(Indonesian, B. 1975)
Segumpal Tanah, Selembar Plastik: Skala (A Handful of Earth, a Sheet of Plastic: Scale)
signed with artist's monogram and dated '2005'
acrylic on canvas
150 x 150 cm. (59 x 59 in.)
Painted in 2005
Nadi Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia

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Felix Yip
Felix Yip

Lot Essay

From the most commonplace and quotidian of everyday little man-made objects, Handiwirman Saputra creates simultaneously dramatic and understated paintings which have been hailed by critics and curators as signalling new trajectories in contemporary painting. A part of the Indonesian art collective Jendela Group which gravitated towards a non-politicised artistic expression during the later years of the 1990s and early 2000s, the artist does not make reference to socio-political or cultural specific issues in his works, and rather focuses on an introspective engagement with the world of objects.

The present lot, Segumpal Tanah, Selembar Plastik: Skala (A Handful of Earth, A Sheet of Plastic: Scale) (Lot 2472) is a signature work in the artist's oeuvre that challenges the viewer's perceptual reality and relation to objects in the real world. First, the artist has fashioned the object painted in actual three dimension in his studio, proceeding then on to photograph it in close detail under different lighting before finally painting the object in enlarged scale on canvas. It conveys an abstract quality to viewers who are unable or unfamiliar with the abstract quality of his painted object. Each object Handiwirman Saputra paints is in fact a carefully thought out amalgam of constituent materials with contrasting properties that elicit different perceptual and tactile responses. Reminiscent of objects in the real world, the artist's creations, in three dimension or painted on canvas, are enigmatic in function and form. The form and shape of his subjects defy regular compositions and he experiments with positioning his objects in a variety of spatial arrangements to stimulate different reactions from audiences - wonder, indifference, critical questioning.

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