The Jakarta Post
A visitor ponders a painting titled 'Pangeran Diponegoro Memimpin Perang' (Prince Diponegoro leads the war) by prominent painter Basuki Abdullah at the National Gallery, Central Jakarta. (The Jakarta Post/wienda parwitasari)
Forty-eight paintings from all six presidential palaces are currently on display at the National Gallery in Central Jakarta as part of the 72nd anniversary celebrations of Indonesian independence.
In the exhibition, which runs until Aug. 30 and is open to the public for free, each painting has been carefully selected to reflect the theme “Senandung Ibu Pertiwi” (Songs of the Motherland).
The presidential palaces have an impressive collection of priceless historical artworks. Their collections boast a variety of different items, from paintings and sculptures, to jewelry, porcelain, stationery and cutlery.
These pieces are normally kept safely hidden in the state and presidential palaces located in Jakarta; Bogor and Cipanas in West Java; Tampaksiring Palace in Bali; as well as Gedung Agung in Yogyakarta.
The country's first president Sukarno was instrumental in acquiring these artworks and staying in touch with the arts during his time. Art was seen as a tool to help build the spirit and character of the nation.
According to Antara news agency, the government aimed to use this exhibition as a platform to showcase the works of Indonesian artists for the international community.
In addition to the paintings, the event committee are also showcasing archives and other documentation, as well as works by Russian artist Konstantin Makovsky, on a large LED screen. (tha/kes)