Lot 68
Indonesian Art Auction | 24 November 2022
Sindudarsono Sudjojono (1913-1986)

A joglo, a traditional Javanese house

signed with initials, numbered, annotated and dated 'SS/101 / Jak/1983' (lower right) and signed 'S. Sudjojono' (lower left)

oil on canvas, 40x60 cm

-Collection Mrs Sachumsky, thence by descent to the present owner.

The mother of the present owner, Mrs Sachumsky (born in Poso, Sulawesi) and Rose Sudjojono met for the first time in 1941, at the start of class 7 in Makassar, to continue for further education. Early 1942 Mrs. Sachumsky had to flee for the Japanese invaders, and remained in hiding in Makassar throughout the war time. Mrs Sachumsky returned to her land of birth in 1978 and for a second time in 1982. During these visits she and Mrs Sudjojono met again. It was at the occasion of 1982 that Mrs Sachumsky decided to buy some of Sudjojono’s paintings. Most presumably Mrs Sachumsky bought the paintings during an exhibition of Sudjojono in Arnhem.

What distinguishes Sudjojono (1913-1986) from other artists is that the quality of his works remained consistently high throughout his life. He produced significant works until his death at age 72. His late works carry the same weight as his early works, with no signs of deterioration in quality or significance. In many ways, he gets better as he gets older.

Broadly speaking, the body of works by Sudjojono can be divided into human activities and landscapes. Sudjojono paid close attention to the relationship between people and their natural habitat. His works included depictions of himself, his family, and the people around him as well as the events occurring during his life journey: while single, as a family man and as an artist. These remain his well of inspiration throughout his career.

In an active objection of the “Mooi Indies” style practiced by the Indo-european artists during his youth, Sudjojono’s expressionist colours and rough brush strokes capture the essence and transcend the raw beauty of the forces of nature. As he gets older, his landscape works became more meditative. A closer examination brings the serenity and beauty of his landscapes into focus, as evident in the pair of landscape paintings, both dated 1983, offered in this auction.

In the first painting (lot 68), we see a traditional Javanese house (a joglo) in a village setting. The long morning shadows attest that village life begins with sunrise. In this drawing, Sudjojono reflects on the meaning of home in Java: In Javanese society, a home is part of the three basic needs: sandhang (clothing), pangan (food) and papan (housing). For the Javanese, a home becomes the ultimate life goal and a measure of wellbeing. Home is referred to as griya or dalem in high Javanese. Griya literally means a large mountain that signifies a natural source of life, while dalem refers to self. Beyond the physical functions of a house as a protection against nature, a home is a source of happiness for the family who lives in it. The design of a traditional joglo combines two elements of nature: stone for the foundation and the floor, and wood (papan) for the walls and ceiling. The layout of a joglo is also divided into public and private spaces. [T.A. Brian, 2017]

In the second painting (lot 69), we are presented with a large limestone formation in a hilly area probably somewhere in central Java. This gigantic, still, and stoic rock face is contrasted against the blue sky and the changing habitat of the villages at the foot of the mountain. At the foreground we see two ladies planting rice on a terraced field. The rice field is flooded and reflects the imposing vista. A group of villagers can be seen walking along the path on the right towards far-distant villages. At the lead, a mother with a pink dress is holding her daughter by the hand. Behind them there are two women, also in pink traditional clothes who are carrying goods behind their back and also a man pushing his bicycle. In this painting, Sudjojono conveyed the dependence of humanity on mother nature; and that maintaining its harmony is vital. It displays the reflective and meditative trademark of his late works.

Sudjojono painstakingly painted this elaborate joglo with pink/ purple walls, a large door partially covered with curtains, and two large windows on the left and right of the entrance. On the veranda at the left, two people are sitting and chatting. A black bicycle rests on the wood fence of the right veranda. A man, presumably the father, is walking towards the house, carrying firewood on his shoulder. A woman carrying firewood on her back is walking on the right side of the house by the well. On the lower right corner, a lady in a traditional dress is looking at baskets with bundles of newly harvested rice. A gazebo and a little goat are shown on the left.

In this painting, Sudjojono successfully details the abundance of the family who occupied the joglo, and the life philosophy imbedded in the Javanese traditional home as a reflection of the harmony of self, family and mother nature.

In this pair of paintings, Sudjojono used the Javanese joglo (lot 68) and the gigantic limestone mountain (lot 69) as icons and metaphors for the Javanese ideals of village life, harmony with nature, and personal happiness.

Reference: Theodorus Aries Brian, “Arsitektur Tradisional Jawa: Kosmologi, Estetika dan Simbolisme Budaya Jawa,” Majalah Arkeologi Indonesia, 11 Agustus 2017

€ 12.000,00
€ 18.000,00
€ 28.000,00

Hamerprijs: € 28.000