For the first time, in celebration of the country’s 71st Independence Day, Indonesia’s presidential palace has made available to the public a part of its vast art collection.
Indonesia was a former colony of the Dutch and the Japanese.
The art exhibit featured 28 works by 20 of the country’s famed artists such as Raden Saleh, Affandi, S. Sudjojono, Hendra Gunawan, Basoeki Abdullah, Dullah, Trubus Sudarsono, Sudjono Abdullah, Harijadi Sumadidjaja, Kartono Yudhokusumo, Henk Ngantung, and Gambiranom.
Some of these painters gained fame by drawing battle scenes from the campaign for independence.
One of the paintings in the exhibit is a portrait of a mysterious woman painted by Sukarno, Indonesia’s founding president.
Unknown to many, the beloved leader was also a painter and art collector.
The painting titled Guerrilla Preparation by Dullah (top photo of this article) is known for its visual beauty and message regarding war.
Dullah's models for the painting were real guerrilla fighters from Gunungkidul, Yogyakarta.
Another highlight in the exhibit is a painting by the famous Mexican artist Diego Rivera.
The painting, Malay Girl with Flower, was acquired by Sukarno from Mexico on behalf of the Indonesian people.
S. Sudjojono's famous painting titled Kawan-kawan Revolusi (Revolution Comrades) was produced in just one day in 1947 in response to an art critic who had doubted his technical ability to draw in the realist style.
Curators Mikke Susanto and Rizki A Zaelani hope to promote nationalism through the exhibit:
At least, this kind of exhibition is expected to be able to grow and keep the love and pride of nationalism in the minds of Indonesian people, especially the youth.
— Rifki Abdi (@dosen_creek) August 8, 2016
Very long queue at Galeri Nasional, those kids come for augmented reality and pokemon pic.twitter.com/5hlTLMZNbA
— uchan (@susandevy) August 6, 2016