Press Release


Yos Suprapto is an Indonesian painter who is familiar with works related to social issue, environment and recent development in politics. In his track record, Yos never leaves social issues. In 1994, he raised environmental issue for his solo exhibition entitled “Bersatu Dengan Alam” at Taman Ismail Marzuki. In 2001, he held a solo exhibition with the theme “Barbarisme: Perjalanan Anak Bangsa” at the National Gallery of Indonesia showing his criticism towards the violence in the reality of contemporary nation. In 2005, he raised a social issue, a criticism of corruption in the elite bureaucracy, by holding a solo exhibition “Republik Udang” in Tembi Gallery, Yogyakarta. He further was also involved in a group exhibition “Mata Hati Demokrasi” in Surakarta Cultural Park in 2002. On This occasion, displaying 33 paintings, Yos raises a deep evaluation on the nation’s cultural journey, especially maritime culture. 
Despite addressing social issues, Yos retains the aesthetics of lines, color, and style. In this exhibition entitled “Arus Balik Cakrawala 2017”, he displays his creation in cultivating realist figurations rooted in the tradition of social realism of Diego Rivera and Taring Padi by using surrealistic symbolisms that remind us of the brushstrokes of Jogja artists in the era of 1980s. In his paintings, social commentaries and criticism are presented in symbolism language. Mohamad Sobary, a humanist, mentioned “free and moving points and cycle as well as the freedom of Chinese painters in moving the canvas is a great influence in Yos’ life and idea”.
Lines and colors tricks are the most provocative feature in Yos’ painting. There are black, red, blue, green, brown, yellow, purple, orange, and white. The colors are displayed with a strong visual power and hard, coupled to each other that appear as a composition that is not smooth or soft, like a tension. There are social, politic, culture, ecology, humanities, sorts of major components of life in this country. Prof. Dr. Setiawan Sabana, MFA a professor of the Faculty of Art and Design of Bandung Institute of Technology mentioned “The expression in Yos’ works have a variety of impressions and messages, which are direct and outspoken but also soft and symbolic. To sum up, the works of Yos Suprapto contains all the confusion of the dimension of living in Indonesia”.
Yos’ wants to present a visual narrative. Like stories in novels flowing in the form of color containing our imagination to a story. According to Bambang Bujono, an art observer, “Yos Suprapto’s painting in this exhibition strongly suggests a story”. It seems Yos Suprapto is an artist that want to serve a story on his canvas with the “issues” that can disturb our “serenity”
Admitted by Yos, for a year, he conducted a research in Banyuwangi and East Indonesia, both in mountain and coastal area, the result is a missing cultural link. That is the strength of this maritime culture, disappeared when the great kingdoms of archipelago began to overshadow the sea due to conflicts among regions and the arrival of colonial power. The painting of 15 VOC ships clearly described the 350 years of occupation. But, according to the Director General of Culture Dr. Hilmar Farid, “Yos’ paintings, beside implying social concerns, also shows a hope. This is reflected in the series of paintings entitled “Arus Balik” (reverse flow) which also becomes the title of this exhibition”. He wants to show the strength of our nation’s culture as a hope for the future. This view can be justified through history. 
In this concern also lies a hope of “Reverse Flow” to a better future. The Reverse Flow will be realized when we stop overshadowing our sea and back to maritime culture. Visual imagination about the revitalization of maritime culture is expressed by Yos in the works presented in “Reverse Flow:”

14 September 2017
7.00 pm
D Building, National Gallery of Indonesia

15 September – 3 October 2017
10.00 am – 6.00 pm
D Building National Gallery of Indonesia 

*for public & free admission