The Works of The Best Known Indonesian Artists

January 1, 2012


Look at the painting: three women are making up themselves at a corner of street. It is true that they are street prostitutes. Hendra Gunawan, the painter, gave a title his work:  “Three Prostitutes” (1978). With this painting the prominent Indonesian artist has tried to portrait one of social realities in Indonesia: the prostitution. Here, Hendra didn’t make a judgment in moral about prostitution. He just showed the prostitutes as humans with their own life like as other people with any professions or occupations.

“Three Prostitutes”, 1978, Oil on Canvas, by Hendra Gunawan

“Three Prostitutes”  worked by Hendra Gunawan was one of 76 art works displayed in the Exhibition of Oei Hong Djien (OHD) Museum Collections, in Bentara Budaya, Jakarta, December 8-22, 2011.

OHD Museum was built by Oei Hong Djien, a prominent art collector, in 1997, based on Magelang, Center of Java. OHD Museum has about 2000 art works be paintings, sculptures or installation arts worked by Indonesian artists.

The exhibition held at an art house Bentara Budaya, Jakarta, presented the works of Indonesian famous artists that had passed away.  They were Affandi, Amri Yahya, Bagong Kussudiardja, Basuki Abdullah, Dullah, Emiria Soenassa, Hendra Gunawan, Itji Tarmizi, G Sidharta Soegijoo, Lee Man Fong, Rusli, S Sudjojono, Suhadi, Widayat, etc.

Beside “Three Prostitutes” by Hendra Gunawan, some interesting works here were “Adu Ayam” (The Fighting of Rooster), 1982, by Affandi, “Gazing Into The Sunrise”, 1960, by Itji Tarmizi, “Berunding di Rumah Pak Karno” (Discussion in Mr Karno’s House), 1956, by S Sudjojono.

“Adu Ayam” (The Fighting of Roosters), 1982, Oil on canvas, by Affandi

“Adu Ayam” by Affandi was expressionistic. Make roosters to fight to each other is one of cultures for Indonesian people especially in kampongs or little villages. The daily custom became so interesting when expressed in a canvas by the maestro of abstract expressionism, Affandi.

A daily life of people was also caught interestingly by Itji Tarmizi. His work, “Gazing Into The Sunrise” shows the life of societies in a fisherman village. With his realistic approach on big enough canvas (147×298 cm), he was able to present the life of fisherman people so real. Looking at the painting make us as if present in the life of the people.

S Sudjojono, which known as a father of Indonesian visual art, presented a situation of Indonesia in Early Freedom era. His work, “Discussion in Mr Karno’s House” shows some Indonesian fighter for the Freedom had a discussion. This painting are able to present nationalism feeling for Indonesian people.

In general, this exhibition has enriched our knowledge about Indonesian contemporary and classical art works especially from the best known artists. Thank your for OHD Museum and Bentara Budaya Jakarta.

Watch video of the Exhibition of  OHD Museum Collection: Asian Arts Exhibition|Affandi Painting


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