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Artists explore Javanese culture in 'Power of Jawa' exhibition

News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Tue, August 20, 2019  /  11:08 am
Artists explore Javanese culture in 'Power of Jawa' exhibition

'Harta Tahta Wanita' is among the artwork displayed at the 'Power of Jawa' exhibition at Bentara Budaya Jakarta, held until Aug. 24. (JP/Rania Teguh)

Bentara Budaya Jakarta along with the Liquid Color Community is holding an exhibition of artwork entitled "Power of Jawa" until Aug. 24.

Known for its diverse community across the archipelago, Indonesia is inhabited by 1,340 tribes. One particular tribe, Jawa (Java), stands out as the largest ethnic group. 

The exhibition features 30 works by a number of artists, namely Choerodin Roadyn, Muji Harjo, Endro Banyu, Sigit Raharjo and Lenny Ratnasari Weichert.

The theme “Power of Jawa” is explored by examining their respective philosophies about the inner and outer life of human beings, the immediate surroundings and the notion of gotong royong (mutual cooperation).

A visitor views the 'Spirit Holopis Kuntul Baris' painting by Choerodin Roadyn at the 'Power of Jawa' exhibition at Bentara Budaya Jakarta.A visitor views the 'Spirit Holopis Kuntul Baris' painting by Choerodin Roadyn at the 'Power of Jawa' exhibition at Bentara Budaya Jakarta. (JP/Rania Teguh)

Alex Luthfi, founder of Saung Banon Arts Yogyakarta, said "Each artist responds to the philosophy of Javanese culture which always prioritizes balance".

He added that these philosophical values are evident especially in the collaborative work of oil panting by Choerodin Roadyn, Muji Harjo, Endro Banyu and Sigit Raharjo, titled "Power of Java".

Read also: Colors from Home exhibition shows vibrant side of Indonesian batik

The work evokes the image of Borobudur Temple, a historical site considered as one of the pinnacles of Javanese cultural civilization. "The construction of Borobudur was the spirit of working hand in hand which illustrated mutual cooperation to establish a monument as a tribute to religious beliefs, which later became a mirror of national civilization," said Alex.

The Yogyakarta-based Liquid Color Community is home to artists Endro, Muji, Choerodin and Sigit.

Endro is known for incorporating grains of water in all of his work, while Choerodin often includes animals as a metaphor. 

Guest artist Lenny Ratnasari Weichert presents an artwork in the exhibition titled “Ticket to Heaven”, through which she questioned her existence, interpretation, judgement and imagination in modern society. With a hijab featured in Lenny's work, she questions whether a person’s worth is elevated once she dons a hijab. 

The exhibition is open to the public until Aug. 24 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Bentara Budaya Jakarta. (ran/wng)