SURAJI (INDONESIA, B. 1970)
SURAJI (INDONESIA, B. 1970)

BERI KAMI KEHIDUPAN (GIVE ME A SPIRIT)

Details
SURAJI (INDONESIA, B. 1970)
BERI KAMI KEHIDUPAN (GIVE ME A SPIRIT)
signed and dated 'SURAJI 2012' (lower left); titled and inscribed 'BERI KAMI KEHIDUPAN/230 x 345 CM/cat minyak + acrylic', signed and dated again (on the reverse)
acrylic on canvas
235 x 345 cm. (92 1/2 x 135 7/8 in.)
Painted in 2012
Literature
Visual Voice: The Wild & The Domestic, Gallery Canna, Jakarta, 2014 (illustrated, p. 45).
Exhibited
Indonesia, Jakarta, Gallery Canna, Visual Voice: The Wild & The Domestic, 1-22 March 2014.

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Lot Essay

The recipient of the Indonesian Arts Award in 2008, Suraji's art voices his commentary on social issues, especially concerned with the relation between Man and nature. Coming from an agrarian family, nature has been a great influence to his life principle and works. For the artist, appreciation of nature is central to all aspects of life – Suraji believes that a harmonious society is achieved through the act of nurturing of the environment. His latest works explore the context of modernization of human civilization.

Painted in 2012, Beri Kami Kehidupan (Give Me A Spirit) investigate our relationship with the natural environment - a lion represents nature, while the staggering buildings in the background represent Man. A thirsty lion is seen entering civilization in despair with a crippled leg as a result of the destruction of his natural habitat. The lion longs for his ideal abode when being offered a small plot of fertile land. An arrangement of trees are rooted in the body of the lion, questioning the act of illegal logging. Suraji's animals are metaphors for his many subjects of interest, representing nature itself, and even the human capitalist. Suraji's animals are always the vocal point of his painting, presented in unusual compositions and intricate details for the viewer to decode in order to arrive at the artist's true meaning. Beri Kami Kehidupan (Give Me A Spirit) is an exemplary work by the artist, delivering strong social commentary and questioning the role of humans within the ecosystem.
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