Jakarta. The National Gallery of Indonesia will showcase its masterpiece collection in an exhibition, titled "Power and Other Things," at the Bozar Art Gallery in Brussels from Oct. 18 to Jan 21. The event is part of the Europalia Arts Festival.
Curated by Riat Afiaty and Charles Esche, the exhibition presents works of modern and contemporary art, from the year of 1835 to the present.
The works pertain to the period of Dutch and Japanese colonialism, the role and status of women and immigration. The themes were chosen to highlight national history as well as to provide an understanding on the practice of art in Indonesia in different epochs.
The highlight of the exhibition is a painting from the National Gallery’s collection titled "Tjap Go Meh" by S. Sudjojono, made in 1940.
Sudjojono’s painting is inspired by the social setting in the 1940s, which was a period of economic depression in Indonesia. His painting illustrates the colonial pressures towards nationalists and a general sense of euphoria felt at the Japanese army's arrival in the country, which many believed to be the end of colonialism in the Dutch East Indies.
Tubagus Andre Sukmana, head of the National Gallery of Indonesia, said in a statement released on Tuesday (31/10) that the National Gallery is expected to become a medium for national and international audiences to learn more about S. Sudjojono.
"His social-historical artworks are valuable. We hope to inspire the audiences to recognize the diversity of Indonesia in various perspectives."
Besides the National Gallery’s collection, the exhibition also features sketches and paintings from the Presidential Palace’s collection, OHD Museum, Nasirun Gallery and S. Sudjojono center, as well as some installation works.
The overall work presented in the exhibition is the artistic result of 21 Indonesian artists and European artists. Among them are Raden Saleh, Jan Toorop, Emiria Sunarsa, FX Harsono, Agung Kurniawan, Mella Jaarsma, Saleh Husein, Maryanto, Antariksa, Dea Aulia Widyaevan, Leonardiansyah Allenda, Lifepatch, Timoteus Anggawan Kusno and Octora Chan.
"The exhibition is a great platform to introduce local artists and their artworks to the international public."