Choreography of Colours

December 1, 2009
Sardono W Kusumo

Sardono W Kusumo

He is basically a dancer and a choreographer. So, when he is painting he is  really creating a dance or choreography on canvas. The result is a choreography of colours.

Choreography of Colours is the title of Sardono W Kusumo’s solo exhibition which has been holding at Vivi Yip Art Room, Jakarta, November 12-December 12, 2009.

Until now, it’s really Sardono is just known as a choreographer and a dancer. But he really loves painting and made some visual arts in 1970th when his career in dancing and choreography also started to develop. When his friends asked him to exhibit his works Sardono said that he was just a lover of visual arts. Then, he preferred to involve in choreography which waved his name nationally and internationally. Sardono is one of the great artists in Indonesia in contemporary performing arts.

However, Sardono never stopped his desire to paint. Even he often tries to fuse his painting arts with his choreography, or puts his painting arts as parts of his choreographies. Now, for instance, he is choreographing a  performance in New York for 2011. There he will perform his epic-sized paintings as backdrop. “Last year I made six 10-meter-long strips of painted plastic and textile”, Sardono explains.

sardono1So far Sardono has created more than a hundred of painting works in his home and studio. The Choreography of Colours is his first solo exhibition with fifteen paintings selected by curator Enin Supriyanto.

Sardono’s works in this exhibition are as varied in texture and color as the techniques used to create them. He uses no paintbrush. Instead, he relies on his fingers, hands, body, paint-tubes, oil-sticks, palette knife and painting-medium-bottles to apply and spread pigment upon canvas.

sardono2The results are breathtaking. Fantastical. Thick mounds of oil paint stand their ground while fluid media-borne oil-based pigments wash and spread around them, spilling over the edges of stretched canvas.

This sensual, controlled flow of pigment hints of a dancer’s innate understanding of his musculature and body architecture. Here the canvas acts as an extension of the dancer’s body. The play of reflected light is a trace of the dancer’s movements.

“I like so many things,” said Sardono, “I like complexity and order-within-chaos… Only from such chaos new explorations arise.”


“Dancing with Light on Canvas”, Kadek Krishna Adidharma, The Jakarta Post, November 19, 2009.

“Tarian Warna Sardono”, Danarto, Kompas daily, November 15, 2009

See other articles:

Syncretism of Java-Islam in Contemporary Art, The Revival of Traditional Balinese Painting, Social Criticism in Contemporary Art, Exhibition of Kompas Short Story Illustration, Agus Suwage is Still CrazyThe Love and Hates of Anang Asmara

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