Category Archives: Indonesia Contemporary Sculpture

No place like home – Ari Bayuaji

View of 'No place like home' from outside the front of Kunsthal Rotterdam Image Ari Bayuaji     View of ‘no place like home’ from outside of Gallery 6, Kunsthal Rotterdam

The Kunsthal Rotterdam, a leading cultural institution in the Netherlands, through it’s program Kunsthal Light challenges artists to create site-specific works to be exhibited within a most unconventional space.

An elongated and narrow slopping showcase ramp, with generous vertical height, Gallery 6, is positioned adjacent to the window at the forefront of the museum. While also functioning as walkway through which visitors cross from one gallery to the next, it becomes a ‘display cabinet’ for artworks, to be observed outside by passersby.

17264168_10154227288921956_8483278281296326009_n                         Detail of ‘no place like home’

During Kunsthal Light #16 Montreal based, ‘Indonesian born’ artist Ari Bayuaji occupied Gallery 6 from 9 March, until the exhibition’s official opening on the 18th, transforming it with his installation ‘No place like home’. Constructed from eclectic 3D sculptures, drawings, paintings and photographs, the exhibition, which continues until 28 June, features references to locations throughout the world where Bayuaji has been, and the resources that people utilize to create their homes.

Beginning early January Bayuaji visited the Kunsthal to gain vital insights and then returned to Canada to select materials from his studio collection to be shipped to the Netherlands. Two months later he was tasked with creating an installation, or a ‘puzzle’ as the East Javanese, former civil engineer, said.

Aji Bayuaji at KunsthalLight16 Image by Marcel Kollen                             Ari installing ‘No place like home’

“The gallery is not just a blank white wall, there are, however other elements, such as the varying height, CCTV cameras, doors, speakers and a balcony that I must consider, and include in my work. I employ plywood, paper, plastic tarpaulin, and canvas to represent urban life in different parts of the world where some people might adopt these materials to build a place they call ‘home’.”

A collector of distinctive, often unusual bits and pieces, items from as far as Mexico to Bali become meaningful icons in this work. Plastic bags and ropes littering beaches are utilized, as too are small weathered windows frame old letters, and pictures from magazines. Throughout the installation Bayuaji creates beautiful and contrasting visual landscapes.

No lace like home - Ari Bayuaji. Image by the artist                             Detail of, ‘No place like home’

“There is no direct connection. The ‘exotic objects’ that came from far away are there for the audience to see, absorb, and to learn more about,” he said. Traditional dancers upon a Bali picture postcard point to CCTV camera, currency notes, discarded keys and utensils he juxtaposes with colorful geometrical forms painted directly upon the 60 meters long wall.

“I love to work with ready-made objects, like wooden architectural ornaments from old buildings found in Indonesia and Canada. Some of these items may be old, but the ‘content’ is new as I inject them with emotions that are influenced by the contemporary issues I seek to address in my work,” said the 42 year-old artist, who admits this project has been confronting, yet a career-defining experience as well.

Visitors during the 18 March opening Kunsthal Light 16 Image Aji Bayuaji              Visitors during the opening evening of ‘No place like home’

“Ari came to our attention via Natasha Sidharta, a friend of Kunsthal’s director Emily Ansenk. Emily and I where impressed and immediately felt he was a perfect fit for our program,” said curator Natalya Boender. “Ari took his cultural background and heritage and by giving the title ‘No place like home’ and using the general ‘home’ as a subject says a lot about him as a person and an artist. We like artists that are not afraid to tell a story.”

“Working in Gallery 6 is akin to performance art where the visitors can observe my process, and can interact with me as they like. This is new for me because normally I work alone in my studio,” Bayuaji said. “Surprisingly I have enjoyed how they respond, or react. European audiences can be very direct, and this engagement has helped me mature as an artist.”

17264927_10154227289001956_4218543065809826751_n                             Detail of ‘No place like home’

“Many asked about the materials I used, opening up bigger conversations about my culture and background. Some shared their ideas of ‘home’, and even about their political point of view.”

A two-meter square black and white photograph reveals a slum dweller peering out from behind a shanty door, while eighty Mexican canvas moneybags are sewn together to form an ‘Alternative Wall’, Bayuaji’s satire of US President Trump’s border wall and a play on ‘alternative facts’.

“The more freedom I am granted by a big institution the greater the pressure I feel. I have to create something that I really like to work on to show the public, while delivering my ‘voice’. These considerations help me to work in subtle ways.” Having the autonomy of creating such a large installation helped Bayuaji learn how to be the ‘curator’ of his own work.

17361632_10154227288736956_8422524388330762822_n                                Detail of ‘No place like home’

“The current geopolitical landscape is rapidly changing the way people live. Many from all over the world have been moving, immigrating and being displaced from one place to the next,” said the artist who in 2004 moved from Indonesia to Canada to study fine art at the Concordia University of Montreal. “There are many places people call home that have been destroyed because of wars and uprisings, or natural disasters too.”

“As a contemporary artist I want to talk about problems that concern me. I trust that the experience will touch people’s heart so they may share a little space of their own home for people who need a place to feel accepted and safe.”

“We were really touched by Ari’s commitment to make political jokes in his work while being very serious and poetic at the same time. This is a rare quality, and it makes his work relevant,” Boender adds. “The fact that Ari comments on critical global issues in a very approachable manner is a beautiful way to share experiences and ideas.”

17353277_10154227309541956_4859946872236865801_n                                Detail of ‘No place like home’

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No place like home

IMG_0473                                           Artist Ari Bayuaji, right

 

Words: Richard Horstman

Images courtesy: Marcel Kollen & Ari Bayuaji

No Place Like Home,

Kunsthal Light #16

Continuing through until 28 June, 2017

Kunsthal Rotterdam

Info: +31 (0)10-4400301,

www.kunsthal.nl

 

 

 

Ways of Clay – Jakarta Contemporary Ceramic Biennale #4

Audience at JCCB#4 national Gallery Indonesia                        Audience at the  National Gallery of Indonesia – JCCB#4

Unique to other conventional mediums clay offers artists distinctive and potent properties, forged over eons by the natural elements, to co-create with. A piece of Mother Earth, throughout the ages it has inspired civilizations, both practically and esoterically, the ancient Greeks, Egyptians and Sumerians all had creation myths that tell of the hands of Gods shaping the first human beings from clay.

The fourth Jakarta Contemporary Ceramic Biennale (JCCB#4), closing 22 January, opened at the National Gallery of Indonesia in Jakarta 8 December 2016. Themed Ways of Clay: Perspective Toward the Future the exhibition features works by forty-one invited artists from 16 countries (eight from Indonesia), interpreting history as a point of view to aid in the understanding of how the practice of ceramic arts may progress into the future.

Ljubica_JocicKnezevic_FragmentOfLifeJPG                                  Fragment of Life – Ljubica Jocic Knezevic

Initiated in 2009 by Indonesian curators Asmudjo Iranto and Rifky Effendi the JCCB has become a contemporary ceramic art event offering fresh perspectives, especially in the ceramic art world. Each biennale has featured mixed media works adopting video, photography and other mediums side-by-side with clay or ceramics reflecting the process of evolution of the medium into the greater contemporary arts practice.

“The Western art world considers ceramics as being outside of the classification of the fine arts, in Indonesia, however the perception is different,” said Rifky Effendi. “As Indonesian art history is not well recorded the canons of fine art are still loosely defined, thus allowing   opportunities for increasing local appreciation of the art form by both the public, and art collectors.”

Uji Hahan "Liability - Between Lack and Achievement" 2016 Image coutesy JCCB#4                 Liability: Between Lack and achievement – Uji Hahan

The distinctive feature of JCCB#4 was the residency program of which 20 of the invited artists participated in. Setting varied scenarios to inspire a highly diverse range of creative outcomes by the artists, with the focus upon collaboration, learning and shared experiments, artists participated in one month residency programs between August – November 2016, at independent ceramic studios, traditional small to mid-sized ceramic industries, large-scale factories, ceramic producing communities and ceramic institutions, such as colleges and vocational schools.

Aligning the artists with Indonesia’s environment, people, and culture, the programs rural and urban hosts have their own respective characteristics, materials and resources, as well as facilities. The residencies were held in Bandung, Majalengka, Kasongan-Bantul, Sleman-Yogakarta, Semerang and a few locations in Bali. While about half of forty-one artists were ceramicists the biennale presented wonderful opportunities to the remaining invitees, who had never, or rarely worked with clay to explore this ‘new’ medium.

SoeYuNwe                                                  Korean artist Soe Yu Nwe

“Introducing well-known contemporary artists into JCCB#4’s program helps both collectors and the curious in their perception of what is contemporary art, and how it explores mediums outside of the realms of conventional painting and sculpture,” Effendi said and adds, “The artists were excited to participate in the residency program, to explore new mediums and find fresh form for their ideas.”

“I was chosen by JCCB#4 for my residency with PT Sango Ceramics Indonesia (the nations leading ceramics tableware manufacturer based in Semarang) who allowed me creative possibilities that both they and I had yet to encountered,” said emerging artist Uji Hahan from Yogyakarta, whose work Liability – Between Lack and Achievement” was an exhibition highlight.  “The work, in which I experimented with electroplating techniques, challenged both PT Sango’s and my own working practices.”

Maria Volkhova "Cloboters" 2016 Image courtesy JCCB#4                                          Cloboters – Maria Volkhova

“Inspired by natural history specimens and archaeological findings, being the creator and a collector, Broken Dreams Without Wings explores some of the ways people have brought things together into purposeful collections to preserve memory,” said Singaporean artist anGie Seah of her clay series in which she rearranged objects to create new ways of thinking about nature, time and interpreting tangible things from her environment.

“I enjoyed the process of experimentation with other materials to add-on to the clay bodies of my work, underlining JCCB#4 concept Ways of Clay.”

20161207_215913                                                     anGie Seah

 Eddie Prabandono, known for his large-scale installations, exhibited Padi one of the more interesting aesthetic and conceptual works of JCCB#4 that featured a collection of plates piled one upon the other, over two meters high positioned upon a chair, from which rice grew during the exhibitions duration. Making reference to human greed in his ‘living art work’ Prabandono said, “The increasing use of agricultural land for housing and development is an important issue that requires urgent attention.”

Other highlights include Bandung artist Arya Pandjalu’s glazed stoneware Electric Earth, Ukrainian Maria Volkhova’s Cloboters and Serbian Ljubica Jocic Knezevic’s Fragment Of Life.

14715488_10154510455512107_5407491981682033517_o              Participating Artists and Curators, National Gallery of Indonesia

Supported by a program of Artist Talks – Ceramic Sharing & Presentations, regular gallery tours, and ceramic workshops by Ganara Art Space open to the public every weekend, attendance numbers at the National Gallery revealed one of the success stories of JCCB#4. During the holiday seasons visitors numbers were 1000 per day, while non-holiday periods visitors ranged between 500-600, and on weekends increased to 700-900 people a day.

15875410_10155328161509316_5169993784207623161_o                                             Padi – Eddie Prabandono

 

Words: Richard Horstman

Images: Courtesy JCCB#4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Swedish Artist Richard Winkler at Home in Bali

Work in progress                             Richard Winkler at work in his Sanur studio

Swedish artist Richard Winkler’s creative development charts a course that isn’t unlike others who have settled in Bali. He has, however succeeded in doing what few foreign artists in Indonesia can do.  Art lovers and collectors quickly recognized Winkler’s talent and he created a niche within the large, yet difficult to penetrate, Indonesian contemporary art market.

Within his paintings Winkler creates a fantastic Balinese utopian landscape. His compositions feature figures, bulbous and distorted, that contain the extraordinary story of his own body and personal experience of having to cope with a rare bone disorder. From an early age painful boney growths continued to reappear on Winkler’s limbs and he had to undergo regular surgery to have them removed.

Farmers of the Blue Hills, 150x200cm, 2010. oil on canvas Richar Winkler.                                        Farmers of the Blue Hills, 2010

“These experiences taught me to love and honor the physical vehicle in which I was born. They have inspired me,” Winkler said.  “This has helped develop a resilient character, and given me an enormously positive outlook on life.”

Winkler’s figures reflect the creative nature of the human DNA that manifests in countless body forms and sizes, from obese to beautiful, and from the vigorous to the diseased.   “I resonate with the abstract nature of my figures. Subconsciously a part of me springs forth and then in the studio it comes to life through my works. It is my own unique creative process,” he adds.

Mother Earth, 2011, Bronze, 217Hx152Wx212D                                         Mother Earth, 2011

At a glance Winkler’s oil paintings are an amalgamation of subtle curves, delightful arcs suggesting nature’s perfect symbol – the circle. The exaggerated human forms that occupy his compositions feature bulging backsides, toros and limbs. His works are studies of balance and precision, enhanced by his perfect brush work technique.

Winkler’s coloration is never over powering, his rich environmental scenarios send tranquil messages. The soft greens and blues within his tropical locales contain delicate, soothing melodies. Occasionally he adopts contrasting colors, positioned to create aesthetic impact.

20160825_161839                                                  A Beautiful Afternoon, 2016

Rarely does Winkler utilize the potency of the straight line within his settings. When he does it will be the horizon line, that helps denote the composition’s depth of field, while delivering a jolt of tension within his “sea of curves”.

About 12 years ago Winkler was driven to transform his ideas into large three dimensional forms. His process began with experimentation and learning how and what he needed to be. First he constructed and ‘played’ with models, simplistic and crude, and then the momentum of his creativity grew. It was not long before Winkler was forging wonderful sculptures in bronze.

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These are monumental, minimalist reclining figures, some more than 3 meters in height. Winkler takes the voluptuous characters from his paintings and expands on their size. To achieve the perfect symmetries in his sculptures requires time and skill, so during the process he must continuously run his hands over the extremities of the models to identify and correct imperfections.

The models are then dismantled in his Sanur studio and transferred to Central Java,  reassembled and caste in liquid bronze, and then the finishing is done. His characters are finally positioned according to the client’s wishes, and appear rooted and secure as if they have grown up and out of the earth.

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Richard Winkler was born in 1969 in Norrkoping, Sweden and studied graphic design and illustration at the Beckman’s School of Design in Stockholm. For some years he worked as an illustrator for advertising and magazines.  In 1997 he moved from Europe to Ubud to become a full-time painter. His work is a metaphor for the omnipotent fertility of the universe, while celebrating the beauty of the Balinese landscape.

Words & Images: Richard Horstman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TiTian Bali Foundation Gives Recognition & Heritage Awards to Balinese Artists

chairman-of-the-indonesian-agency-for-creative-economy-triawan-munaf-with-the-nine-finalists-of-the-2017-titian-art-prize-copyThe Nine Finalists of the TiTian Prize, (from left) Gede Suryawan, Wayan Aris Sarmanta, Wayan Malik, Mangku Muriati Mura, Ida Bagus Suryantara, Gede Sugiada, Made Sutama, Nyoman Arisana and Made Supena pictured with Triawan Munaf, Chairman of the Agency for Creative Economy Indonesia (center).

 

During the first anniversary celebrations of Yayasan TiTian Bali, in Ubud, Sunday 29 January, the Chairman of Agency for Creative Economy Indonesia, Triawan Munaf presented an array of art awards, culminating with the nine finalists, and the winner of the TiTian Prize 2017.

winner-of-the-2017-titian-prize-fight-lust-nyoman-arisana-copy                 Fight LustNyoman Arisana, Winner of the TiTian Prize 2017

Yayasan TiTian Bali (YTB) was established in the belief that Balinese art would flourish as it is integrated into a truly creative economy. “The founders of TiTian believe in continuing the importance of Bali’s history and culture, but we share a concern that the long association of the island’s creative life with tourism, cottage industry, and souvenirs, combine to create static and clichéd perceptions of cultural heritage,” said YTB Director Soemantri Widagdo.

alam-agung-great-whale-ida-bagus-suryantara                              Alam Agung Ida Bagus Suryantara

“We aim to work with Balinese artists, designers, and performers to ensure the long-term cultural, economic, and creative success of Balinese arts, with the highest levels of entrepreneurship in its creation and marketing,” he said. “Our mission is to discover, nurture and develop new talents, helping them achieve their full potential.”

“We are excited to be associated with Yayasan TiTian Bali, it as if TiTian is our arm in Bali,” said Triawan Munaf, Chairman of the Agency for Creative Economy Indonesia. “The mission of the Foundation is inline with our concerns.”

hidup-di-alam-gede-suryawan                             Hidup di Alam Gede Suryawan

“What we are doing now with the agency is developing the eco-systems within each of the 16 sub sectors of the creative economy, including the visual arts,” Munaf said. “We aim to create policies, involving multi ministries, that can make some breakthroughs for our creatives, giving them freedoms and mechanisms of how to enter markets, access finance, and how to register the intellectual property of their creations.”

emotion-ii-installation-made-supena                               Emotion II, Installation – Made Supena

The TiTian Prize 2017, open to all Balinese visual artists in the genres of painting, sculpture, installation and photography, received 82 entries from all regencies in Bali, plus entries from Lombok and Yogyakarta, 9 works were submitted by women. The finalists ranged in age from 21 – 53, reflecting the talent of both emerging and established artists. Genres varied from the traditional Kamasan, Batuan and Keliki styles, works influenced by modern and contemporary painting, and one wood carving installation.

lot-364-sutama-i-made                                    World of DreamsMade Sutama

Fight Lust, the winning painting by twenty-seven year old Gianyar painter Nyoman Arisana, an eye-catching composition of contrasts and tension featured a complex laying of visual elements, in both mono chrome and color, from the Balinese tradition, along with modern and contemporary art.

bhineka-tunggal-ika-mungku-muriarti-mura                         Bhineka Tunggal Ika – Mangku Muriati Mura

The work sets demonic creatures at war with one another, symbolizing, according the artist our human behavior. “Lust greatly influences human life and survival, greed, jealousy and envy are common, yet our desire to do good may also be perceived as lust,” Arisana said.

kasih-ibu-mothers-love-wayan-malik                                 Kasih IbuWayan Malik

The presentations at Titian Art Space Bali included the second annual Anugrah Pusaka Seni (Art Heritage) Award to ten artists and a patron who have made extraordinary contributions to the Balinese Arts. Some of the honored were Nyoman Ngendon (1906-1946), Ida Bagus Togog (1913-1989) and Ida Bagus Njana (1912-1985).

female-male-gede-sugiada                             Female & MaleGede Sugiada

The Patron Award (Life Achievement) went to Ni Made Kadjeng, founder of the Secondary School for the Arts of Batubulan. The event included the launch of the Indonesian language edition of Ida Bagus Made: The Art of Devotion, a book that focuses on paintings from the estate of the esteemed Balinese artist Ida Bagus Made Poleng (1915-1999).

nature-tease-wayan-aris-sarmanta                                Nature TeaseWayan Aris Sarmanta

“We are already working with Bali’s village artists’ associations, schools, individual artists, and other arts organizations for all our activities. Our approach is inclusive rather than exclusive,” Widagdo said.  “The long-term goal is to build the Bali Museum of Contemporary Art (Bali MOCA), exhibiting old and new work of the finest quality, supported by programs to inspire new directions and achievements in Balinese visual arts.”

Nine Finalists of the First TiTian Prize

Exhibition open 29 January – 26 February 2017

TiTian Bali Art Space, Jalan Bisma 88, Ubud, Bali.

http://www.titianartspace.com

Words & Images: Richard Horstman

 

 

In a Class of His Own: Sculptor Pintor Sirait

20161006_103454                            Pintor Sirait at his Denpasar Studio

Art is a compelling force that interacts with, and enhances our conscious and subconscious minds. Shamans, masters of primitive art created with intention works rich in symbolic meaning that communicated via the language of the soul.

Knowledge of symbols, and how the subconscious ‘reads’ and responds to art are potent facets of Indonesian artist Pintor Sirait’s creative oeuvre. So much so that his gift of translating inspiration into wonderful 3 dimensional forms has distinguished him as one Indonesia’s most important contemporary sculptors.

Born in Germany in 1962 to a German mother and to a father of Batak, Sumatran origin, aged five Sirait arrived in West Java, and grew up in Bandung. He completed high school and a few years of college before moving abroad, studying psychology, and then sculpture in the United States.  His curiosity for deciphering the human psyche has led him upon a quest that has positioned him securely within the international art world.

DSCF5458                                           Brise at ArtJog9 June 2016

“I fell in love twice,” Sirait recalls. “First while living in the US I fell in love with the possibility of learning more about the world. I became obsessed with the library system, because in Indonesia we did not have one with such a wide range of reading material on art and culture. During my early twenties I did years of learning and absorbing. I had a fascination for Indonesian history; a hunger to know about my homeland.”

In 1984 Sirait moved to the US and between 1985-88 he studied a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts in Nevada. He accessed books about Indonesia containing knowledge that could only be found abroad. Following this he pursued psychology. “I was in the midst of doing my graduate studies on clinical psychology. I was a very serious student so my professor suggested I take some art classes to enhance my creative thinking abilities. I immediately became emotionally, physically, and spiritually captivated with the sculpture.”

20160928_114015                                               Model of Flow

Sirait abandoned his psychology studies and went straight to art school. Within a few years he was working between Indonesia, France and the US exhibiting and selling his work.  His artistic channel opened up as if the universe conspired with him to create an exciting and empowering new world. “I fell in love with the possibility of making things derived from my self-education.”

“I learned to meld my ideas into sculptures from a psychological/holistic perspective.

I combine the knowledge of psychology into my art to help understand the psyche and how the emotions work. Incorporating the psychological dimensions of how we sense, think and feel; how we engage with art.”

In recent years Sirait has been more focussed on any possibility to create public art. “Public art interacts with people allowing them to both see and feel.”

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The along awaited new development of the International Terminal 3 at Jakarta’s Soekarno – Hatta airport is currently entering the final stages of construction. Included within the terminal’s modern architectural design features PT. Angkasa Pura II, the airport’s management authority, will make a bold and exciting statement via Indonesian contemporary art.

In his search to find classical Indonesian beauty, translate and present it into a public artwork to enrich the modern architecture of Terminal 3, the beauty of the Balinese traditional dance “Rejang Dewa” communicated intimately to Sirait. Utilizing Japanese calligraphy he then responded with ink on paper.

“I translated the brush strokes into three different 3 dimensional shapes which became Flow – a stainless steel 1900 x 800 x 700 cm form that floats and sways, then cascades down over two levels of the airport terminal’s arrival hall. I wish Flow to remind Indonesians of how fortunate we are to have so many beautiful cultural inheritances to be proud of.”

20160928_114036                           Democracy Kills at Sirait’s Denapasar Studio

Venturing inside Sirait’s studio in South Denpasar one enters a large industrial workshop, it’s  nerve center a cozy air-conditioned office.  His fifteen staff he brought from Bandung, trained, and that have worked with him for 20 years hover around steel modules of ‘Flow’, meticulously engaged in aligning, and welding.

The environment is noisy, dirty, almost confronting. The tropical heat is extreme. Yet all the while there is an exciting interrelationship of dynamics at play. Patience and skill combine with intuition as man and machine melt and fuse components together. The sight of red-hot liquid metal is enthralling, sexy too!  It gives a sense of creativity in the translating of industrial materials into something that relates to human feeling. Alchemy is a vital essence of this process.

Some of the award-winning artist’s themes explore his Batak heritage, Indonesian culture and beauty, along with the paradoxes of the modern world, such as violence and obsession.

20160928_114505                  Detail of Democracy Kills (History is Closer ….Than You Think!)

“I grew up in Indonesia learning to work within its cultural boundaries. Through art you can open things up and talk about subjects artistically, yet with sensitivity and politeness. Art does not have to offend; sometimes it needs to though. Yet only in the right context – through the most creative, non-threatening and non-judgemental art.  I learned this from psychology.”

Dividing his time between his workshop and his home beside the ocean at Canggu, each morning Sirait rises early walks the beach, and then returns home for his ritual meditation. His second storey home studio allows him to gaze tranquilly westward, out across the sea.

His words of advice to aspiring young artists: “Its good to look around you, yet what’s most important is to look inside.”

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Sirait’s works can be found in the US, Europe, China, Southeast Asia, Australia and throughout Indonesia, while he has extensively exhibited for the past twenty years. A ‘product’ of three continents, he believes it is important to live within and outside of a culture in order to think freely as an artist.

“What one can find within oneself is fantastic.  What may be expressed through art can be felt more by other people because it has authentic elements derived from inner experience. What I am interested in as an artist is how I may touch people’s hearts through my work.”

http://www.pintorsirait.com

Words & Images: Richard Horstman