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Jakarta Post

ONO GAF: Malang’s man of steel

  • Duncan Graham


Malang   /   Mon, April 2 2012   /  08:00 am

Not all foreign words that migrate into Indonesian stay intact. Sosialisasi now means community education, while “unfollow” demonstrates logic, if not authenticity.

Now consider artis, a word that has morphed into anybody with celebrity status, whether their talent is barren or fertile.

This story is about a real artist and will hopefully restore some luster to the term. The title has credibility beyond a journalist’s observation; for Malang sculptor and painter Sumarsono will get official recognition for a lifetime in the creative arts in April.

His award, from Malang Mayor Peni Suparto, follows a nomination from the Malang Arts Council. Peer recognition is a rare accolade, particularly in a profession awash with risks, loneliness, jealousy and self doubts.

If Sumarsono, 64, better known as Ono Gaf, ever fought these demons during his long career, they ...