Azmir Azhari (67), an Indonesian veteran sculptor, has been participating in a monument sculpture contest dedicated to late Javanese musician Didi Kempot on Friday (10/07). In his old day, Azmir lives with his wife in a rented house. He lost his source of income after the Ancol Art Market was closed since 2015. The old man is trying to survive amid the travel bans due to a pandemic that made him unable to get raw materials to make statues from Yogyakarta.
Mr. Azmir, as he loves to be called, is a pupil of the legendary monument statue maestro, Edhi Sunarso. Edhi Sunarso who was a lecturer at ASRI (Indonesian Academy of Fine Arts) saw the natural talent of young Azmir who was a painting major student at the time. "A painting must be dynamic, while yours is silent but have dimensions, you have to study sculpture", said Azmir while remembering his meeting with Edhi Sunarso in Yogyakarta back to 1973.
The Payakumbuh, West Sumatra born sculptor has made several statues for some collectors in China, Hong Kong, Japan, and Singapore. In his small yard at Kebun Jeruk, West Jakarta, there are scale model statue of Prof. Dr. H. Tabrani Rab, Lis Shao Bo, and Taufik Kiemas. His most legendary works are the General Sudirman and the Muffler Man Statue in Purbalingga, Central Java and the Pesut Mahakam Statue in Samarinda, East Kalimantan.
"Indonesia doesn't have many realist sculptor," said Azmir. He pursues realist sculpture because he believes realist sculpture can educated young generations. "Realist sculpture can be a historical record. The faces, gestures and figures of the heroes can be seen clearly in 3D. Propotional! So, people will see, they will be amazed! This is my hero," Azmir said.