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An Indian flavour at Christie's Hong Kong

The work of emerging Indian artists will be showcased in an unveiling of quaint sculptures.

india Updated: Nov 09, 2006 12:06 IST

The Asian contemporary art auction to be held on November 26 in conjunction with the 20th anniversary of Christie's Hong Kong will bring together an array of superb works by promising artists of China, South Korea, Japan and India.

The work of emerging Indian artists will be showcased in an unveiling of quaint sculptures.

Sudarshan Shetty plays with both childlike innocence and macabre elements in his artwork. One of the outstanding examples is the "Consanguinity" series executed in 2003, which means 'related or connected by blood'. This implies not only the inferential relationship between the viewer and object but also the literal relationship between the eye and corporeal body.

An untitled from this series (estimate $17,900-20,500) consists of a row of mechanised eyeballs that rotate eerily within their glass case. This concept of a row of disembodied organs 'watching' their audience is quite unsettling. The work also shows an ironic reversal of roles between the viewer and the object.

N Pushpamala portrays a multitude of female characters in her work to draw attention to cultural stereotypes and gender roles. In "Native Women of South India: Manners & Customs" (estimate $8,300-12,200), she delves into the documentary aspects of photography and its role as an ethnographic tool.

Recreating popular images from art history and mass media, Pushpamala dramatises her work by exaggerating not only the expression but the colours as well.

Subodh Gupta casts traditional elements of Indian culture in contemporary media and contexts, constantly referencing the idiosyncrasies of his life in New Delhi.

Familiar to both the rural and urban strata of Indian society, the stainless steel containers are a ubiquitous element in the trousseau of newly married women.

In "Feast for Hundred and Eight Gods 3" (estimate $51,300-76,900), Gupta stacks vessel upon vessel to construct a gleaming stainless steel structure in the shape of a temple roof or household shrine. In this way, he ironically comments on the veneration given to the products of industrialisation and the convenience afforded by mass production.

With a more capitalistic culture developing in India, perhaps the artist is presenting this temple of the ordinary as a warning to those who too quickly embrace Western consumerism.

Christie's Hong Kong launched the Asian Contemporary Art sale in November 2005, the first of its kind in the world solely devoted to cutting-edge Chinese, Korean and Japanese art. The overwhelming enthusiasm from collectors worldwide for this sale has led an international audience to an understanding of the concepts and the diverse artistic ideals of Asian avant-garde art.

In May 2006, the 20th Century Chinese Art and Asian Contemporary Art spring sales realised a combined total of approximately $38.7 million -- the highest total ever achieved anywhere in the world.

The forthcoming autumn auction series will offer yet another exceptional and exciting selection of art which is expected to draw tremendous interest from collectors worldwide.

First Published: Nov 09, 2006 12:06 IST