Authentication, Attribution and the Art Market: Understanding Issues of Attribution in Contemporary Indonesia


The widespread circulation of paintings lacking a secure provenance within the Indonesian art market is an increasingly prevalent issue that questions trust, damages reputations and collective cultural narratives. In the long-term, this may impact on the credibility of artists, their work and the international art market. Under the current Indonesian copyright laws, replicating a painting is not considered a crime of art forgery, rather a crime of autograph forgery, a loophole that has allowed the practice of forgery to grow. Despite widespread claims of problematic paintings appearing in cultural collections over recent years, there has been little scholarly research to map the scope of counterfeit painting circulation within the market. Building on this research gap and the themes of the conference, this paper will provide a current understanding of art fraud in Indonesia based on research undertaken on the Authentication, Attribution and the Art Market in Indonesia: Understanding issues of art attribution in contemporary Indonesia. This research is interdisciplinary in its scope and is grounded in the art historical, socio-political and socio-economic context of cultural and artistic production in Indonesia, from the early twentieth century to the contemporary art world of today. By locating the study within a regionally relevant framework, this paper aims to provide a current understanding of issues of authenticity in Indonesia and is a targeted response to the need for a materials-evidence based framework for the research, identification and documentation of questionable paintings, their production and circulation in the region.

Author Information
Eliza O'Donnell, University of Melbourne, Australia
Nicole Tse, University of Melbourne, Australia

Paper Information
Conference: ACAH2018
Stream: Arts - Visual Arts Practices

This paper is part of the ACAH2018 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon