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On Heels Of China's Contemporary Art Stars, Indonesians Are Latest Asian Secret On Art Maket

Contemporary artists in Indonesia are starting to gain the attention of Western galleries. And like the craze for Chinese art that preceded it, the sudden attention could send prices for Indonesian pieces through the roof.

On Heels Of China's Contemporary Art Stars, Indonesians Are Latest Asian Secret On Art Maket
Roxana Azimi

Western museums and art galleries have overlooked contemporary Indonesian art for too long. But by a curious combination of circumstances, artists from the Asian archipelago are finally enjoying their day in the Western sun – at least in three of Europe's shining capital cities.

Louis-Vuitton's Espace Culturel in Paris is dedicating an exhibit to Indonesian artwork from June 24 to Oct. 23, and the famous British collector Charles Saatchi is opening his London space up for the works in August. And in Berlin, gallery owner Matthias Arndt is incorporating several Indonesian artists in his exhibit entitled "Looking South," from Sept. 10 to Oct. 27, while Paris' SAM Art Project will also welcome the Indonesian artist Eko Nugroho this fall.

Why the sudden wave of interest? Indonesia artists have the astronomical success of their Chinese counterparts to thank. "It's logical," explains Jean-Marc Decrop, a specialist of the region. "There was a ripple effect. With the overinflated price of Chinese art, the audacious Asian and international art collectors turned their attention to other scenes. And Indonesia is by far the second most interesting art scene in Asia."

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Geopolitics

Our 'Emotional' Divide: How The Ukraine War Reveals A World Broken In Two

Russia's invasion has created a stark global divide: them and us. On one side are the countries refusing to condemn Moscow, with the West on the other. It's a dangerous split that could have repercussions far into the future.

Protesters against the war in Ukraine demonstrate in front of the Russian embassy in London

Dominique Moïsi

-Analysis-

PARIS — "The West and the Rest of Us." That's the title of a 1975 essay written by Nigerian essayist and critic Chinweizu Ibekwe. I've been thinking about his words as the war in Ukraine both reveals and accelerates divisions of the world that I believe are ultimately "emotional" in nature.

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With war returning to Europe and the risk of escalation, there is a gap between the Western view and that of the "others," a distinct "us and them." This gap cannot be explained in strictly geographical, political, and economic terms.

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