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As Singapore prepares to host a Grand Prix race in 2008, Larasati - the first Indonesian auction house to be active in Singapore - has announced the inclusion of Pintor Sirait's Formula One-inspired sculpture Desire in its upcoming 10th Pictures of Asia sale.

The stainless steel work by the German-born Indonesia artist weighs more than 250 kilograms and has been polished to an immaculate finish. "Desire is not a replica race car," states Pintor, "One cannot sit in it, and it can't speed away" Rather, it is an artwork that reflects on Formula One fetishism. Pintor Also comments on the "multifarious evils" of car racing: sexism, money and a win-at-all-costs mentality. Ultimately, however, his Formula One is about love, hate, speed and paranoia, and their efeets on humanity.

First shown in an exhibition of "cult objects" at Biasa Art in Seminyak, Bali, Desire is expected to fetch over S$60,000 (US$41,000) at the Oct. 21 auction.

Buyers are offered other unique opportunities in the form of Larasati's Asian Contemporary Art, Southeast Asian Modern Art and Asian Contemporary Art listings.

Although much of the work listed could be described as affordable, it seems Larasati is also hoping to attract high-end buyers with the works of Nyoman Masriadi, Putu Sutawijaya, Agus Suwage, Ay Tjoe Christine and Astari Rasjid.

Expected to fetch even higher prices are the works of Vietnamese Le Pho, some rare paintings by Hendra Gunawan and Affandi and the Chinese realist paintings of Gong Lilong, Luo Zhongli and Guo Jin, with catalog estimates ranging from S$60,000-210,000 (US$41,000-143,000).

But among the 172 pieces of works to be auctioned, there are also paintings that, while not yet belonging to the high-end market, are interesting for their symbolic content. The paintings of Jumaldi Alfi, for instance, contain scribbles and the shapes of flowers or a single stone. Stones that the elders of his traditional community in West Sumatra used to mark the boundaries of territories in his paintings become metaphors to denote the transition of thoughts.

Amid the flurry of the contemporary art market, Larasati has kept its cool. "We at Larasati would like our auctions not merely to be a matter of buying and selling art objects, but also to enhance the appreciation and development of art in Asia,: said Daniel Komala, Larasati's president director.

 

Carla Bianpoen

Contributor/Jakarta

 

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