Agung Mangu Putra

Heningkan Cipta 1

Graphit & Acrylic on Linen
2012

Agung Mangu Putra

Heningkan Cipta 2

Graphit & Acrylic on Linen
2012

Agung Mangu Putra

Singgasana 2

Study For Singgasana
Charcoal & Acrylic on Linen
2012

Agung Mangu Putra

Singgasana 3

Study For Singgasana
Charcoal & Acrylic on Linen
2012

Chusin Setadikara

Kids of Songan

160 x 140 cm
Acrylic and Charcoal
2012

Dewa Ngakan Ardana

Memahami Saya

21 x 30 cm
Watercolour on Paper
2012

Dewa Ngakan Ardana

Our Story

21 x 30 cm
Watercolour on Paper
2012

Diyano Purwadi

Bunga-bunga Rumput

145 x 200 cm
Acrylic and Pencil on Canvas
2012

Diyano Purwadi

Dragonfly

145 x 200 cm
Acrylic and Pencil on Canvas
2012

Ida Bagus Purwa

I and Circle

3 x 110 x 180 cm
Oil, Ink, Charcoal on Canvas
2012

Ida Bagus Purwa

Inner Circle

180 x 200 cm
Acrylic on Canvas
2012

I Gusti Putu Mokoh

Untitled 1

60 x 90 cm
Acrylic on Canvas
2006

I Gusti Putu Mokoh

Untitled 2

60 x 90 cm
Acrylic on Canvas
2006

I Gusti Putu Mokoh

Untitled 3

60 x 80 cm
Acrylic on Canvas
2009

Teja Astawa

Menyambut Kehadiran Pangeran

140 x 200 cm
Acrylic on Canvas
2012

Teja Astawa

Patroli

140 x 200 cm
Acrylic on Canvas
2012

Teja Astawa

Saling-Berebut

140 x 200 cm
Acrylic on Canvas
2012

Kun Adyana

Antri

150 x 180 cm
Ink & Acrylic on Canvas
2012

Kun Adyana

Nature Baroque Agitation

250 x 150 cm
Ink & Acrylic on Canvas
2010

Made Mahendra Mangku

Garis dan Celah

145 x 200 cm
Mixed Media on Canvas
2012

Made Mahendra Mangku

Garis Wajah

145 x 200 cm
Mixed Media on Canvas
2012

Made Mahendra Mangku

Ritme

5 x 100 x 300 cm
Mixed Media on Canvas
2011

Made Wiguna Valasara

Coming Soon

140 x 140 cm
Stuffed Canvas & Pencil
2011

Mimi Fadmi

Four Stars Hotel

25 x 25 cm
Watercolor on Paper
2010-2011

Mimi Fadmi

Rosa Luxemburg Platz

25 x 25 cm
Watercolor on Paper
2011

Murni

Dia Begitu Kuat Sekali

100 x 100 cm
Acrylic on Canvas
2001

Murni

Mata Hati

100 x 100 cm
Acrylic on Canvas
2003

Nyoman Wijaya

Stand Up in Blue

140 x 180 cm
Oil on Canvas
2012

Nyoman Wijaya

Young Balinese

315 x 180 cm
Mixed Media on Canvas
2012

Pius Sigit Kuncoro

Ngrembug Si Anak Petheng

120 x 200 cm
Watercolor on Paper
2012

Pius Sigit Kuncoro

Wong Cilik Gampang Dipidana

26 x 17 cm
Watercolor on Paper
2012

Putu Wirantawan

Gugusan Citra Batin

698,5 x 258 cm (21pcs)
Pencil & Bollpoint on Paper
2012

T. Cundrawan

Imitation

190 x 140 cm
Mixed Media on Canvas
2011

T. Cundrawan

Untitled

80 x 100 cm
Mixed Media on Canvas
2010

Wayan Suja

Being A Colorful Balinese 3

150 x 160 cm
Oil on Canvas
2011

Wayan Suja

Plastic Rhetoric

150 x 150 cm
Oil on Canvas
2011-2012

← back to Past Exhibitions Toward "An Expanded Field" of Drawing   |   Curator & Article by ARIF BAGUS PRASETYA

Painting@Drawing (2012)

Agung Mangu Putra   |   Chusin Setiadikara   |   Dewa Ngakan Ardana   |   Dewa Putu Mokoh (Alm.)   |   Diyano Purwadi
Gusti Ayu Kadek Murniasih (Alm.)   |   Ida Bagus Putu Purwa   |   Ketut Teja Astawa   |   Made Mahendra Mangku   |   Made Wiguna Valasara
Mimi Fadmi   |   Nyoman Wijaya   |   Pius Sigit Kuncoro   |   Putu Wirantawan   |   T. Cundrawan   |   Wayan Kun Adnyana   |   Wayan Suja

One of the striking phenomena in the realm of contemporary art is the emergence of drawing. In the West, the increased public and academic interest to drawing (and sketches), which in the past tend to be marginalized as "study" for work in other media, has begun to give birth to a new discipline called "drawing research". The array of books, conferences, seminars and exhibitions committed to research and practice in drawing has grown in number over the last decade. Serious attention to drawing practice and drawing study is becoming an international phenomenon.

At least there are two reasons for the emergence of drawing in the contemporary era. First, there is an increased awareness of the importance of drawing as a means for development in various creative domains. Currently, the traditional partitions that separate various creative domains, such as those between "fine art" and "design", has faded or even vanished. Drawing plays an important role as one of the parts of painting, as well as the constructive and abstract functions of design. Today drawing is not only of interest to artists and designers, but also to communities in computer science, history, psychology and education.

Second, the emergence of drawing in the realm of contemporary art is part of a broadside against Modernism, against what was perceived to be its lack of human soul. Drawing practice is believed to be beneficial to the development of essential cognitive abilities, particularly the hand-eye coordination at the core of art and design ability. The emergence of drawing signifies the revival of the most fundamental human capacity of the hand and eye and brain to construct meaningful images.

The emergence of drawing, however, is also accompanied by the fact that developments in computer technology tend to erode drawing skills. Consider painting, for examples. With the availability of the array of advanced technological devices that facilitate the process of painting-making (computer, graphics software, digital camera, projector, printing machine, etc.), does a painter in the digital age still need to master basic painting skills (including drawing skills) that rely on the "low tech" capacity of the hand and eye? This is one of the critical questions that encourage the emerging drawing practice, drawing study, and drawing research, in an effort to map the current significance, function, position and manifestation of drawing.

In the 21st century, almost all "constructions" (from cars to weapons, from adverts to maps) are inseparable from something digital. Today most people communicate, write, design, etc. by relying on the computer. Drawing continues to have a vibrant life in the 21st century because it continually evolves.

The exhibition Painting@Drawing does not exclusively feature drawings. Rather, it presents selected drawing-based paintings as a way to see an "evolution of drawing" in contemporary artistic practice. Drawing is seen as an element of painting, but not just one element among others. It is particularly highlighted as the superior element of painting, the main part which determines the character of the object drawn, or the character of the painter, the expression of his/her thoughts and feelings: Drawing as the important element which embodies "style".

Painting@Drawing does not intend to answer the difficult question: "What is drawing?" As Deanna Petherbridge (2008) observes: "Drawing [] seldom attracts consensus views. Instead it invites frustration or obsession in attempting to clarify something which is slippery and irresolute in its fluid status as performative act and idea; as sign, and symbol and signifier; as conceptual diagram as well as medium and process and technique. With many many uses, manifestations and applications."

Instead of trying to add another definition of drawing, the exhibition seeks to reveal insights about how the contemporary artists create new levels of complexity in drawing practice that expands and enriches the traditional one. It shows increased appreciation of drawing in contemporary art, as well as the ways in which drawing is continually re-inventing itself.

Traditionally, drawing is defined as the mark (graphite, ink, or charcoal) on a flat plane (paper). Philip Rawson, in his influential book Drawing (1969), defines drawing as the most "fundamentally spiritual of all visual artistic activities" because of its difference from the colour and pigment of paint. He holds that "drawing's basic ingredients are strokes or marks which have a symbolic relationship with experience, not a direct, overall similarity with anything real." For him, drawing is "that element in a work of art which is independent of colour or actual three-dimensional space, the underlying conceptual structure which may be indicated by tone alone."

The traditional notion of drawing informs a number of works featured in the exhibition Painting@Drawing. Black-and-white or monochromatic images on paper or canvas appear in the works of Wayan Kun Adnyana, Diyano Purwadi, Mimi Fadmi, Dewa Ngakan Made Ardana, Ida Bagus Putu Purwa, and Mangu Putra ("Singgasana 2").

Wayan Kun Adnyana and Diyano Purwadi use a controlled shading/hatching technique to construct the figures in their paintings. Their use of this technique reflects the notion of drawing as ars: a skill that can be learned or imitated. But their paintings, especially the background, are also characterized by run-away lines drawn in relatively spontaneous manner, including handwriting. The expressive and gestural characteristics of the lines reflect the notion of drawing as Gwalt, a kind of quasi-magical power given to artists by God. According to the 16th century Western artist Albrecht Durer, Gwalt is particularly apparent in calligraphic lines.

In "On Painting, or Sign and Marks", Walter Benjamin differentiates drawing from painting. According to him, whereas composition in drawing is the result of the difference between graphic line and background, composition in painting emerges as the result of the qualities of the colours used. Composition in drawing is directly created by the person who draws. Composition in painting is only indirectly created by the painter.

Some of the artists involved in the exhibition question the boundaries between drawing and painting. Cundrawan and Nyoman Wijaya combine black-and-white images, a typical feature of drawing, with coloured images, a typical feature of painting. The work of Chusin Setiadikara blurs the difference between "painting" as composition of coloured surfaces, and "drawing" as composition of graphic line and background.

Walter Benjamin observes that the difference between drawing and painting does not apply in watercolours. In the case of "watercolour painting", the outlines are visible on the transparently painted surface. It is similar with composition in drawing. In the case of "watercolor drawing", the lines drawn with colour are difficult to control, as if they just emerge. It is similar with composition in painting. Colour and line coincide in watercolours. The works of Mimi Fadmi and the works of Dewa Ngakan Made Ardana reflect this notion of watercolours as a medium in which painting and drawing meet.

Patricia Cain (2010) defines drawing as "an intimate occupation". "Drawing is by nature a First Person activity because of the direct connection between the individual and the marks (s)he makes". The notion of "drawing as a First Person activity" informs the painting of Mangu Putra ("Volcano") and the paintings of Wayan Suja. Their representational paintings refer to the appearances of reality. Instead of trying to imitate appearances, however, they are concerned primarily with the interpretation of appearances, with discovering what can be known through personal experience. Mangu and Suja place a strong emphasis on painterly texture (image of mountainous terrain in the work of Mangu; image of plastic in the work of Suja). Their intensely intimate textural rendering of painterly surface reflects a First Person activity, in which strokes or marks on the canvas have a direct relationship with experience rather than a direct similarity with the real.

Mokoh, Murni, and Teja Astawa transform the characteristics of traditional Balinese drawing into modern/contemporary paintings. They apply a typically traditional Balinese drawing technique to construct linear, hard-edged images. They use this technique, which in a way suggests cool and analytical attitudes, to flap their wings of imagination and produce warm and intuitive paintings. The works of Teja Astawa also seemingly transgress the boundaries between drawing and painting by combining spontaneous doodles with careful rendering of coloured areas.

Anna Ursyn (2008) holds that drawing can have strong storytelling properties: "By adding visual storytelling to traditional drawing, drawing makers become immersed in a fourth dimension, wandering across time and space." Pius Sigit Kuncoro develops further the notion of "drawing as storytelling" to dramatize events and create suspenseful dramatic actions. His paintings echo the significant characteristics of drawing as a medium of graphic storytelling and visual journalism: an interface between the visual and the verbal.

In his Memoirs of the Blind (1990), Jacques Derrida asserts that the act of drawing has something to do with blindness. In the act of drawing, the artist behaves like a blind man, searches and gropes and may never reach his goal. As Ernst van Alpen (2008) observes, Derrida presents "drawing as intransitive act". The notion of "drawing as intransitive act" informs the works of Putu Wirantawan and the works of I Made Mahendra Mangku. Both artists present painting as an intransitive activity because of the emphasis given to the exploration of the paper or the canvas. Viewers see nothing in their paintings. We see only the movement or the traces of the act of painting.

Alain Badiou (2011) defines drawing as "Description without Place". In drawing, marks or traces or lines "do not exist by themselves: they have to compose something inside the paper". But "the paper as a background does not exist, because it is created as such, as an open surface, by the marks". According to Badiou, "it is that sort of movable reciprocity between existence and inexistence which constitutes the very essence of Drawing".

Valasara explicate Badiou's notion of drawing. The image of the written words "IMAGE COMING SOON" on his canvas reveals the paradox of existence and inexistence, which is the essence of drawing in Badiou's term. Valasara exposes a disjunctive synthesis: the image on his canvas exists precisely because of its inexistence. His canvas pretends to display something, but in fact it displays nothing. The image is there and nowhere. To be and not to be. It is a description without place, the trace of a trace.

Painting@Drawing marks a changing attitude towards drawing in the realm of contemporary art in Indonesia.