BID NOW : Southeast Asian, Chinese, Modern...

A Closer Look of S. Sudjojono, Widayat, and Popo Iskandar

  • Dec 08, 2023

Our upcoming December auction promises to be a captivating showcase of mesmerizing artworks, highlighting the genius of both maestros and emerging artists. Among them are three revered maestros: S. Sudjojono, Widayat, and Popo Iskandar. Each maestro has contributed striking artworks, signifying the turning point of  Indonesian modern art. Sudjojono is known for his realism, Widayat for his vibrant, detailed, repetitive stroke and mystical compositions, and Iskandar for his dynamic abstract expressions and his admiration for cats. Their works invite collectors and art enthusiasts to immerse themselves in their art, making this auction an exclusive opportunity to acquire pieces from these masters. Read on to learn more about these talented maestros.


S. Sudjojono, a painter renowned for his charisma, intelligence, and charm, is best known for his self-portrait paintings, a series of artworks produced throughout his career. When painting an object, Sudjojono always understands the character and momentary characteristics of the object being painted. Complex, realistic, practical, and full with honesty, providing a vivid representation of the great painter's personality. Courage, truth, and honesty serve as the foundational principles in his artistry. These principles manifest in Sudjojono's strong commitment to portraying the reality of Indonesia during the colonial period, standing out amidst the crowd of artists embracing the Mooi Indie style.

During the 1960s and 1970s, Sudjojono ventured into still-life paintings, exemplified by the flower paintings he created. An intriguing story behind these flower paintings, as Sudjojono often depicted flowers his wife received as gifts after finishing her stage performances. 

Lot 001 | S. Sudjojono | Chrysant, 1969 | Oil on canvas: 66 x 86 cm
Est. SGD 17,000 - 22,000

One such painting, "Chrysant," adopts a realist style, with the dominant color of chrysanthemums being white, complemented by yellow strokes. The background features scribbles that lend the artwork a balanced composition that directs the viewer’s gaze to the flowers. Each flower and petal is portrayed with spontaneous strokes and oriented in different directions, mirroring the natural appearance of flowers.


“If I don't paint or sketch every day, I feel dull.”

Widayat, a great teacher, is perceived by his students as someone who embraces criticism and occasionally delivers sharp remarks—a personality they appreciate in a teacher, making him a very respected teacher. In 1996, Widayat secured the first position as the most outstanding living Indonesian artist of all time. What sets him special? Widayat is an artist who consistently remains productive, brimming with fantasies and energy when it comes to art. 

Lot 015 | Widayat | Gunung Merapi, 1954 | Oil on canvas: 85 x 130 cm
Est. SGD 15,000 - 18,000

The primary themes in his artwork encompass flora, fauna, religion, mythology, masks, portraits, and daily life. All his artworks boast richness in content, texture, and technique. Widayat, a maestro proficient in painting, graphics, sketching, watercolor, ceramics, and decorating wooden objects, has made his work and skills unparalleled. He is a keen observer of objects, and he effortlessly translates his observations onto his canvas. In his creations, he places emphasis on the inner structure rather than the final appearance.

Lot 016 | Widayat | Mesra, 1995 | Oil on canvas: 38 x 33 cm
Est. SGD 1,600 - 2,200
Lot 018 | Widayat | Ibu dan Anak, 1995 | Ceramic: D.48 cm
Est. SGD 1,600 - 2,200

"Ibu dan Anak" is one of his ceramic artworks that captures scenes from daily life. In this present lot, it stands out as one of his most significant ceramic works. Measuring 48 centimeters, this is his biggest ceramic artworks.

Popo Iskandar

As one of Indonesia's esteemed art maestros, Popo Iskandar is known for his affection for cats, being the object he painted the most. Guided by three mentors—Hendra Gunawan, Barli Samitawinata, and Ries Mulder—Popo Iskandar sharpened his painting talent. Among them, Ries Mulder's strong influence steered Popo Iskandar toward cubism and abstraction in his art. However, he also harbored an interest in realism, shaped by his teacher, Hendra Gunawan.

Lot 028 | Popo Iskandar | Cat, 1996 | Oil on canvas: 30 x 40 cm
Est. SGD 2,000 - 2,700

According to him, the unique nature of cats—varied, humorous, spoiled, wild, yet obedient—drove his inclination to paint these creatures. His artistic collection extends beyond cats to encompass nature and living subjects: roosters, tigers, bamboo groves, flowers, horses, and bulls.

Lot 029 | Popo Iskandar | Kucing, 1997 | Oil on canvas: 41 x 49 cm
Est. SGD 2,700 - 3,600
Lot 027 | Popo Iskandar | Rooster, 1997 | Oil on canvas: 61 x 49 cm
Est. SGD 2,900 - 4,000

Iskandar's artistic accomplishments granted him the opportunity to host a solo exhibition in The Hague, Netherlands. His big commitment to the art, literature, and education in Indonesia earned him the esteemed "Anugerah Seni Negara" in 1980.

Lot 026 | Popo Iskandar | Ayam Merah, 1998 | Oil on canvas: 80 x 100 cm
Est. SGD 5,800 - 7,600
Lot 030 | Popo Iskandar | Kucing, 1977 | Oil on canvas: 64 x 54 cm
Est. SGD 2,200 - 3,100
Lot 031 | Popo Iskandar | Potret Dua Kucing, 1997 | Oil on canvas: 30 x 41 cm
Est. SGD 1,400 - 2,200

You can enjoy the masterpieces of the maestro and other renowned artists by participating in our online auction on 8 December 2023, at 7 PM (JKT). Please feel free to register and place your bid now. If you have any inquiries, do not hesitate to contact one of our marketing specialists.