Wednesday, February 28, 2024 | 05:33 WIB

Commemorating the duo maestro in archives exhibition “Tribute to Urban Masters”


Jakarta, IO – “The only thing that’s mortal is time. We are immortal” is a fragment of Sapardi Djoko Damono’s poem that aptly epitomized the exhibition held by the Jakarta Arts Institute (IKJ) at the Art Gallery, Gedung Panjang, Taman Ismail Marzuki (TIM).

Themed “Tribute to Urban Masters,” the archive exhibition initiated by the graduate school and the alumni association of IKJ was held to commemorate the work and role of author Sapardi Djoko Damono and graphic arts designer Wagiono Sunarto (nicknamed Gion), two maestros in Indonesian art and culture.

Curated by IKJ rector Indah Tjahjawulan, the exhibition held to celebrate the 52nd anniversary of IKJ will last until August 17. Sapardi is valued for his enormous contribution in developing IKJ during his lifetime. Together with Wagiono Sunarto, the two established IKJ postgraduate school 13 years ago.


As the title suggests, “Tribute to Urban Masters” tries to capture their vision as art practitioners in a portrait of urban culture. It also attempts to retrace Sapardi and Gion’s works since the 1950s.

Sapardi was born and raised in Surakarta while Gion in Jakarta. The two cities certainly helped shape their artistic signature. They articulate the dynamics of city life with their own distinctive direction and style. Sapardi through captivating words, while Gion stunning visual images.

“This illustrates the scene of their journey together until the end of their life. Apart from that, it’s also about how they portray Jakarta’s urbanites. They observe the urban culture, but respond in different ways,” Indah told


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