Indonesian artists draw modesty in ‘Redraw III: Ugahari’

Ni Nyoman Wira

The Jakarta Post


Jakarta   /  Thu, July 26, 2018  /  06:31 pm

"Untitled Face #1" by Iwan Effendi displayed during "Redraw III: Ugahari" from July 25 to Aug. 5 at Edwin’s Gallery in South Jakarta.(Edwin's Gallery/File)

According to the Indonesian dictionary, ugahari means modesty or simplicity. The word was adapted as the theme for the third installment of the Redraw painting exhibition, held for 12 days from July 25 to Aug. 5 at Edwin’s Gallery in South Jakarta.

The curator of the exhibition, Leonhard “Barto” Bartolomeus, explained to The Jakarta Post the background of the theme.

Redraw has been [Edwin’s Gallery’s] annual exhibition and I am personally bored of talks about techniques,” Barto said during the exhibition’s opening on Wednesday at Edwin’s Gallery.

“The first exhibition was about technique in drawing lines and shapes, while the second installment, where I served as the curator, also explored drawing methods, drafts and sketches.”

Yudha Sandy's "The Club" and "Life Goals" displayed in "Redraw III: Ugahari". Barto, the exhibition's curator, said Yudha uses a different approach, style and artistic element here. (JP/Ni Nyoman Wira)

In Redraw III: Ugahari, Barto tries to see drawing as something that is simple and doable for all people, not only for artists. During the curatorial process, Barto imagined ugahari could be translated as problems that exist in the artists’ surroundings. “It’s not anything too complicated, conceptual or humorous. It's just everyday talk,” he said.

Barto then further explained: “Artists nowadays are deemed to be sensitive with social issues […] We cannot avert our eyes from those matters and it’s important to realize there are artists who are bold in that part. But on the other side, there are also artists who we cannot label as ignorant or apolitical, they have different tendencies.”

There are around 20 artists who participated in the exhibition, consisting of senior and younger artists to give visitors a variety in the artwork. They are: Agus Trianto, Alfin Agnuba, Anton Subiyanto, Ayu Arista Murti, Citra Sasmita, Farhan Siki, Gilang Fradika, Gilang Nuari, Iabaidou Piko, Iwan Effendy, Jumaldi Alfi, Kemalezedine, Marishka Soekarna, Miranti Minggar, Naisyah Suherman, Nasirun, R.E. Hartanto, Restu Ratnaningtyas, S. Dwi Stya Acong, Ugo Untoro and Yudha Sandy.

Read also: IB Said forgotten painter of state guest portraits

Artists (from left to right) Anton Subiyanto, Marishka Seokarna, Citra Sasmita, curator Leonhard Bartolomeus, architect Cosmas D. Gozali and founder of Edwin's Gallery Edwin Rahardjo during the opening of "Redraw III: Ugahari" on Wednesday, July 25, at Edwin's Gallery in South Jakarta. (JP/Ni Nyoman Wira)

Bali-based artist, Citra Sasmita, for instance, translated the meaning of ugahari into the spiritual realm. She displayed four paintings from Still Life (Corpus #1) to (Corpus #4), corpus meaning human body. Citra, who spent around a month making the paintings, uses symbols to convey her message.

Known as an artist who often speaks about women's and humanity's issues, Citra wanted people to see that there are still many tragedies happening to humanity, amid tourism in Bali. The tragedies include ones related to Balinese women. She conveys the message by incorporating bright colors, arrows, plants and swords into her artworks.

In line with the title of her works, Citra stated that the body of Balinese women, within a patriarchal culture, is viewed as a piece of property in the household. “But they do Yadnya [sacrifice] to live their lives in the family. On one side they’re hurt, but they survive,” said the gold winner of the 2017 UOB Painting of the Year for Established Artist category.

Citra Sasmita's paintings; "Still Life (Corpus #1 – #4)". (JP/Ni Nyoman Wira)

She once joined non-profit organization Bali Women Crisis Center, where she found many cases of parents who mistreated their daughters-in-law. Growing up seeing these women in reality, Citra said they had a weak position in society. “When they’re married, they don’t bring anything to their family. And if she cannot give birth to a boy, she may not have a good position either,” Citra explained, adding that she saw that as ironic in life even until now.

Opened to the public, Redraw III: Ugahari is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Monday to Saturday and 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. (mut)