Affandi, The Legend of Indonesian Expresionist Painter

Affandi Koesoema (Cirebon, West Java, 1907 - May 23 1990) was a painter known as Maestro Painting Indonesia, probably Indonesia's most famous painters in the international world, thanks to a distinctive him style. In the 1950s he held many solo exhibitions in India, UK, Europe and the United States. A prolific painter, Affandi had painted more than two thousand artwork.
Affandi was born in Cirebon in 1907, the son of R. Koesoema, an orderly measuring the sugar factory in Tangerang, Cirebon. In terms of education, it includes a formal education is quite high. For people his generation, his education, MULO, and subsequently graduated from the AMS, including the education obtained only by a handful of country boy.

However, his art talent is very strong beat other disciplines in life, and indeed has made his name famous the same as the figures or leaders of other fields.

At the age of 26 years, in 1933, Affandi was married to Maryati, a girl born in Bogor. Affandi and Maryati blessed with a daughter who will inherit his father's talent as a painter, the Kartika Affandi.

Before starting to paint, Affandi had been a teacher and had also worked as a torn ticket and cinema billboard image maker in one of cinema in Bandung. This work is no longer cultivated because Affandi more interested in the field of painting.

Around the year 30's, joined the group Five Affandi Bandung, Bandung is a group of five painters. They are Hendra Gunawan, Barli, Sudarso, and Wahdi and Affandi believed served as group leader. This group has a considerable share in the development of art in Indonesia. This group is different from Indonesia Picture Experts Association (Persagi) in 1938, but a study group together and work together helping each other and painter.

In 1943, Affandi held his first solo exhibition in Sydney Poetera House who was then in progress of the Japanese occupation in Indonesia. Four series - which consists of Ir. Soekarno, Drs. Mohammad Hatta, Ki Hajar Dewantara, and Kyai Haji Mas Mansyur - leading the Cultural Section Poetera (Poesat People's Power) to take part. In this section Poetera Culture Affandi act as implementers and S. Soedjojono in charge, which directly make contact with the Bung Karno.

When the republic was proclaimed in 1945, many artists took part. Railway carriages and walls inscribed with, among others, "Freedom or death!". The words were taken from the closing speech of Bung Karno, The Birth of Pancasila, June 1, 1945. At that moment, Affandi got the assignment to make posters. Poster which was Sukarno's idea describes a person who chained but the chain was broken. Which is used as the model is a painter Dullah. The words are written on the poster ("Dude, come on man") is a proposal from the poet Anwar. A group of painters increase it day and night and sent to the affected areas.
Outstanding talent to paint yourself a story interesting incised Affandi never in his life. One time, he never got a scholarship to study painting at Santiniketan, India, an academy founded by Rabindranath Tagore. When he arrived in India, he was rejected on the grounds that he had seen no need to paint more education. Finally, the cost of scholarships that have been received is used to hold exhibitions around the country India.

Coming home from India, Europe, in the fifties, Affandi nominated by the Communist Party to represent the people do not belong to a party in the Constituent Assembly election. And elected him, as Prof.. Ir. Saloekoe Poerbodiningrat etc., to represent the people not partisan. In the constituent assembly, according to a friend Basuki Resobowo painter as well, usually she's just quiet Affandi, sometimes sleeping. But when the commission meeting, Affandi spoke. He entered humanitarian commission (perhaps now HAM) led Wikana, Affandi also close friends since before the revolution.

The topics raised were about perikebinatangan Affandi, not of humanity and is considered a joke at that time. Affandi is a humble painter who is still close to the flora, fauna, and the environment while living in the era of technology. When questioned Affandi 'Perikebinatangan' in 1955, public awareness of the environment is still very low.

Affandi also includes the central leadership Lekra (Institute of People's Culture), the largest cultural organization that was disbanded by the Suharto regime. He's part art Institute of Fine Arts) with Resobowo Basuki, Henk Ngantung, and so on.

In the sixties, the U.S. anti-imperialist movement was be aggressive enough incentive to Vietnam. U.S. culture is also anti-called 'cultural imperialism'. American films, was boycotted in the country. At that time, Affandi received an invitation to exhibit at the USIS building in Jakarta. And Affandi was, the exhibition there.

When a group of painters gathered Lekra, there is the question. Why does the leadership of Lekra kok Affandi exhibition at the aggressor's representative. Responding to this issue, there are nyeletuk: "Pak Affandi's leadership Lekra, but he could not distinguish between Lekra with leprosy!" friend said calmly. Abysmally just all laughed.

Despite melanglangbuana to various countries, Affandi known as a simple and rather modestly. Her favorite painter who ate rice with grilled tempeh has a somewhat unusual idol. Others when choosing puppet to idols, usually choosing a nice, handsome, manly, wise, such as Arjuna, Gatutkaca, or Werkudara Bhima, Krishna.
However, Affandi choose Sokrasana whose face ugly but very powerful. Puppet that he is representative of much of his handsome face. Even so, the Department of Tourism Post and Telecommunication (Deparpostel) perpetuate the face by issuing a new stamp series character art / artist Indonesia. According Helfy Dirix (Affandi's oldest grandson) images used to stamp it is a self-portrait paintings of Affandi in 1974, when Affandi was so industrious and productive painting in the museum as well as his residence on the banks of Kali Gajah Wong Yogyakarta.

Affandi and painting
During his life, he has produced over 2,000 paintings. His works are exhibited to various countries in the world, whether in Asia, Europe, America and Australia are always fascinating world of art lovers. Painter who earned his Doctorate Honoris Causa from the University of Singapore in 1974 was in doing his paintings, more often spill liquids directly paint from his tubes of paint and then wipe it with his fingers, play and process color to express what he saw and felt about something.

On his way to work, holder of the title Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of Singapore in 1974, is known as a painter who adhered to the flow or abstract expressionism. So that his paintings are often very difficult to be understood by others, especially by someone who lay about the world of painting if without explanation. But for lovers of painting it so that adds to its appeal.

The simplicity of his way of thinking looks at a time, Affandi was confused myself when the critics ask concepts and theories of Western painting. By Western critics, Affandi's paintings are considered to give a new style of expressionism flow. But when it actually Affandi asked, what stream is it?.

Even to his parents, Affandi blinded himself with the theories. In fact he was known as a painter who does not like to read. For him, the letters are small and large organisms considered scourge.

In fact, in everyday life, he often says that he is a painter buffalo, diakunya nickname because he felt stupid as a painter. Perhaps because the buffalo is an animal that is considered dumb and stupid. The attitude of the maestro who does not like to theorize and actually prefer to work is evidenced by the sincerity of her profession as a painter who run not only seasonal exhibitions. Even against his chosen field, he was not overreacting.

Eg Affandi answer each time was asked why he paints. With lightly, he replied, I paint because I can not write, I'm not good at talking. The language I use is the language of painting. For Affandi, painting is work. He paints like a man hungry. Until the elitist impression about as a painter, he just wanted a picture called a handyman.

He further argued that he did not have a personality big enough to be called an artist, and he does not put art on the family's interests. If my child sick, I was going to stop painting, he said.

Until his death in May 1990, he remained the profession as a painter. Activities that have been part of his life. He is buried not far from the museum he founded it.

Museum Affandi
Museum which was inaugurated by Fuad Hassan, Minister of Education and Culture in its history when it has been visited by former President Soeharto and former Prime Minister of Malaysia Dr. Mahathir Mohamad in June 1988 when both were still in power. The museum was founded in 1973 on land that became his home.

Currently, there's about 1,000 more paintings in the Museum Affandi, and 300's, among which are works of Affandi. Affandi's paintings on display at the gallery I is a work of historical value restropektif who had started from the beginning of his career to finish, so it is not for sale.

While II is the painting gallery friends Affandi, whether alive or dead as Basuki Abdullah, Popo Iskandar, Hendra, Rusli, Fajar Sidik, and others. The third gallery contains paintings of Affandi's family.

In the third gallery that was completed in 1997, when it displayed the latest paintings of Kartika Affandi made in 1999. The painting, among others, "What Should I am doing" (January 99), "What's my fault? Why This Should Happen" (February 99), "Unfair" (June 99), "Back On the Reality of Life, Everything I gave him" (July 99), and others. There are also paintings Maryati, Rukmini Joseph, and Juki Affandi.

Affandi in the eyes of the world

Affandi was just one great painter Indonesia with other great painters such as Raden Saleh, Basuki Abdullah and others. But because many advantages and privileges of his works, his admirers to the nickname bestowed on him various titles and boasts, among others, such as nicknames Painters New Ekspressionis Indonesia even nicknamed Maestro. International Herald Tribune is the newspaper that called him as a painter Ekspressionis New Indonesia, while in Florence, Italy she was given the title of Grand Maestro.
Various awards and prizes like a flood the journey of life from the man who nearly all his life devoted to the world of this painting. Among other things, in 1977 he received the Peace Prize of the International Dag Hammershjoeld. Even the Central Committee of the Diplomatic Academy of Peace PAX Mundi in Castelo San Marzano, Florence, Italy was appointed member of the Academy of Human Rights.

From within the country itself, not least that it has received many awards, among them, the award "Top Service Star" which was awarded the Government of the Republic of Indonesia in 1978. And since 1986 he was appointed a Member of the Board of Trustees ISI (Institut Seni Indonesia) in Yogyakarta. Even a poet of the 45 Anwar was never presented him a special poem for her, entitled "To the painter Affandi".

To get closer and introduce his works to art lovers, Affandi often hold exhibitions in various places. In Indian country, he has held exhibitions around to various cities. Similarly, in various countries in Europe, America and Australia. In Europe, he has held exhibitions among others in London, Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris, and Rome. So also in the countries of the Americas such as Brazil, Venice, San Paulo, and the United States. Such a case, too, who made his name known in different parts of the world. Even the famous curator from Magelang, Oei Hong Djien, never hunting Affandi to Rio de Janeiro.


Charter Arts Award, the Ministry of Education and Culture, 1969
Doctorate Honoris Causa from the University of Singapore, 1974
Dag Hammarskjöld, the International Peace Prize (Florence, Italy, 1997)
Bintang Jasa Utama, 1978
New Expressionist painter nicknamed Indonesia by the International Herald Tribune Newspapers
Grand Maestro degree in Florence, Italy
Museum of Modern Art (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1966)
East-West Center (Honolulu, 1988)
Festival of Indonesia (USA, 1990-1992)
Gate Foundation (Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 1993)
Singapore Art Museum (1994)
Center for Strategic & International Studies (Jakarta, 1996)
Indonesia-Japan Friendship Festival (Morioka, Tokyo, 1997)
ASEAN Masterworks (Selangor, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 1997-1998)
Traveling exhibition in various cities in India.
Exhibition in Europe al: London, Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris, Rome
Al exhibitions in the Americas: Brazil, Venice, São Paulo, United States
Exhibition in Australia
(courtesy wikipedia Indonesia)