Southeast Asian art has been enjoying greater recognition in recent years but is it a worthwhile investment?
The answer depends on who you ask.
That Southeast Asian art is making waves globally is not in doubt. There has been greater exposure at art exhibitions and international art fairs among other platforms. Some artworks have been sold at dizzying prices, notably the 2014 sale of "Pasukan Kita Yang Dipimpin Pangeran Diponegoro" (Our Soldiers Led Under Prince Diponegoro) by modern Indonesian artist S. Sudjojono. It went under the hammer for $7.48 million (HK$58.36 million) in Hong Kong.
However, whether the market is ripe for investors to step in is another matter altogether.
Low Sze Wee, director of curatorial & collections at the National Gallery Singapore, is one of the doubters. The National Gallery Singapore, which opened in November last year, has one of the world's largest collections of modern Southeast Asian art and presents regional exhibits that help viewers understand more about the Southeast Asian art and culture.
Low's message: "nobody knows" which artwork will appreciate in value, if at all.
"I would actually urge people not to think of art as an investment, there are more rational ways of investing your money than in art," says Low in a CNBC interview.