Nuansa Indonesia artists at Taman Ismail Marzuki, Jakarta (1988)

artdesigncafé - art | 28 January 2012
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Dolorosa Sinaga

Dolorosa Sinaga, working in the time-consuming and costly medium of bronze, is showing four small works. Fascinated by "the tension between movement and stillness", these works are all variations on the theme of the wave-like or flame-like movement of a mass reverberating around a central, open space. The works’ rough, flowing detailing retains the feel of the original clay model, and the composition is delicately balanced— some almost too much so, with the movement seeming to pull off equally in all directions, thus cancelling itself out in equilibrium. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Dance of Fire.

This pushes the emphasis in the works towards "stillness" and away from the tension Dolorosa talks about.

Hildawati Soemantri

Hildawati Soemantri shows five ceramic pieces, mostly new. Here are several gems of ceramic sculpture, bearing echoes of a functional past, such as in the two pieces Form 1 and Form 2. These are combinations of a broken bowl-form set on a pedestal of a chipped cylinder, both partly glazed, and partly fired "raw", with traces of smoke. The bowls’ chipped rims and variegated surface treatment gives them a feeling of having survived in the soil from a distant past, yet the combination of the forms of sphere and cylinder bespeak a formalist strength which is distinctly modern.

Hildawati Soemantri’s monumental "hollow log"-like cylinder captures the rough beauty in imperfect or decaying nature that Japanese ikebana-vases often aim for. Finally, the most original piece, Catur wangsa, seems to present us with a different order of reality altogether, with its dialogue between three small cylinders facing one cylinder, in a flat and broken landscape of delicately smoke-fired clay. The cylinders, slightly swaying, slightly bent, give us the feeling of being alive, in the same way that Nashar’s abstract shapes are imbued with some form of organic life beyond those forms that are known to us.

Edith Ratna

Sculptor [Edith Ratna] shows a range of wood sculpture in several styles: from a combination of brightly painted, even cylinder blocks which might as well have been executed in a different material, not drawing on any characteristics of wood as an expressive material, to several highly polished mahogany works, where such forms as spheres and tapering cylinders evoke the female body. One work stood out from the others, stunning in its elegance and organic aliveness: Dialog IV, with its sensually flowing vein-like or hair-like lines between the wooden cleft.