A painting by Hellua Puspoyo for the 'Beauty on Cavas' exhibition at Plaza Indonesia. (JG Photo/Sylviana Hamdani)

Beauty, as Interpreted by 12 Bloggers


APRIL 20, 2018

Jakarta. We all know the saying, "beauty is in the eye of the beholder."

While this means that beauty is subjective and that different people find different things beautiful, it could also mean that a person's look is determined by how others see them.

This may be true, especially for women.

For centuries, women have been willing to go to great lengths to improve their looks and make other people like them more.

And while the market offers a great variety of cosmetic and fashion products, many still secretly harbor the feeling of being inadequate among their peers.

To celebrate Kartini Day, Plaza Indonesia shopping mall in Central Jakarta presents "Beauty on Canvas," a unique exhibition showing paintings by 12 Indonesian beauty bloggers who express their ideas of beauty with blushers, eyeshadow, lipstick and makeup brushes as artistic tools.

"Makeup has become a lifestyle for women. Beauty products have also become so varied and advanced. And yet, there are still so many women who feel inferior to other women. So many of us don't feel comfortable in our own skin," Arin Ardina, head of promotions at the mall, said during the opening on March 10.

Plaza Indonesia invited beauty blogger and radio announcer Ucita Pohan to design the exhibition.

"I had this idea to invite my fellow beauty enthusiasts to express their ideas of beauty. These women are highly creative and always deliver a strong message," Ucita said.

Among the beauty influencers who took part in the project are Agnes Oryza, Hellua Puspoyo and Putricaya.

"At first, I freaked out. I'm not an artist. It wasn't easy to come up with a concept to work with. And cosmetics may not have the same effect when applied to canvas," Putricaya said.

After several trials, the blogger created a portrait of a young woman with closed eyes, as if dreamily absorbed in a sad contemplation.

Putricaya and her painting. (Photo courtesy of Magnifique PR)

"Being a woman is so hard sometimes. If you're beautiful and enjoy wearing makeup, dressing up, people might actually think that you're an empty head. This is so wrong and cruel. Women can be beautiful and talented, as well," the beauty blogger said.

Hellua also criticizes the beauty stigma with her Cubist sketch of a female face.

"The stigma can be very limiting for women. I think we should stop worrying about fitting in and just be ourselves, no matter what they say," she said.

Agnes Oryza created a painting of a woman with thin eyebrows, curly hair and fuchsia-tinted lips. The woman is wearing a necklace inscribed with the word "acceptance."

"The woman in the painting describes my own life journey. As I grow older, I can accept myself more, and thus the less makeup I wear," Agnes said.

Agnes Oryza and her painting. (Photo courtesy of Magnifique PR)

Ucita agrees that self-acceptance is one of the keys to true beauty.

"I think true beauty comes from accepting who we are, being grateful for what we have and taking good care of ourselves. This is a message that I hope to convey to all women with this exhibition," she said.

Ucita's own painting, created with eyeshadows, eyeliner and lipsticks, is full of colorful bubbles with positive words such as "love," "dreams," "happy" and "peaceful." Fake eyelashes, as if of closed eyes, are placed in the center.

Ucita Pohan and her painting. (Photo courtesy of Magnifique PR)

"I believe the most beautiful features of a person are those within them. Only when we close our eyes, can we begin to see the real beauty," Ucita said.

The exhibition is free and will run until April 30.