Contemporary Passion

Forbes Indonesia|May 2020

Contemporary Passion
Galuh Swarna Sukardi shares her new role at David Zwirner Hong Kong and rising attention on Southeast Asian contemporary artists.
Marella Putri

The Art Market 2020, an annual report by Art Basel and UBS, shows that the global sales of art and antiques reached $64.1 in 2019 billion, driven by three major art hubs: the US, the UK, and China. However, sales in China have been declining for two consecutive years. Since then, attention is beginning to shift toward Southeast Asia. With its emerging economy, the region brought new opportunities with more art fairs held and private museums established. Galuh Swarna Sukardi, who recently sat as director at world-renowned contemporary art gallery David Zwirner Hong Kong, believes Indonesian artist and art ecosystem is heading to the right direction to take advantage of the opportunity.

Galuh is among the few Indonesian women experts who engage and promote the country's contemporary arts. She has built her career in the art scene in Asia over the past decade. Galuh started at the international auction house Sotheby's Hong Kong in their Specialist Department for Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Art. Sotheby's Hong Kong is also where her interest in contemporary art nurtured. She worked there for four years. Before her appointment at David Zwirner Hong Kong in February, Galuh was the head of Southeast Asia for White Cube and was based in Hong Kong and London from 20142019. One of the most exciting experiences she recalls is when she played a key role in bringing a rising Bandung-borne artist, Christine Ay Tjoe, to the White Cube's roster.

Indonesia has a very strong and creative culture… I believe that art nurtures innovation, so it’s particularly important in the 21st century for the economy to support the arts... It’s about building a society and culture which represents and challenges us,” says Galuh.

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May 2020