the rest of Asia, but the party has to end and contemporary works are experiencing something of a correction now," Komala said on Tuesday ahead of Larasati's October 11 "Pictures of Asia" modern art auction in Singapore.

"The next big thing is a mixed bag, and Southeast Asian and Korean art are making big progress," he said, naming Korean artists Yi Hwan Kwon and Lee Yong-Deok, as well as Indonesian R.E. Hartanto among his favorites.


Larasati, which held its first auction in Singapore in the middle of the SARS respiratory disease crisis in 2003, hspecializedas always specialised in Asian art.

It also holds sales in Europe and Komala said the auction house had helped bring reknown to several Asian artists including China's Yue Minjun and Indonesia's Nyoman Masriadi.

For the past few years, auction rooms in London, New York and Hong Kong have crackled with fierce interest in Chinese contemporary art as prices broke record after record.   Continued...