I was browsing though Hendra Gunawan's paintings online when I spotted something that isn't quite the colorful, flowy figured women of Hendra. The image was mostly black with confident strokes of highlights making up harsh lighted forms of 3 surgeons, surrounded by a number of nuns and scholarly men (if not the parliament) focused on a man's laid body. I thought to myself, I've never seen something so contemporary, so striking, and so filled with multinational references, coming out of an Indonesian artist -- even when this was my first time trying to look up indonesian art.
So, there I was, intrigued by a new complex name; Ariadhitya Pramuhendra. What a javanese, arian name, I thought to myself. As further research shows, this guy graduated from ITB's printmaking major in 2007. A 29 year old young artist with a global caliber. Honored with "Artist of the Year- 2011" by Soemardja Art Award, an honorable mention from National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, held solo exhibitions in Jakarta, Japan, Taiwan, China, Singapore, Hongkong, and numerours international group exhibitions from London to Lebanon. This guy rides the gun. Check out his works.
This installation was shown in Art HK 2012, in Hongkong,
"By The Water and The Holy Spirit"
His works are a controversial mix of christian innuendos, role-playing, and film noir-esque suspense. Yes, suspense. The stillness of an impending storm, the slow kubrick moment before the big reveal, or that "i know you know what i mean" kind of look. A lot of his works made me wonder: is this a crime scene, or is this a hero scene? Which part of the contrasting good or evil, black or white, right or wrong, is this? That, i think, creates the suspense, the unsettling thick air of uncertainty. I could go on forever about the quest of re-viewing salvation in his Last Supper series, or the generational self-giving in his crucifixion series, or his strong introspective sense in the displace series.
Still, at the very end, the beauty of art is the mystery behind the painted. We can all but bask in the possibilities of its story. -- Johanna