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Tri Wahyudi presents his work, Propaganda Baca Buku (Reading propaganda, 2007) to culture observer Romo Mudji Sutrisno (right).
Flashes of hopes, dreams, ideals, expectations run wild before we finally sink into the subconscious world.
Painter Tri Wahyudi tries to capture these fragments on canvas with acrylic paint. Entitled “The Journey Before Bed Time”, his solo exhibition in the Bentara Budaya Jakarta cultural center, consists of 26 works crafted over the last two years.
During the opening of the exhibition on Wednesday, Wahyudi’s appearance was far from the usually eccentricity we expect from an artist. The young painter was calm, composed and immaculately dressed, but a close look at some paintings in his solo exhibition reveals another side of the man.
Bright, cheerful combinations of colors like red, jade and turquoise dominate his paintings. With some eerie figures like a headless bride, his paintings scream for attention. Various animals, toys, home appliances, ornaments, lollipops, candies, plants and other familiar objects repeatedly appear in different combinations across several works.
Visitors observe paintings in the exhibition.
There are numerous echoes of animated children’s films like Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland; comic books like The Adventures of Tintin and The Simpsons TV show .
There is no immediately apparent order to the scattered bits and pieces, but there are countless tiny details to spot and reflect upon. Wahyudi just smiles when asked why he put grisly objects in some paintings.
“Viewers are free to interpret the paintings. A painter should find his or her own character as time goes by. I too, am going through the process of finding myself at this point,” he said.
This show is his first solo exhibition. Born in Surakarta in 1986, Tri Wahyudi graduated from Indonesian Arts Institute (ISI) in Surakarta and is taking a masters degree at ISI Yogyakarta.
The winner of various competitions on his campus in Surakarta he has been a part of several multiparty exhibitions, such as Works on Paper in the Aswara Gallery in Malaysia.
Painter Tri Wahyudi with his self-portrait works, Yudi Bernyanyi Lagu Sebelum Tidur (Yudi sings lullaby, 2011) (left) and Happy and Stand Up in House of Yudi (2011).
While some pictures demand the visitor uses some imagination and philosophical sensitivity, others are easy to understand, such as Thinking About The World. A red figure, reminiscent of a Teletubby, sits on a red couch in a living room, pondering a globe.
In the dreamy eyes we see our future expectations and thoughts about our world. Wahyudi explains in the catalogue that this work tries to capture the mind’s journey into an imaginary world, which includes our reflections and obsessions.
He wants to highlight irony, contradiction and things that happen in daily life both inside the human mind and in interactions with others.
Another painting, Wedding and Guns, depicts a bride with a stern face, holding a gun and looking at the inferior groom on her left. There is a mix of violence, strong femininity and submission together in one frame.
Wahyudi said preparing the concept for Wedding and Guns requires the longest time among his paintings.
Another picture, Happiness, shows a smiling couple with the male holding a flying kite and riding a horse toy. It reminds us of childhood happinesses that stick in our mind even when we are growing old.
Father Muji Sutrisno who opened the exhibition said, “Dreams need visualizations, so people can dream not only through writings but also visually through canvas.”
“The Journey Before Bed Time” will run until July 27 at Bentara Budaya Jakarta. The same exhibition was previously held in Bentara Budaya Yogyakarta in June.
— Photos by Jerry Adiguna —