Artist Interviews 2022
By Johnny Otto
Where are you from and how did you get started painting? What influenced you and made you say, "I have to paint"? Artistic parents?
I come from Yogyakarta, Indonesia. I started painting because of my love for the fine arts world. I have been painting since I was little, although during certain years from 1994 to 1997. What made me have to paint was a calling from my soul and my family, which gave me the spirit to continue working.
Tell us about the different places you have travelled and how each place has changed your art?
Places that impress me are Yogyakarta as the center of Indonesian and Balinese fine arts, especially Ubud which is a place where various artists from western countries have lived in that city. Such as Antonio Blanco, Mario Blanco, Hofker, Arie Smith, and many other European artists. In Ubud, there are many museums that house the works of Indonesian and world masters.
For work, I dig more from myself. When I visit various museums to capture the energy or spirit of world-class works, how these works emit positive energy makes me more enthusiastic about creating.
Can art really change the world? How?
I think if you can't really change the world, it might become an infrastructure for other scientific disciplines. For example technology, culture, philosophy, and the future human mindset. This means that humans will be increasingly critical in looking at all phenomena that occur in future human cultural life.
Are you self taught or did you study?
I am a self-taught painter, learn naturally and especially have lots of discussions with senior painters in Yogyakarta and Bali who I think can be good teachers.
Are you currently showing or do you have something coming up?
future plans, for January 2023 I will be exhibiting at the Linautism Gallery in Surabaya, Indonesia, in March I will be exhibiting at the American Club Singapore with Mayinart Singapore. If all plans go well, mid-2023 plans to have a solo exhibition in Yogyakarta. But if you invite exhibitions outside Indonesia I will be more than happy
What other hobbies or interests do you have?
Besides painting, I am an outdoor adventurer, especially climbing mountains and sometimes rock climbing. For me the wild is like a thick book that will never be finished to read. Nature is a source of spiritual inspiration which is pure energy I get when I'm climbing mountains.
Does music influence your art or do you listen to music when you paint or do you prefer quiet?
I like music, because it can add enthusiasm to my work. For example, Ingwie Malmsteen, Enya, and many musicians from Europe that I like. From Indonesia, I like ethnic music, for example, Sapeh music from Kalimantan, Rindik from Bali and so on. In painting I don't listen to music more, because in silence I can concentrate more.
Who would you love to collaborate with, if given the chance?
If there is an opportunity I can collaborate with anyone, I don't limit it.
If you couldn't paint, what would you be doing?
I am mostly at home with my family, camping or hiking with my wife and children. Occasionally friends come to exhibitions to discuss things with each other about the ongoing development of contemporary art.