Observing Huang Fong’s paintings we were brought in Balinese life that was quite and peacefully. In this April Huang Fong has been 77 old and has been working as artist professionally for fifties years. During the time his painting themes are not changed that is about daily life in Bali.
Celebrating his birthday this year Huang Fong held single exhibition at National Gallery, Jakarta, with title “Pikiran, Tubuh dan Jiwa: 77 Tahun Huiang Fong” (Mind, Body and Spirit: Huang Fong in 77 years old). As many 77 his works were presented here and all about Bali.
Indeed, Bali has been part of his life. His first visit to Bali was in 1963. Then, in 1967 he stayed in the Island of Gods until now. Huang Fong said, he loves Bali because Balinese people is in peace and harmony, and rich of art cultures.
He felt that he was lucky because of his meeting with some great artists in Bali such as Ida Bagus Made Poleng, Anton Huang, Abdul Azis and Tedja Suminar. He has also close relationship with Affandi and Hendra Gunawan. “I have learned from both of them about how to be focus in working,” he said to art critic Agus Dermawan.
In his paintings, Bali was presented so peace, quite and natural. It was so far from modern life and social, economy and political problems. Agus Dermawan said that Huang Fong paintings were like as “Mooi Indie” arts that only showed the beauty of Indonesian land in Dutch colonial era. Huang Fong didn’t reject this comment, but he said that he also paint the social documentaries.
In this exhibition there were 77 paintings of Huang Fong with various objects and all about Bali. In general they were portraits of women with traditional wear and naked breast. This tradition was only in old Balinese people life.
Another are paintings about women in daily activities such as in traditional markets, rice fields, beach and temples. Some paintings are about men activities such as the Barong and Kecak Dances. He also painted a famous traditional painter Ida Bagus Made Poleng.
Watercolor on Canvas
Beside the theme on Bali, Huang Fong is consistent in the use of watercolor on canvas. This is an identity of Huang Fong since he worked as artist professionally. Usually watercolor is compatible on paper. But Huang Fong has perfect technique to use watercolor on canvas.
“I did trials and errors with this medium and materials,” he said. The result is so amazing. His paintings with watercolor on canvas are perfect like as paintings with watercolor on paper or oil on canvas.
Huang Fong was born in Banyuwangi, East Java, on April 14, 1936. He has never formal education in arts. He just learned painting techniques from some painters directly. During his career he has held tens exhibition in Indonesia and abroad. This exhibition at National Gallery was held in April 1-7, 2013.