In his second show at Ganesha Gallery, South Sumatran artist, Heriawan Siauw, has largely turned to abstract studies of pure emotion. Dominated by shades of blue and green with an occasional splash of red, his moody and thought provoking paintings can be likened as the visual equivalent of the soulful jazz music played after hours in the smoky jazz cafes.
While exploring a palette associated with the melancholy, the titles of his works, such as "Hope," featuring an amorphous splash of turquoise floating upon an endless blue-green field of color, exude optimism and joy. Together they represent a profound study of the bitter-sweet condition of humans pulled between the underworld of emotions, and soaring optimism of experiencing the infinite, even if only for one brief moment.
As in past works, Heri continues to explore his Chinese ethnicity in his art. In "Yin-Yang" he portrays the concept of cosmic duality not with black and white but a powerful, asymmetric study of blue-black and red, again against a turquoise background. Perhaps his clearest and most stunning homage to his heritage and the human condition is "Perfect Life" which features Chinese calligraphy spelling out his hopes unambiguously upon an abstract 'landscape' reminiscent of the limestone cliffs seen in ancient scrolls.
In a nation of islands, surrounded by seas featuring the most exquisite and luminous shades of blue hiding fantastic unknown gardens of coral, sponges and tropical fish, Heri's exploration of hues of blue and their emotional links to our hopes, and perhaps fears, is daring. This is especially true in a culture that prefers red, the traditional color of joy and prosperity. Perhaps times are changing and certainly Heri's work is progressing.Melodies in Blue
An Exhibition of Painting by Heriawan Siauw
Ganesha Gallery at the Four Season's Resort at Jimbaran Bay, Bali, Indonesia
Open Daily, 9 am Ė 6 pm, October 8 Ė November 1, 2010
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