• Southeast Asian Modern and Con auction at Christies

    Sale 2721

    Southeast Asian Modern and Contemporary Art

    30 November 2009, Hong Kong

  • Lot 1136

    ALFI JUMALDI (b. Indonesia 1973)

    Colour guide series: Morning medicine

    Price Realised  

    ALFI JUMALDI (b. Indonesia 1973)
    Colour guide series: Morning medicine
    signed 'ALFi' (lower left) and dated 'IV/2007' (lower right); signed, titled and dated (on the reverse)
    acrylic on canvas
    77½ x 98½ in. (197 x 250 cm.)


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    From the critically well received Colour Guide series, Alfi Jumaldi's Colour Guide Series: Morning Medicine teases and furthers expectations related to the notion of painting as expression. Appearing initially as a wholly abstract painting, this initial understanding is however upturned upon closer examination of the work. In fact, Alfi paints a frame of empty space around the painting, applied over with duct tape, thereby rendering an impression of a wholly realist work.

    The key idea forwarded concerns the materiality of painting. Can painting be an idea or does it always have to be associated with a certain form of physicality? Indonesian curator Enin Supriyanto explains that "[w]ith this particular way of presenting, Alfi already begins inviting us to realize the visual game he offers: a painting as the object in the painting itself."

    The representational framework however does not detract from the fact that Alfi's oeuvre is essentially an expressionistic one, one that treats the act of painting as a gesture, and the finished work as evidence and articulation of a certain psychological state.
    The predominant colours of teal blue, lilac, grey and white lend a sense of cool detachment, doubtlessly a reflection of the state of mind of the painter who explains that "[p]ainting is for me a therapy. It serves to channel, recognize and cope with all the restlessness, anguish and loneliness I often feel very intensely depressing"

    In the words of noted Indonesian literary figure, Nirwan Dewanto, Alfi Jumaldi's paintings bears "a disposition toward quiet, solemnity and emptiness, as if tired of the disharmony and uproar he himself pursues" Colour Guide Series: Morning Medicine bears inscrutable surface scratches and numerous forceful, gestural brushstrokes, akin to forceful utterances of a passionate and unbridled individual. The act of painting is a mode of articulation, a particular form of visual utterance. The scribbles capture mood and evoke a visual sensation that attempts to communicate the painter's feelings to his viewers.