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Memories of War and the Motherland | A Conversation with Syed Muhammad Hafiz
"Kami Present, Ibu Pertiwi" (Stand Guard for our Motherland)
S Sudjojono
Oil on canvas
176 x 300 cm
Collection of National Gallery Singapore
Memories of War and the Motherland | A Conversation with Syed Muhammad Hafiz
, 12 Feb 2019

This conversation was filmed on 21 October 2017.

This talk by Syed Muhammad Hafiz (Assistant Curator, National Gallery Singapore) takes a closer look at one of the paintings in the Gallery’s UOB Southeast Asia Gallery, Kami Present, Ibu Pertiwi (Stand Guard for our Motherland) by Indonesian artist S. Sudjojono.

At 3-metres long, the majestic painting portrays nationalism at its strongest. Depicting a sprawling vista in the background, and villagers and soldiers in the foreground, the scene is imbued with a sense of tension, suspense and drama.

S.Sudjojono (1913–1986) was at the forefront of the postwar cultural scene in Indonesia. One of his biggest contributions to Indonesian art was his view that art of Indonesia should reflect the character of the land and its people. He rejected the dominant art style of the early 20th century, known as Mooi Indië (Beautiful Indies), which depicted the idealised representation of Indonesia with beautiful landscapes and sceneries. Instead, he produced works that portrayed the everyday lives and issues of everyday Indonesians during the colonial regime, such as this.

A forthright thinker and a passionate art critic, Sudjojono also tirelessly generated his views and ideas through his writings and commentaries. He was also a leading figure in several art collectives known locally as sanggar (studios).

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Yayoi Kusama’s Late Requiem for the Now
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