Ceramic Art Exhibition of Widayanto

August 30, 2013

Exploration of Tragedy and Sensuality of  Princess Drupadi 

By Winarto

“Kemben Ngeler”, ceramic sculpture worked by F Widayanto

Drupadi, a very beautiful princess, a loyal wife, fell in tragedy because of her husband indecent act. The King of Amarta, Yudhistira, her husband,  dropped her to be a stake in a dice playing with his enemy, Korawa family, in the epoch of  Mahabharata. Korawa won the game, Drupadi was given to Korawa. One of Korawa’s person (there are one hundred person in Korawa family), Dursasana, tried to rape Drupadi with to draw her cloth. But there was a miracle. Dursasana could never take Drupadi’s cloth off  because her cloth grew to cover her body.

Bima, Yudhistira’s young brother, swore that he will kill Dursasana in the War of Baratayudha (the war between Pandawa and Kurawa clan. Bima is one of  Five Knights of Pandawa). While Drupadi said she would never to clean her hair until the war comes and she wanted to clean her hair with Dursasana’s blood.

The tragedy of  Princess Drupadi has been explored by prominent Indonesian  ceramic artist Fransiscus Widayanto. Thirty ceramic statues worked by Widayanto has been exhibited at National Gallery,Jakarta, in 22-30 August 2013. All works are about Drupadi’s figure in various size and pose.  One of very amazing work is “Dru vs Dur” that able to draw the very dramatic moment when Drupadi tried to defend from Dursasana’s violence. This two meters high sculpture shows Drupadi  with her sadness and anger fight the cruelty of Dursasana.

Enter the exhibition room at the National Gallery, at first we meet Drupadi figure placed under bright lighting. Her face is looked shining. This 1.5 meters high statue entitled “Drupadi Agni” (Drupadi the Light).  With this, I think, Widayanto wants to tell us about the origin of Drupadi that was not from a mother but from the light. That’s right, Drupadi was not born from a woman. She was created from a sacred light. It was the King of Pancala Kingdom, Drupada, who asked God in order to be given a perfect child. And the God gave him two children, a boy and a girl, created from the light. One of them is Drupadi.

“Dru vs Dur”, ceramic sculpture worked by F Widayanto

In the dining room of Gallery the lighting is not so bright, make Drupadi’s figures are like as trapped in the darkness. Here we can see the anguish of Drupadi  in some works such as “Kebrugan Jagad” (Struck Down by The Globe Earth) and “Bedhah Nelangsa” (To Express the Sadness). The two sculptures show Drupadi  looked so arousing pity, sitting on the floor with outstretched legs, her hair are in a mess. There are some dices (as gambling tools) spread around her. Her skin is dark like as in the story of Mahabharata epoch.

But, not all about the sadness. The artist, F Widayanto, also explores the beauty and sensuality of the Princess Drupadi. Look at, for instance, “Pandawa Diva”, “Ukel Ambyar”,  “Ngore Ngecucung” and “Kemben Ngeler”.

The exploration of Tradition

F Widayanto was born in Jakarta, Januari 23, 1953. He started his career as ceramic artist in 1983 when he built his first studio Maryans Clay Work after finished his study on Visual Arts at ITB (Institut Teknologi Bandung/Bandung Institute of Technology). This exhibition entitle “Drupadi Pandawa Diva” was to celebrate thirty years of his career in visual arts.

Widayanto likes to explore the traditional art elements for his works. Some of his works that are famous such as “Loro Blonyo” (1990), “Golekan” (1997), “Dewi Sri” (2003), and “Fantastic Lady” (2005).

Now he is known as a very creative and productive ceramic artist in Indonesia that has some studio, gallery and company on ceramic arts. His works are collected by Indonesian and foreign collectors.

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