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

artdesigncafé - art | 28 January 2012
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Nuansa Indonesia: 1 | Dolorosa Sinaga, Hildawati Soemantri, Edith Ratna: 2 | Rahmayani, Siti Adiyati, Lucia Hartini, Wiranti Tedjasukmana: 3 | Nunung W. S., Farida Srihadi: 4 | 5

Rahmayani & Siti Adiyati: New faces

Rahmayani is one of the two new faces in Nuansa and the youngest of the present exhibitors. She is also the one who bridges the distance between sculpture and painting, working in both media as she does. Of nine works displayed, many different styles were evident— from a conceptual approach to three-dimensional symbols (a series of washing boards— prototypical symbol of women— laid out as footsteps across the floor) a Picasso-esque approach to distorting images of cows and faces, a Matisse-like decorative approach to the woman’s figure, and so on.

One can say what one will about such diversity in approach— ever since Picasso, it has been impossible to demand of an artist that she find her own style and stick to it. Some people will call such a multiple approach "richness", others will call it "confusion" or "immaturity": what is clear in this case is that Rahmayani chooses this approach fully consciously, saying that each work represents a symbolic image of a feeling or thought she had at the moment, and that she refuses to be limited by convention.

The other newcomer to the group is Siti Adiyati, also active as an author of children’s books, whose painting seems influenced by her preoccupation with the world and the vision of children. The style— bright jagged lines of color interlocking into a directional flow or swirling, child-like ocean waves in spirals— certainly seems her own, but it seems to be a recent development that has not quite found its footing yet.

Siti Adiyati’s ideas about art and the relation between form, abstraction and meaning, as introduced in the catalog, are so developed that it seems her painting has yet to catch up to the same point. Visually Siti is too energetic, forgetting the need for visual rest as well as movement.

Lucia Hartini

Lucia Hartini is the second youngest exhibitor in the group. Having participated in all three Nuansa exhibitions, and with hardly any exhibition experience beyond that, she displays a unique imagination and a vast perspective of the world. Painting in her kitchen, in between cooking and looking after her small child, and with only high school studies in art behind her, it is amazing to see the vastness of planets, oceans and coral reefs reaching up towards the blue moon and the stars twinkling in the depths of blue space.

Showing six paintings, several of them large canvases, all recent, she makes a departure from the super-realist, slightly surreal paintings exhibited last year. The present paintings are more textural, the brush playing with the pitted surface of coral rocks and a choppy ocean, and the colors are a touch brighter, a step closer to fantasy. The surreal has been offset by a more romantic approach and one marvels at how a new style like this can evolve and present itself with so much internal consistency in such a short period of time.

Wiranti Tedjasukmana

Wiranti Tedjasukmana, in her depictions of women and children going about the chores of daily as well as of ritual life, brought us into a bright, warm, purple-and-golden world. Natural light no longer existed, instead we had a world suffused in color, and filled with elongated, elegant but natural figures. Inspired both by the post-impressionists and by Persian miniatures, where every bit of space was paid such close attention to and the colors were both brilliant as well as brilliantly tuned to each other, Wiranti was also inspired by children’s painting. "Children dare to use colors, in ways we do not— and they do it without thinking twice, and it always works out beautifully!" says Wiranti.

These paintings, which with their simplicity and sweet accessibility hint at naive art or primitivist painting, were the body of work in the exhibition which most obviously center on the lives and activities of women.

Nuansa Indonesia: 1 | Dolorosa Sinaga, Hildawati Soemantri, Edith Ratna: 2 | Rahmayani, Siti Adiyati, Lucia Hartini, Wiranti Tedjasukmana: 3 | Nunung W. S., Farida Srihadi: 4 | 5