'Smile Monarhino' by mural artist Ryan Riyadi a. k. a. The Popo. The work is part of the “Sumatran Rhinos Art Exhibition: Indonesia’s Hidden Treasure” exhibition, held at Jakarta’s National Library from Friday to Sunday (19-21/01). (JG Photo/Dhania Sarahtika)

Art Scene Joins Campaign to Save Critically Endangered Sumatran Rhinos


JANUARY 23, 2018

Jakarta. Ten artists showcased their works during "Sumatran Rhinos Art Exhibition: Indonesia's Hidden Treasure" at Jakarta's National Library on Friday (19/01) to raise awareness about the importance of protecting the critically endangered species.

The Sumatran rhino is one of the five species of rhinoceros on the brink of extinction, with less than 100 of them left in Indonesia. They usually give birth only every three or five years.

The art exhibition is jointly held by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry and a consortium of six local and international conservation organizations: the International Rhino Foundation (IRF), YABI, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Indonesia, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Forum Konservasi Leuser (FKL) and Leuser International Foundation (LIF).

IRF director Susi Ellis said at the exhibition's opening that the event seeks to "tell the story of Sumatran rhinos through art" and appeal to the young.

"We need public support to make conservation programs sustainable. Tim Badak [the Indonesian name for the consortium] believes that this project symbolizes the love and hope of today's generation for the survival of Sumatran rhinos for the future generations," she said.

Among the participating artists is muralist Ryan "The Popo" Riyadi, whose work greets visitors at the front door. "Smile Monarhino" is a rhino Mona Lisa.

Naela Ali, an illustrator and author of "Stories for Rainy Days," presented five watercolor drawings titled "The Love of Mother and Daughter," which portrayed the closeness of Ratu and Delilah — real rhinos living at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in Lampung's Way Kambas National Park. Delilah, who was named by President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, is Ratu's daughter.

In Citra Marina's "RhinoChooros," her trademark character Choo Choo is friends with a rhino. In the colorful painting, the two play together, take pictures, ride a hot-air balloon.

Involvement in environmental causes is not new to Chitra. Last year, she designed a t-shirt to help Garda Satwa Indonesia (GSI), an organization fighting for domestic animals' welfare, to raise funds for its new shelter.

Other artists made works containing social critique. Reza "Komikazer" Mustar's three prints on canvas show a rhino with a label hanging on its horn. The label, "Life," shows what poaching and horn trade cost the animals.

Walt Disney Indonesia country director Mochtar Sarman took part in the exhibition with a 3D painting "Love Me." It depicts a red rhino head as a shooting target. The lines of its concentric circles are made of letters forming Dicerorhinus sumatrensis — the Latin term for the Sumatran rhino.

"Red represents blood, because rhinos are always hunted, but here the target is missed. The missed shots form 'Love Me,' " Mochtar told reporters.

Mochtar Sarman's 3D painting 'Love Me,' left. Citra Marina's 'RhinoChooros,' right. (JG Photo/Dhania Sarahtika)

The 3D effects can be seen through chromadepth glasses, available next to the artwork.

Other Disney artists also took part, namely Joe Rohde, Morgan Richardson and Zsolt Hormay. Visitors can also see the works of wildlife photojournalist Paul Hilton and illustrator Diela Maharanie.

In addition to art, the consortium got two apparel brands aboard. Matoa, a wooden watch brand from Bandung, West Java, launched "Matoa Way Kambas — Sumatran Rhino Limited Edition" — 30 watches were made from ebony. Clothing brand Monstore produced special edition t-shirts.

All of the artworks are auctioned on www.charitybuzz.com from Jan. 19 to Feb. 7. A painting from Environment Minister Siti Nurbaya's collection was donated for the auction.

All proceeds will be donated for conservation work.