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WIDAYAT (Indonesian, 1923-2002)
WIDAYAT (Indonesian, 1923-2002)

Ladang Tembaku di Lamuk Temanggung

WIDAYAT (Indonesian, 1923-2002)
Ladang Tembaku di Lamuk Temanggung
signed and dated 'Widayat 90' (lower right); signed, titled and dated again and signed and inscribed 'Kenangan untuk kawab seprofesi - Sdr. Kwee Ing Tjong' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
81 x 120 cm. (31 7/8 x 47 2/8 in.)
Painted in 1990
Gift of the artist to the present owner, Mr. Kwee Ing Tjong of Temanggung, Central Java, Indonesia

Brought to you by

Eric Chang
Eric Chang

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Lot Essay

The Indonesian painter, Widayat, was born in Central Java in 1919 and learned painting from an amateur landscape painter from Bandung who sold souvenir painting. His works, however, departed greatly from this origin. His mother was a well-regarded batik maker, and Widayat's art during his mature phase was highly influenced by the aesthetics of batik. When he was in his twenties, he sought a career as a surveyor in plantations in Sumatra, and then as a map-maker for a railway company. Again, the persistent influence of this phase of his life was conveyed through his paintings, which depicted exotic flora and fauna and animals in a mlange of jungle memories.

By the time he passed away in 2002, he had left behind one of the most distinctive language of painting in Indonesian art. He stood out as a bulwark against the ideologically-driven Bandung and Yogyakarta School of painting, the former strongly influenced by western modernism and best represented by abstract works and the latter by artworks that were more nationalistic and narrative-driven in nature. This is because of the unadulterated persistence of his unique vision which resulted in a signature flat and simplified representational style, often using repetition, weaving in some modernist and abstract stylizations. He made endless all-over compositions of fish, birds, foliage or human forms, of which Flora and Fauna (Lot 620) is a superlative example.

Nonton Sekaten (Lot 619) is a nostalgic depiction of the week-long Javanese traditional night market festival, originally founded by Sultan Hamengkubuwana I of the Yogyakarta, and Widayat captures wonderfully the sense of anticipation of the crowd, and the mood of festivity.

Widayat imbued the spirit of his surrounding and transmitted it into his art; he took great inspiration from the landscape of Central Java, and Ladang Tembakau di Lamuk Temanggung (Lot 621) is one such work in which Widayat painted alongside his great friend and painting companion, Mr Kwee Ing Tjong and gifted to his friend subsequently.

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