Commemorating Indonesia’s Independence Day, the National Gallery holds the Presidential Palace Collection Exhibition

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Visitors seem enthusiast to see the Presidential Palace Collection Art Exhibition at the National Gallery. (photo: IO/Aldo)

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)