Painting : Land of Priangan (Wahdi Sumanta - 1974)

Title : "Land of Priangan"

Artist : Wahdi Sumanta

Year : 1974

Oil on canvas

Dimension 145 x 297 cms

In his painting entitled "Tanah Priangan" ( Land of Priangan ) ( 1974 ), Wahdi Sumanta expresses his aesthetic vision about the ideal and whole macro cosmos. The scenery of the land of Priangan truely becomes the objects of imagination of many romantic painters. In this work, at the background erects majestically a mountain decorated with hills and layers of white clouds on the blue sky. Behind the foreground many trees emerging between the hills and the fields the hidden villages are visible peacefully. This work belongs to naturalistic style.

In the history of Indonesian modern painting, the work of Wahdi Sumanta can be categorized into the aesthetic paradigm of Mooi Indie. The expression of the paradigm tends to follow the trend of exotic romanticism which in Indonesian context emerged from the cultural view during the Dutch occupation that stressed on the harmony of the feudal colonialism. The beautiful scenery, exoticims of the native women, various traditional uniqueness become the dreaming reflection of the world of harmony. From the romantic view expresses how man really swung from the fleeting and hard life trying to reach the whole and ideal world.

In the art of painting expression, the condition is often reflected in the dramatic visual idiom which shows the fleeting of life, or conversely expresses the ideal and harmonious peaceful world. The beauty of the painting scenery becomes the reflection of dreaming ideal world of the Dutch people in facing the reality of temporary of life during the Dutch Indie time. So is the scenery idiom becoming the reflection of worship to the natural beauty and the dream of world of harmony for Indonesian people. Yet in reality, there was often unbalanced social condition.