S. Sudjojono is instrumental in articulating the new thoughts that eventually became the basis of Indonesian modern art. His rhetoric such as the 'hierarchy of reality and convention' would be the core of the discourse of Indonesia modernism, a movement that was initiated by its proponents' disgust for the school of Mooie Indie (Beautiful Indonesia). Sudjojono once wrote "... there is one factor which I consider major. That is the factor of the populace. Even though I hate the society we have now, I love the populace, the people. My people are a people who can understand only the simplest of realities. Their reality is the reality of rice." ("Soedjojono tentang Seodjojono", Mimbar Indonesia, August 19, 1950.)
The present work clearly presents the one of the subjects closest to the artist's heart: the harbour workers place against the background of a bustling port. The deft but abrupt brush strokes of Sudjojono unwittingly create a composition that is pleasing and almost light-hearted. Herein lies the artistic principle of the artist: the search and the presantation of beauty amidst the common people as opposed to the elitist sitters of B. Abdullah.