Wednesday, September 30, 2015

It was not easy to win the United Overseas Bank Indonesia’s Painter of the year award. Subiyanto’s strong message and excellent technique in his artwork beat more than 1,000 paintings selected by a panel of judges, including The Jakarta Post art columnist Jean Couteau, curator Agus Dermawan T, and Association of Indonesian Fine Arts Gallery chairman Edwin Rahardjo.

The artist eventually won also the regional prize, Southeast Asian Painter of the Year last year in Singapore.

Indonesia-based Anton Subiyanto (b. 1980) is a contemporary social realist, but not in the typical sense. In Rahayu: An Unencumbered Life, surreal figures awash in roiling hues dominate the canvas, but superimposed upon them are deceptively simple line drawings. Upon viewing, multiple images emerge and re-emerge as stories intertwine.

This is Anton’s depiction of the soul, of the Javanese philosophy of tepo seliro. His message is one of tolerance, respect for others and basic human empathy. Bravely, he criticizes neo-imperialism: society as one big consumer, and the transformation of fellow man into fellow aggressor.

For his solo exhibition at Galerie Stephanie, he takes on the idea of “redemption” and expresses it in eight acrylic, graphite, and paper works. Subiyanto attempts to show that happiness is not in what we acquire but in what we let go of — our prejudices, our preconceived notions on happiness, and our empty desires. Anton’s work treads where not many would be willing.

For inquiries, call 709-1488 or email

Galerie Stephanie is located at Unit 1B Parc Plaza Building, 183 E. Rodriguez Jr. Avenue, Libis, Quezon City.

You Might Also Like