Fri, 19 Aug 1994

Expo by 49 artists marks Independence anniversary

JAKARTA (JP): Highlighting the 49th anniversary of Indonesia's independence, Edwin's Gallery holds a ten-day exhibition to last until Sunday evening, presenting realistic, surrealistic, expressionistic and abstract works of 49 local painters.

The exhibition, called Gema Empat Sembilan, which literally means "The Echo of Forty Nine", is designed to reflect the development of Indonesian painting since independence.

With varying styles and themes the 49 artists -- with Arie Smit, 78, a Dutch born painter being the oldest and Melodia, 27, the youngest -- have evidently enriched the country's artistic treasures in its 49 years of independence.

Painting, like any other artistic creation, is also a medium of communication. Although not a single painting in the exhibition depicts the revolutionary years of Indonesia's independence, the works of the artists have nevertheless portrayed the endless struggle of the Indonesian people towards a better future.

Social justice, human rights, poverty and environmental degradation are topical issues which have come to the fore and have been keenly observed by the artists and have been chosen as subjects of their paintings.

Hence, to mention just a few, one can see Renungan 94 or "Contemplation of 94" by Soetjipto Adi, which, done surrealistically, delineates a boy near an intricate structure trying to touch a human hand while a woman figure lies asleep, unaware of her surroundings. Or Rudolf G Usman's Blue Forest which reminds one of the danger of deforestation and environmental damage. The dark bluish color used by Usman obviously helps create a gloomy atmosphere of the forest.

Apart from such melancholia, there are also pieces which depict joys and great hopes for prosperity, such as reflected in Tio Tjay's Tandjidor, a band of musicians which are typically Jakarta's. The colorful dress of the musicians and the bright yellow hues in the background strongly personifies their hopes and teamwork spirit.

With a large variety of subjects depicting the country's development, urban scenes and rural lives, the exhibition has thus presented a colorful picture of Indonesia which connoisseurs may want to see.

Also the works of renowned painters like Abas Alibasyah, A.D. Pirous, Barli, Dede Eri Supria and Nyoman Gunarsa, can also be seen in this exhibition, held in one of Jakarta's reputable art galleries, in Jl. Kemang Raya 21.

-- Oei Eng Goan