Galerie Stephanie is pleased to present Anton Subiyanto, winner of the 2014 United Overseas Bank Southeast Asia Painting of the Year Award.
His first major exhibition in the Philippines and fourth solo exhibition, “Rahayu: An Unencumbered Life” opens to the public on October 1, 2015. Besting numerous artists from artists from Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, Subiyanto emerged on top with his artwork “Old Stock, Fresh Menu” which impressed the judges for his “ability to convey a sombre message in a playful way.”
This timely exhibit opens just before the onset of the ASEAN integration, which aims to combine member countries into one unified economy. The integration will place the region as the fourth biggest economy in the world. Comprising 600 million and a projected gross domestic product of $2.4 trillion, the ASEAN integration will also make the exchange of ideas and skills easier. It will also make travel between countries and its peoples a regular phenomenon. Coincidentally, or probably because of this, the integration also coincides with the ripening of the regional art market, which art centers like New York, Berlin, and neighboring countries like Hongkong, South Korea and Australia are all trying to enter into. The Guggenheim and other big international museums are currently beefing up their collections of Southeast Asian art. In this context, and at this time, what would be a better way to understand our neighbors?
It is in this context that the gallery is introducing esteemed Indonesian artist Anton Subiyanto, who has made a mark in the region for his insight, humor and strong technique. Subiyanto takes a sharp critique at commercialism and attributes the general sadness and discontent people feel nowadays but presents it “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. For his solo exhibition at Galerie Stephanie, he takes on the idea of “redemption” and expresses it in eight acrylic and graphite works, as well as several significant works on paper. Entitled “Rahayu: An Unencumbered Life,” Subiyanto attempts to show that happiness is not in what we acquire or what we buy, but in what we let go of – our prejudices, our preconceptions on what truly makes us happy, and our empty desires. It is in this state that we achieve social harmony, a proper context not just for the upcoming integration, but for the increasingly complicated world we live in.
Rahayu: An Unencumbered Life, a solo exhibition by UOB 2014 Art Competition Grandprize Winner Anton Subiyanto opens to the public on October 1, 2015 at Galerie Stephanie. Anton Subiyanto will be giving a talk about his work and the graphic traditions of Java, and his experiences as an artist who exhibited in Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and Japan, at 4pm of the same date. For inquiries, please call (02) 709 1488.