Indonesian artist Anton Subiyanto, winner of the United Overseas Bank Southeast Asia Painting of the Year Award, takes a sharp critique at commercialism with Rahayu: An Unencumbered Life. He attributes to unmitigated consumption the general sadness and discontent people feel nowadays, but presents this message “with a spoonful of sugar, to help the medicine go down.” With stress stemming from the rat race, and the emptiness felt from the unending need to have the latest gadget or get the best of anything that is available, Subiyanto proffers a solution of a slower, more meditative stance at life and living with others, as his Javanese ancestors have. Focusing on the the Javanese Hindu philosophical and ethical ideal of tepo seliro, a state of empathy and mutual respect, Subiyanto encourages us to create meaningful connections with the people we interact with, and in the process, create both social harmony and happiness.

Exhibitions

Work