IO, Jakarta – In commemoration of the 73rd Anniversary of the Independence of the Republic of Indonesia, the Ministry of State Secretariat held a number of activities including the Presidential Palace Collection Art Exhibition. Art Exhibition Collection of Presidential Palace in 2018 is entitled “Indonesia, Spirit of the World” which is a tangible manifestation of appreciation for art and culture. In addition, this exhibition also welcomed international guests in the 2018 Asian Games event.
In the exhibition there were 45 works of art from the Presidential Palace on display. This includes a collection of the Jakarta, Bogor Presidential Palace, Tampak Siring Palace, Yogyakarta and Cipanas Palace. The 45 works consists of painting, sculpture and crafts by 34 Indonesian and international artists including Raden Saleh, Dullah, Henk Ngantung, Basoeki Abdullah, Zsiemond Kisfaludi Strobel, Walter Spies, Fernando Amorsolo and Yevgeny Viktorovich Vuchetich.
Among the collections exhibited there are archery statues made in 1919, which are usually displayed in front of the State Palace overlooking Jalan Veteran; archery paintings by Henk Ngantung in 1944; and painting of a fight with the lion in 1870 a gift from Queen Juliana to the Indonesian Government.
Curated by Watie Moerany and Amir Sidharta they explained that the Presidential Palace collection exhibition held in collaboration with the Creative Economy Agency, National Gallery, Bank Mandiri, Ministry of Education and Culture and the Ministry of Tourism is aimed at inviting people to enjoy the works of past artists who have noble values, virtues and the spirit of struggle. To enliven the exhibition, a number of supporting activities were prepared including a collective painting competition of students from 34 Provinces, workshop activities, and a photo booth, so that visitors can capture moments when visiting the National Gallery to enjoy the artwork of the collection of the Presidential palace.
Indonesian maestro painter, Raden Saleh Sjarif Bustaman is famous as an artist with fantastic works of art. The RI State Palace itself has several collections of Raden Saleh paintings. Two of them were brought to the Art Collection Exhibition of the State Palace of the Republic of Indonesia at the National Gallery, Jakarta, entitled ‘Fighting with Lions’ and ‘Hunting Bulls’. If the value of Raden Saleh’s paintings is estimated it could be in hundreds of billions.
“For the Bull Hunting (Berburu Banteng) one, the value is hundreds of billions, a few months ago there was a painting of Bull Hunting which was auctioned in France,” said the curator of the Indonesian Presidential Palace Collection Art Collection, Watie Moerany when we met at the National Gallery of Indonesia.
For the records, it was known that Raden Saleh during his life painted five artworks with the theme of bull hunting. Three works were added to the year of when it was painted, namely 1842, 1851 and 1855, the other two the year of when it was painted was is unknown. One of the paintings of Bull Hunting (Perburuan Banteng) by Raden Saleh was auctioned in France, ending with a price of 7.2 million Euros, equivalent to Rp 120 billion. Two paintings by Raden Saleh on display at the Indonesian State Palace Art Collection Exhibition ‘Indonesia Spirit of the World’ were gifts from the Queen of the Netherlands, Juliana to the Indonesian Government during President Soeharto’s visit in 1970. Almost 120 years after Raden Saleh gave the painting to King Willem III before returning to Java in 1851. Raden Saleh as much as he has European influences in his paintings yet, he was truly able to create a style of his own which is unique and makes him a maestro painter in Indonesian Contemporary Art.
In addition to presenting another dimension of a state collection that not only displays the concept of nationalism and national identity, this exhibition also displays the diplomatic side of the collection of fine art in the Presidential Palace. It is definitely a proud moment for us locals to see some famous and fine creations by our very own maestros who were able to introduce our nation gracefully to others. (Aldo)