Padang, W Sumatra (ANTARA) - Rizky Dwi Eka Putra's struggles, protracting for three months, while working on his artwork titled "Pesisir Selatan" or "Southern Coast" did not go in vain.

Putra, nicknamed "Pablo," had to stay up late and scour for materials needed to create his artwork.

"Pesisir Selatan" became a starting mark for the artistic journey of the 27-year-old young artist for which he spent his time mostly at the secretariat of the art center Rumah Ada Seni (RAS) in Koto Tangah, Padang, West Sumatra, to finish his work.

Putra's nickname "Pablo" might be inspired by the famous revolutionary painter Pablo Ruiz Picasso, but he is in fact the second son of Mardan and Darmainis, and is currently studying at the Fine Arts Department at one of the state universities in Padang City.

With Pesisir Selatan, Pablo successfully cleared the selection as a participant in the Indonesian Contemporary Art Exhibition Manifesto VIII.

The exhibition is a biannual national-scale event held by the National Gallery of Indonesia where several artists in Indonesia yearn to showcase their artworks.

In 2022, it took place on-site from July 27 to August 26, 2022, involving 103 artists across regions in Indonesia.

Meanwhile, Pablo had made significant progress in his career as an artist.

Being presented at the National Gallery, which stores the works of several Indonesian legendary artists, such as Raden Saleh, Affandi, and Hendra Gunawan, is not easy, as those works that passed the selection had undergone a high standard of curation.

The same trend was observed in the Indonesian Contemporary Art Exhibition Manifesto VIII in which Pablo participated, where some 613 artists registered, but after the curation process, the figure narrowed down to only 103 artists.

One of those artists was Pablo, whose presented mixed media visual art using some different materials in a frame of 120X100 cm.

Pablo revealed that his work was inspired by a disaster that hit his hometown 11 years ago, in November 2011.

At that time, Pesisir Selatan District was hit by heavy rains from morning to evening that resulted in flooding in 10 sub-districts: Basa IV Balai Tapan, Batang Kapas, Bayang, Koto IX Tarusan, Lengayang, Linggo Sari Baganti, Lunang Silaut, Pancung Soal, Ranah Pesisir, and Sutera.

Six major rivers reportedly overflowed, worsened by abrasion due to high ocean waves. Thousands of people's homes were inundated, four people died, and more than 52 thousand residents were displaced.

Interpretation of incidents

Pablo strove to interpret the disaster and draw his own lessons from the phenomena.

Pablo said that he learnt several lessons from the disaster.

"I think the disaster was a process towards balance. Every effect will have its cause," he stated.

In his understanding, water, which is one of the sources of life, holds another meaning for the Pesisir Selatan community.

With such thought process, Pablo attempted to describe it in visual art. It is not surprising that there is a symbol H2O, the chemical formula of water, in his work "Pesisir Selatan".

The H2O symbol is spread across the canvas with an embossed technique. The colors of Pesisir Selatan are dark and gloomy.

That is how Pablo captures the attention of his audience to the disastrous theme that became his idea.

Meanwhile, in his daily life, Pablo is known as an easy-going person. He is fond of discussing light-hearted matters and laughs at them.

However, in terms of work, the 2016 class student did not want to compromise nor did he want to mess around. He has his own outlook and views in the creative world.

In responding to life's problems, Pablo said that he refers to religious and customary values. For him, those values give an initial step to solving the problem.

He said, with such understanding, a different perspective can be born out of the usual one.

To him, the complexity of the Adat basandi syarak, syarak basandi Kitabullah, which is a Minangkabau philosophy of life, unravels all kinds of problems.

By upholding religion and custom, he believed that an individual will meet a resolution or perspective in viewing works of art.

He said, creating an artwork is like the birth of a baby, who cannot choose in which womb to be born.

"In this case, I am like a doctor, who only helps with the delivery process," he said.

Pablo, who has loved fine art since high school, uses a method of simplification with the game of logic in creating his work.

Regarding his gig at the National Gallery, he said it will give the meaning of being existent, because his name will be on the map of Indonesian art, as an artist from West Sumatra.

Pablo has next set a target to grab a spot in international exhibitions.

However, he did not want to underestimate other galleries in the country, especially in West Sumatra. He continues to laud the galleries that give a platform for the work of artists.

Meanwhile, the RAS Padang community is happy about Pablo's achievement, as he is listed as an artist in their community apart from being an individual artist.

"RAS is happy for Pablo's achievement. He has been consistent in presenting works of fine art," RAS Chairman Yusuf Fadly Aser remarked.

After Pablo, hopes are pinned high on the emergence of new artists, who create great works that color Indonesia's fine art world.

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Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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