People roaming the streets of Indonesia were not the conventional subject matter for paintings in the colonial Dutch East Indies. The beauty of the country remained the greatest inspiration for foreign artists and a handful of indigenous artists working in the first half of the 20th century. They commonly depicted the beautiful dancers, lush tropical vegetation and the majestic portraitures works as the Mooie Indie (Beautiful Indonesia) school, whose artist were obsessed with the idealised image of the country, and oblivious to the harsh realities of a country stricken poverty and corruption.
For Affandi, his inspiration comes constantly from the people he knows in street and he painted them with his fervent brush strokes, inundating his subjects with such emotions that every work screams out the personality of the artist.
"So there I was sitting on the kitchen Floor, dripping wet and then I started to draw with my fingers in the mud that had formed on the dirt floor. That is my first memory of painting!"
(Astri Wright, Soul, Spirit, and Mountain: Preoccupations of Contemporary Indonesian Painters, Oxford University Press, Kuala Lumpur, 1994, p. 110).