From the Manfred Schoeni Collection of Indonesian and Southeast Asian Art
“Long after we are gone, art can live on and let future generations decide if art should survive or become obsolete.”
— Manfred Schoeni, 1999
(from The Art of Manfred Schoeni exhibition catalogue)
Ten years have passed since Asian art enthusiasts were shocked by the news of the tragic death of Hong Kong based art dealer, entrepreneur and also artist Manfred Schoeni, during his vacation in Boracay, The Philippines, on May 2004.
In the art world, Manfred Schoeni was best known as one of Hong Kong’s leading dealers for Chinese contemporary art. His Schoeni Art Gallery was opened in 1992 and it became one of the most successful showcases of contemporary Chinese art in Hong Kong.
While Schoeni is most famous for his engagement with Chinese art, during his numerous visits to Bali he had also started acquiring Indonesian art and art about Indonesia, as well as Southeast Asia.
Featured in this auction (lots #027 to #040) are works of art coming from Manfred Schoeni’s collection of Indonesian and Southeast Asian Art. The collection shows that he was interested in paintings by Indonesian artist Dullah, and Philipino artist San Miguel, and Paul Husner, a Dutch artist who is very fond of Bali.
Yet Schoeni had a wide range of interest in art. The art entrepreneur’s keen interest in contemporary art can be seen from the paintings by contemporary Balinese artists. In the late 1990s and early 2000s he visited Bali regularly, and on one of his visits he stumbled upon an exhibition organized by the Sanggar Dewata group of artists at the Neka Museum, and decided to acquire paintings by contemporary Balinese artists Putu Sutawijaya, Nengah Sujena, Putu Sudiana, Nyoman Darya, Gede Made Surya, Made Alit Setiawan, and Komang Teja Mulya, as well a painting by Alpha Tejo Purnomo, who also resides in Bali.
What a great opportunity it would be to be able to extend Schoeni’s art collecting legacy for future generations! Ars longa, vita brevis.