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Ancient 'kris' exhibition highlights its art value

Ganug Nugroho Adi

The Jakarta Post

Surakarta, Central Java  /  Thu, January 26, 2017  /  06:13 pm
Ancient 'kris' exhibition highlights its art value

Among the 'kris' are ones that have been used by Mataram Sultan Agung, Mataram Senopaten from Yogyakarta and Mataram Amangkurat from Kartasura. (JP/Ganug Nugroho Adi)

Dozens of Mataram-era kris (ceremonial Javanese daggers) are being exhibited for a week at Balai Sudjatmoko in Surakarta, Central Java, starting Monday.

Among the kris are ones that have been used by Mataram Sultan Agung, Mataram Senopaten from Yogyakarta and Mataram Amangkurat from Kartasura.

"During the Mataram era, kris art reached its peak. Many great kris created during those times include Nogososro and Gajahsingo," the venue's manager Yunanto Sutyastomo told The Jakarta Post on Thursday, adding that the items were part of the Padepokan Keris Brojobuwono collection owned by Basuki Teguh Yuwono, who is a master craftsman and lecturer at the Kris and Traditional Weapons Program at the Indonesian Arts Institute (ISI) Surakarta's Arts and Design Faculty.

In addition to kris, the exhibition also features workshops and seminars on kris identification, as it aims to introduce Mataram-era kris to the public as an artwork.

(Read also: Kris lovers seek a way to penetrate generation Z)

"Many people think that kris as merely a mystical items. It should be considered as a piece of art," said Yunanto.

During the seminar, Empu Basuki said Tangguh Mataram kris had an eye-catching motif, especially the Mataram Sultan Agung kris, due to it being created during the kingdom's golden era. He added that identifying kris from that period was not easy because the era spanned a long time, therefore "visual observations, including feeling, as well as experience" were not sufficient.

The exhibition itself attracts many visitors, including young people. "I'm just curious since kris is considered mystical and supernatural. But after seeing this exhibition and joining the seminar, I have gained new knowledge that it is actually a beautiful art," said Buntoro, 23. (kes)

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