November 28, 2020

Tedja Suminar’s “Melody of Lines”

Indonesian maestro Tedja Suminar was recently featured in the “Tedja’s Melody of Lines” exhibition.  The exhibition was held January 14 – 23rd 2012 in Bentara Budava, Bali and showcased 96 pieces of art produced from 1957 – 2011.

This retrospective sequence of Suminar’s art highlighted the artist’s unique mastery of sketch and biography painting. During the exhibition opening, Suminar stated that the pieces represent his gratitude to everyone who has influenced the arts in Bali. He acknowledged not only artists, but also poets, dramatists, photographers, curators, museum owners, farmers, dancers, and a midwife.

Entering the hall, visitors examined the artist’s skills in line composition, form modification, and work in color combination. Suminar’s interpretation of the people who influenced the arts was evident. One corner held sketches of the Papua people and revealed the difficulty of their lives. This seemed to be a favorite corner and many visitors gathered there. The sketches captured honesty and Suminar’s style.

The artist’s biography pieces are collaborative works. The paintings involve the sketching process and add their mark to the finished piece. It is not only Suminar’s concepts of the model, but the visions of how the models see themselves that contribute to the process. A special feature of the exhibition is Suminar’s use of lines. Indonesian poet W.S. Rendra, in his notes on Suminar, said, “Tedja’s lines are as harmonious as a melody.” This quote became the theme of the exhibition. Abu Bakar, an Indonesian dramatist, performed a complementary production that paid homage to the “melody of lines” on opening night.

The audience, when seeing Suminar’s expression of appreciation towards people he loves, may ask themselves “Have we expressed our appreciation to people we hold dear?”



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