Painting : Tamansari III (G. Sidharta Soegijo - 1975)

Title : "Tamansari III"

Artist : G. Sidharta Soegijo

Year : 1975

Ink on paper.

Dimension : 55 x 50 cms.

Even though well known as sculptor G. Sidharta also created many paintings and graphic arts.  In his graphic arts he presents the abstraction of the decorative art of Taman Sari Building of the Yogyakarta Palace.  The forms were not meant anymore as the genuine symbolic value, but only the essence and characterof beauty is presented in the spirit of modernism.  The decorative art changed into free structure makes the relief image to be flat plane using contrastive colours to give the image of the visual idiom of modern art.

In Indonesian modern visual art, the artist tried how to stick to to the root of tradition.  Since the time of Persagi, the discourse of finding the New Indonesian painting was also relation to the use of the traditional element.  So was during the Old Order and New Order the spirit kept on growing supported by the drive of the government cultural policy in retaining the national identity through art.  The various traditional element such as the artistic, symbols, ethnic statues, masks, shadow puppets, traditional rites and performance, along with its architecture were often expressed through the spirit and modern visual idiom.

Works of G. Sidharta also gave strong meaning about seek of the national identity in modern painting.  In his careers he always showed the intense struggle of the Javanese mythic thinking againts the spirit of modern age.  The creative exposing later would make him a contemporary artist applying as well as criticizing the traditional values.