21 September 2008

[ac-i] Olympic fine art expo boots Indonesia's image, participants say

Bali - September 19, 2008

http://old.thejakartapost.com/yesterdaydetail.asp?fileid=20080919.C14


Yuli Tri Suwarni, The Jakarta Post, Bandung

Despite limited attention from the government, Indonesia's participation at the recent Olympic Fine Arts 2008 exhibition was effective in promoting the country's image to the world -- especially China -- a young artist from Bandung, West Java, said.

"The Chinese did not think well of Indonesia after the May 1998 riots, in which many Indonesian Chinese were victims," Tiarma Dame Ruth Sirait, one of seven Indonesian artists who had been invited to display their works at the exhibition, said over the weekend.

Held during the Beijing Olympics, the exhibition was very effective in showing to the world that Indonesia is not a primitive nation. "Instead, we are a country of culture which has many qualified artists," she said.

Aside from Tiarma, two of the other six Indonesian artists invited to the event, which was organized by the International Olympic Committee and the Chinese Olympic Committee, included Innes Indreswari Soekanto from Bandung and Neneng Ferrier from Jakarta (not Irene and Neneng Fehrer, respectively, as had been reported in a previous article on The Jakarta Post's Bali Page).

Tiarma said the other four artists were I Wayan Sudjana (Suklu), Grace Tjondronimpuno, Tatang BSP from Bali and Putu Adi Gunawan, a Balinese artist living in Yogyakarta.

Two of the four Balinese artists who had participated in the exhibition had also displayed their creations at the 3rd Beijing International Art Biennale, which had been held in Beijing from July 8 to Aug. 12, 2008.

Indonesia was represented at the art biennale by 10 artists -- Innes Indreswari Soekanto, Ary Dananjaya Cahyono, Joko Apridinoto, Agus Cahaya, Ida Bagus Indra, I Putu Edy Asmara Putra, Sigit Raharjo, Polenk Radiasa, Suklu and Grace.

At the Olympic Fine Arts Exhibition, which featured 110 works from various countries, Putu Adi and Innes displayed their statue works, while the five others displayed paintings and caricatures, Tiarma said.

All the artists were provided means for shipping their artwork, but the committee did not bear all the travel and accommodation expenses, she said.

"I went by an individual sponsor I obtained myself. I had traveled back and forth between Bandung and Jakarta and had given a proposal to the Culture and Tourism Ministry but only received a fiscal-free facility," Tiarma said.

Tiarma further explained that no Indonesian artist had won medals at the exhibition. But as a token of appreciation, all participants received small gifts: Olympic Torches in the form of gold medals, certificates, catalogs and a chance to participate in the world-tour exhibition.

Tiarma said she and other artists had felt proud to be able to join such a prestigious exhibition. "The artists' pride is the same as one of the athletes," she said. Tiarma had displayed her artwork entitled "Won't Ever Be".


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