Trubus Soedarsono, a Yogyakarta realist master

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Self potrait of Trubus Soedarsono (photo: IO/Prive. Doc)

IO – Realism in art refers to a way of seeing the world without illusion, as it is, without increasing or reducing an object, depicting reality, showing the truth, even without concealing negative aspects of character, atmosphere or objects in order to achieve a more purposeful goal.

In a broader sense, realism will always occur whenever artists seek to observe and imitate natural forms accurately. For example, the works of Giotto, a photorealist painter during the Renaissance, could be categorized as “realistic”, because they were a better imitation of physical appearance and volume of things than it had worked out since the Gothic period.

According to the Great Indonesian Dictionary (KBBI), Realism in art means attempting to display a work subject as it appears in everyday life without additional frills or interpretation. Its meaning can also refer to efforts in the art to show the truth, even without concealing the negative things. Trubus is one example of Indonesian realist painter.

Trubus Soedarsono was born in Yogyakarta, April 23, 1926. He’s a patriot-loving artist, a person who loves nation and country. Trubus is a self-taught, never finished any of his formal school. Even though he didn’t finish school, Trubus was very smart on his art skills. He’s a multitalented artist born from a simple farmer’s family. In his childhood, Trubus was able to make carvings, wooden masks, Tembem, Kelana, and Barongan head for Jatilan or Reog. In addition to learning how to paint autodidact, Trubus also learned directly from Affandi and Sindoesoedarsono Soedjojono in 1942-1945.

Trubus, artists with many experiences, was involved in a number of monumental sculptures creation such as “Welcome Statue” in Jakarta designed by Edi Soenarso and Henk Ngantung. After his adventures in various cities, including overseas cities, in 1954, Trubus had the opportunity to visit Czechoslovakia for the Indonesian cultural mission.

Trubus established a studio and art centre in Sleman Yogyakarta. This is where he creates a great deal of art and gives knowledge to young artists who study his skills. His works are mostly paintings of “Balinese dancers” and “maidens”. Even his artificial statues of heroes are displayed in some cities. One of his sculptures is the statue of General Oerip Soemohardjo in Magelang.

His artistic activity ceased to exist in September 1966. Trubus, known to be active in the activities of the People’s Painters activity and People’s Cultural Institutions (Lekra) under the Indonesian Communist Party, was lost and never heard again. His family never knew where he was, an artist whose death was not marked by a tombstone.

He became a victim of the 1965 Humanitarian Tragedy by the New Order regime. His story was recorded through his child’s diary and edited by Hersri Setiawan in the book titled: “Trubus, Where Are You?”, A narrative about the disappearance of the painter/sculptor Trubus Sudarsono (1926 – 1966) in the first month after the October 1, 1965 incident, published by the Langer Limburg Foundation in 1982. As a result of ideological contradictions, he wandered and never returned home. (raihan)