The Jakarta Post
"Rini", a painting made by Indonesia's first president Sukarno. (JP/Masajeng Rahmiasri)
An exhibition showcasing the State Palace’s painting collection to the public is now open to the public and will run until Aug. 30 at the National Gallery in Central Jakarta.
Dubbed 17/71: Goresan Juang Kemerdekaan (Painting the Struggles of Independence), the exhibition is being held as part of the 71st Independence Day celebrations and features 28 artworks painted by 20 renowned artists and the country's first president, Sukarno.
(Read also: State Palace painting exhibition)
“Aside from being a center of political events, the State Palace also has an aesthetic side as it is home to a large art collection that needs to be preserved,” curator Mikke Santoso told a press conference on Monday.
"Memanah", a piece by Henk Ngantung. As the original painting made on plywood has started to decay, it has been reproduced by Haris Purnomo. (JP/Masajeng Rahmiasri)
Regarding the correlation between art and independence, Mikke said that art was a form of individual expression, which was one of the manifestations of freedom and independence.
Mikke added that the paintings displayed at the National Gallery were only 1 percent of the total 2,800 owned by the State Palace and most of them were collected during the Sukarno era.
In general, the exhibition consists of three themes: portraits of important independence struggle figures, social conditions in the revolution era, and traces of independence struggles from the Dutch colonial era to the 1950s.
Among the 28 paintings, there are at least five deemed as iconic, which Mikke dubbed as “having the most important meaning and more than just one story to tell". They are Memanah, a picture by Henk Ngantung that is usually hung in the room where the proclamation of independence took place; Penangkapan Pangeran Diponegoro (The Arrest of Prince Diponegoro) by Raden Saleh that is highly detailed and is rich in intrinsic meaning; Kawan-Kawan Revolusi (Revolution Comrades) by S. Sudjono that is said to have been one of the most treasured paintings of Sukarno; Rini, which was painted by Sukarno himself; and Gadis Melayu dengan Bunga (Malayan Girl with Flowers) by notable Mexican artist Diego Rivera.
The exhibition is open to the public between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. (kes)
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