Sun, 13 Mar 2005

'Sisterhood' exhibition supports women through art sales

Kurniawan Hari, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Miranda S. Goeltom, senior deputy of Bank Indonesia, closely examined paintings and statues on display in an exhibition during its opening on Tuesday evening.

She eventually selected a painting by Jakartan artist Aditya Tobing for her personal collection: Suara-suara Cello di Mercusuar yang Mati (Voices of a cello in a dead lighthouse), which bore a Rp 5 million (US$537) price tag.

The opening of the Karya Untuk Kawan (Composition for Friends) exhibition organized by the National Commission on Violence Against Women (Komnas Perempuan) coincided with International Women's Day, which fell on March 8.

The exhibition will run until March 22 and features various art works, such as paintings, statues, carvings and photography, by 41 artists -- all for sale.

One of the reasons for holding the biennial exhibition is to raise funds through the sale of works by renowned artists to support Women's Crisis Centers in the country.

Karya Untuk Kawan was first held in 2003 and raised Rp 122 million for the centers, which provide services for victims of domestic violence.

Ranging from a couple of million to several million rupiah, RW Moelyadi's Geliat (Stretch) is priced at Rp 2.5 million, while Farida Srihadi's painting Destiny I Tried to Understand costs Rp 75 million.

Kamala Chandra Kirana of Komnas Perempuan said the women's centers required financial support to maintain its services for the public; the center's activities are dependent on donors as well as volunteers.

"Our volunteers often use their own money to provide services," said Kamala.

Myra Diarsi, who organized the exhibition, said the participating artists had agreed to channel 50 percent of their sales revenue to the women's centers via Pundi Perempuan, an account managed by the Indonesian Social Foundation for Humanity (YSIK).

Zoemrotin K. Susilo of YSIK added that the exhibition had been designed to raise awareness among visitors about domestic violence and to encourage their understanding of battered women.

"Instead of seeking money from donors, we have started holding fund-raisers like this," Zoemrotin said.

Representatives of international organizations, scholar Saparinah Sadli, former state justice Deliana Sayuti and Linda Agum Gumelar, the wife of former transportation minister Agum Gumelar, were present at the opening.

The exhibition is a platform where love and hate collide: the love of art and disdain for violence against women. Its message is clear: Let us buy these works of art to help maintain the women's crisis centers nationwide, and so let beauty enter into our lives.