Rayuan 100 Tahun Basoeki Abdullah
Do you like painting? Is there any painting that fascinates you? Do you have a favourite painter? All these questions made my mind turn to Basoeki Abdullah. Do you know who Basoeki Abdullah is?
Basoeki Abdullah is one of the painting maestros in Indonesia. He was born in Central Java on January 27, 1915. His grandfather was Dr. Wahidin Sudirohusodo, a historical figure of the Indonesian National Awakening. From the age of 4, Basoeki Abdullah began to enjoy drawing people, including several famous figures such as Jesus Christ and Mahatma Gandhi.
The title as the painting maestro is not something that was given without any good reason to Basoeki Abdullah. Every person who became the object of his painting became more "beautiful" in his artwork, it could be said as a "beautification" technique.
Basoeki Abdullah's painting center was Leonardo di Ser Piero Da Vinci. In general, Basoeki Abdullah's paintings are believed to be based on the painting tradition of romanticism and naturalism.
Basoeki Abdullah's artworks can be classified into 5 types or theme categories that are portrait, human figures, natural landscape, drama, myth & spirituality, and nationality.
Then where was the first time that I saw his exhibition? It was not at the Basoeki Abdullah Museum, but at a temporary exhibition at the National Museum of Indonesia.
This temporary exhibition really impressed me, apart from being the object of my thesis research, yet due to this temporary exhibition I just realized the importance function and role of the exhibition curators.
Rayuan (Persuasion) 100 Tahun Basoeki Abdullah's Exhibition was a presentation of thoughts with a curation approach as a semi-retrospective exhibition: Half of it was an exhibition of archival documentation about him, the rest was his artworks. Let’s explore the exhibition!
Broadly speaking, this temporary exhibition was divided into two large spaces; the “outdoor” space with the collections for instance from Seniman Masa Kini that inspired from Basoeki Abdullah’s collections, then the “indoor” space that was dedicated for Basoeki Abdullah’s artworks.
The “Outdoor” Space
B. Abdullah timeline with red color background on the wall before entering the “indoor” space of the temporary exhibition.
What do you think the common thing of the four paintings on the red background have? Yes, that's right, all of these paintings have one common object, that is the beautiful women. Another interesting point was the painting on the far left with three beautiful women in one frame made into a quiz with the theme "Tiga Dara". The identity of one in three women has been identified, however the identities of the other two beauties are still being sought.
In one corner of the space there was a painting of a man with a quite large frame and has a blue color on the wall background. Basoeki Abdullah is the grandson of Dr. Wahidin Soedirohoesodo, who is a national hero of Indonesia and who founded the Budi Utomo organization.
What do you think when you hear the word "Humming"? I think of the soft sounds accompanied by the breeze. How about the word "Purnama"? Do you imagine the full moon? Then what if an artwork with the title of “Senandung Purnama”? Senandung Purnama by Yani Mariani gave such an additional refreshing impression for me in this temporary exhibition.
Switch to the other space of the temporary exhibition with the yellow color on the background. It can be said that the following are some of Basoeki Abdullah's masterpieces with figures: Queen Juliana, Bunda Maria and Prince Diponegoro.
Poster of Basoeki Abdullah’s Painting Exhibition in Europe, 1956.
Apart from the red, blue, and yellow background, there were also gray and green backgrounds. For the gray background, there were painting collections of one of Basoeki Abdullah’s besties that was Soekarno. Basoeki Abdullah also ever painted his bestie wives; Fatmawati, Hartini and Ratna Sari Dewi. Furthermore for the green background, there were collections of Nyai Roro Kidul paintings then there were others collections with myth and spirituality themes. Moreover, in the corner space there was an “adult” room with paintings of nude women.
In this temporary exhibition, a number of artworks have been selected, from the Basoeki Abdullah Museum, the National Gallery of Indonesia, other museums and a number of individual collectors such as Mr. Setiawan Djody, Mr. Dewangkara, Mr. Prawoto, and other collectors.
Which one of Basoeki Abdullah’s artwork inspired you the most?
For further information:
National Museum of Indonesia
Jl. Medan Merdeka Barat No. 12, Jakarta 10110, Indonesia
Facebook: Museum Nasional Indonesia
YouTube Channel: Museum Nasional Indonesia
Basoeki Abdullah Museum
Jl. Keuangan Raya No. 19, Cilandak, South Jakarta
Facebook: Museum Basoeki Abdullah
YouTube Channel: Museum Basoeki Abdullah
Personal photos and documentation
Personal impression and experience