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Surabaya-born painter to stage solo exhibition in Philadelphia

Jessicha Valentina
Jessicha Valentina

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Tue, August 1, 2017 | 09:01 am
Surabaya-born painter to stage solo exhibition in Philadelphia

In addition to her favorite food, Dian also paints fish, such as tuna, mackerel, butterfish and fish heads. (Dian Paramita/File)

Surabaya-born painter Dian Paramita is set to stage a solo exhibition at the Twenty-Two Gallery in Philadelphia, United States, from Aug. 11 until Sept. 1.

Titled “Food for Thought", the exhibition will showcase Dian’s favorite painting subject: food.

She told The Jakarta Post via email that she has always been attracted to learn about the human relationship with and desire for food. “We need food to survive, but we also want food to indulge,” she said.

Moreover, from her traveling experiences, Dian also discovered that food has the ability to connect and unite people, bypassing language, cultural and political differences. This inspired her to produce food-themed paintings drawn from her favorite foods, such as Japanese snack Pocky, French macaroons and Indonesian nasi goreng (fried rice).

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In continuation of Dian’s food-themed paintings, the contemporary realist artist will donate 20 percent of the proceeds from the exhibition to MANNA, a non-profit organization that focuses on providing medically appropriate meals for people with life-threatening illnesses, such as cancer, kidney disease and HIV/AIDS. 

“Since I started my [artistic career] and created my paintings in Philadelphia, I feel the need to give back to the city through a local charity,” shared Dian, adding that she had lost her father to cancer seven months ago, which increased her empathy for people with life-threatening diseases.

From her traveling experiences, Dian discovered that food has the ability to connect and unite people bypassing language, cultural and political differences.From her traveling experiences, Dian discovered that food has the ability to connect and unite people bypassing language, cultural and political differences. (Dian Paramita/File)

Born and raised in Surabaya, East Java, in 1982, Dian can be considered a new kid on the block. Though she learned to paint when was little, Dian only took the plunge into painting a few years back.

In 2012, after watching Steve Jobs’ commencement speech at Stanford University on YouTube, she resigned from her public relations job, packed her bags and traveled to the US. She then landed in Studio Incamminati, where she spent three years honing her skills painting life models. 

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Throughout her short stint as an artist, Dian has taken part in 17 group exhibitions and received the Student Excellence Award in the 2016 Rittenhouse Square Fine Art Show, the US’ oldest outdoor art show. 

In addition to painting her favorite food, Dian also paints fish, such as tuna, mackerel, butterfish and fish heads. She said the effervescent color of fish, which changes depending on the light, captivated her.

“Indonesia is [one of the biggest] fish producers in the world, but not many people in Philadelphia are aware about [this fact]. Hopefully, my paintings will shed more light on Indonesia's achievement in the fishing industry,” she added. (kes)

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