Unlimited imagination in a sketch

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Visitors captures a sketch photo of one of the artists in the National Gallery. (photo: IO/Aldo)

IOJakarta – Indonesian National Gallery on 4 September 2018 held an exhibition of the work of Indone­sian sketchers. A similar exhibition has been held before, namely the Ex­hibition of the Workshop on GalNas Sketches on December 14-21, 2017 at the National Gallery of Indonesia. The exhibition which featured select­ed sketch works from the KamiSket­sa GalNas workshop from October to December 2017. The event began with the initiative of the National Gallery of Indonesia to create Workshop of Ka­miSketsa (sketches) GalNas which be­gan on October 12, 2017 to coincide with the National Museum Indonesia Day. This program is held to make sketches that are alive to become more meaningful, generate discourse, and appreciate the sketch works by involving public participation.

Nearly a year after the event was held, namely the Exhibition of Our Workshop Results, GalNas Sketch 2017, the National Gallery of Indone­sia once again held a Sketch Exhibi­tion entitled “[Re] Creation Line”. This exhibition begins with an open invi­tation (open call) which provides an opportunity for all Indonesian sketch­ers to participate in sending their best sketch works to be included in the se­lection by the Curator team, namely Bambang Bujono, Beng Rahadian, and Teguh Margono. Of the 446 artis­tic works of 265 sketchers that enter through an open invitation, the Cura­tor team chose 234 works from 138 Indonesian sketchers. The sketch works will be exhibited on 4-16 Sep­tember 2018 in Building B and C of the National Gallery of Indonesia.

The sketchers participating in this exhibition, some joined in the art communities. Like KamiSket­sa GalNas, Bogor Sketchers, Cian­jur Sketcher, Indonesia’s Sketchers Jogja, Semarang SketchWalk, Urban Sketchers Medan, Urban Sketchers Semarang, Urban Sketchers Blitar, Urban Sketchers Surabaya, Home Art Online, Kolcai Gorontalo Chapter, and Gorontalo Artists. Some other participants are individual sketch­ers. The participants included Father Muji, Yusuf Susilo Hartono, Toto BS, Tatas Sehono, Bambang Harsono, Daniel Nugraha, Dharr Chedharr, Deskamtoro, Harry Suryo, Iwan Widodo, Nashir Setiawan, Seto Para­ma Artho, Jevi Alba, Donald Saluling, Duki Noermala , Setya Negara Em­eralds, and others. In this exhibition also featured the works of Indonesian sketch maestros that were collected and invited specifically to give a pre­sentation on the history of sketches in Indonesia. Among them are the works of Srihadi Soedarsono, Ipe Ma’aruf, Tedja Suminar, and sketch works collected by the National Gal­lery of Indonesia / State Collection such as the works of S. Sudjojono, Oesman Effendi, Henk Ngantung, Tohny Joesoef, X-Ling, and etc. While the sketch works displayed in this ex­hibition are sketch works that prior­itize lines, with objects as diverse as buildings / monuments, atmosphere / landscape, activities, and figures / portraits.

The sketch in this exhibition ac­cording to Curator Beng Rahadian is a representation of the discourse of development of sketches from time to time in general. As far as any sketch develops, there is a con­text of art roots that can be traced. When viewed from curatorial writing Bambang Budjono, sketch tracing in Indonesia is related to painting exer­cises at Keimin Bunka Sidhoso (KBS) during the Japanese Population in In­donesia. Ono Saseo invites the artists out of the studio and draws objects and events outdoors. From the Ono Saseo training, there were reliable sketchers including Sudjojono, Affan­di, Sudjana Kerton, Henk Ngantung, and Soerono. Although KBS was dis­banded due to Japan losing the war, but the spirit of drawing sketches was continued by SIM (Young Indonesian Artists), ASRI (Indonesian Academy of Fine Arts) Yogyakarta, as well as art education institutions in Bandung which is now the Faculty of Art and Design ITB (Institute of Technology Bandung)

A series of developments and the existence of sketches presented by Bambang then continue to the pres­ent. According to Beng Rahadian, the latest development of how sketches are now is the emergence of urban sketches, which are done by (urban) citizens who like to draw sketches on their own or in groups, characterized by hybrids. The emergence of these urban sketches no longer prioritizes the function that the sketch is part of a study or subsequent work plan, or sketch artistic markers which (usually) consist only of spontaneous lines that are carried out briefly and no good beautification activities with shading, blocks or color. Urban sketch becomes an activity that gath­ers all drawing techniques and prior­itizes fun. This raises an attempt to redefine the understanding of the art of sketching, old values meeting new values that are not prevented.

Various sketch communities that already exist in Indonesia are now trying to be collected by the Nation­al Gallery of Indonesia through the Sketch Exhibition “[Re] Line Cre­ation”. Teguh Margono explained, this exhibition shows at least two things: first, the art infrastructure such as the sketch exhibition space is important. Evidently, the presence of “[Re] Creation Line” received a re­sponse and positive response from the sketchers in Indonesia, especially those who have long been involved in the world of sketches.

Second, the application sent by sketchers in Indonesia, for the Na­tional Gallery of Indonesia can be used as the initial data to map the distribution of sketch activists / com­munities in various regions in Indo­nesia. This is important in the con­text of this exhibition as a first step towards organizing a Sketch Festival by the National Gallery of Indonesia in the future.

The head of the Indonesian Na­tional Gallery, Pustanto, said that this exhibition wanted to explore art mapping through sketches in Indone­sia as a very complex sketch function, not only as an event recorder but also as an artistic visual expression, to represent the national identity. In addition, this exhibition is a form of the role of the government through the National Gallery of Indonesia in appreciating and strengthening the existence of sketches and the dedi­cation of Indonesian sketchers in the world of art.

By holding this sketch exhibition, Pustanto hopes this activity can pro­vide an opportunity for the public to better understand the sketch, both in terms of history and various forms of unlimited exploration. In addition, this exhibition is also expected to in­spire and motivate all levels of society to find potential and involve them­selves to be creative in the preferred fields, as well as for sketchers espe­cially to continue to hone and develop skills in the field of sketching. (Aldo)