• Southeast Asian Modern and Con auction at Christies

    Sale 2721

    Southeast Asian Modern and Contemporary Art

    30 November 2009, Hong Kong

  • Lot 1168

    S. SUDJOJONO (Indonesia 1914-1986)


    Price Realised  


    S. SUDJOJONO (Indonesia 1914-1986)
    signed 'S. Sudjojono/Pancoran' (lower centre) and signed again with artist's monogram (upper left)
    oil on canvas
    19¾ x 23½ in. (50 x 60 cm.)
    A certificate of authenticity from Museum S.Sudjojono, dated 8 February 2005, accompanies this work.

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    Sudjojono's Pancoran depicts an area in the southwestern part of metropolitan Jakarta, an area distinct in today's Jakarta because of the presence of Monument Dirgantara (Monumen Patung Dirgantara), or else better known as the Pancoran Statute (Patung Pancoran). To date, Pancoran is the only documented picture of the area painted by Sudjojono and stands as a highly distinctive work in the artist's oeuvre.

    Meticulous in its record of life and expressionistically painted, the painting underlines the very particular brand of realism put forth by Sudjojono. The basic hues in Pancoran are unmistakably Sudjojono's and express how his keenly penetrating artistic eye has set upon an almost nondescript landscape punctuated only by a distinctive and almost grandiose public monument.

    Monument Dirgantara was commissioned by the-President Sukarno who sold a car of his to personally underwrite a part of the cost of erecting the monument. It was designed by Edhi Sunarso and constructed in Yogyakarta in 1964-1965 by the Arca family in a bronze sculpture foundry directed by I Gardono. Built to commemorate and symbolise the advances made by the Republic of Indonesia in the field of aeronautics, Monument Diargantara depicts not a machine but instead personifies the intelligence and courage of involved citizens with a figure of a man in flight. Bearing a figure caught in a dynamic sprinting pose perched on a markedly curved pedestal rising, the monument is unusual and highly iconoclastic, a landmark for its generation and others to come.

    A subject of this nature could not have escaped the attention of Sudjojono. His depiction of Monument Dirgantara is cast on a dramatic scale, proportionate not only to the dynamic pose of the figure depicted on the monument, but also the vision and desire of then-President Sukarno in wanting to erect the sculpture. Monument Dirgantara is cast starkly against the open expanse, appearing as a silhouette against a fiery and emotively-charged sky composed of broad and bold streaks of reds and blue. The scene is suffused with a heavy atmosphere, with Monument Dirgantara rising strongly but also seemingly ominously and overbearingly upon a spare and dark patch of land painted by Sudjojono as a construction site.

    The emotive power of Sudjojono's painting of places and his intense consciousness as a citizen of a young republic is well exemplified here. Pancoran is a powerful evocation of place and time, narrating the history of a then young Indonesian republic through Sudjojono's depiction of this same nation's own narrative devices - in this case, the Monument of Dirgantara.


    Amir Sidharta, Visible Soul, Museum S. Sudjojono and Canna Gallery, Indonesia, 2006, p.313 (illustrated in colour)