Wanita Kipas (2005)

Fan – Tastic lady

Since my last exhibition called “Dewi Sri” ( The Javanese goddess of harvest) in 2003, I searched for a new theme for the next show that I had in the mind. This time. I want to take up something a little more psychological, something that my touch on ‘sickness’ in the psychiatric meaning of the word. I read much, and in the end I found a title for the exhibition : “NARCISSUS” this is a Grecoroman myth about a man who loved himself to mach Just because he was physically beautiful . in my thought , Narcissus has a lot in common with big city people nowadays, where the procurement and enhancement of physical beauty become the obsession of urban consumers.

I started to make sculptures with that theme in mind. Three were finished. During this ‘journey’ I felt a different kind of experience compared to what I have done before. These are sculptures of male figures, Constantly facing the mirror to admire his own looks, and displaying such behaviour, though they don’t come as easily as my previous goddess of harvest in bodily gestures. The new sensation lingered event tough they are not my first male figure ( I have made some Sculpture of men earlier in 1990, as half of the ‘Loro Blonyo’ ( sculptures of Javanese brides and grooms). But the previous male figures were more like caricatures.

Then I was introduced to the owner of the Canna Gallery, who offered to host my next exhibition. I found the idea enticing. However, it was impossible for me to make enough works for a show in 2004. There wasn’t enough time. Especially since my theme, “Narcissus”, promised a good deal of difficulties to create.

Mr. Tommy of Canna Gallery still wanted to hold a show of my works that might not take too much time to make. He asked me to find a new theme. What theme now? Well, I said to myself, women! Yes!

This theme suggested itself to me because of habit. I have been creating female figures; a sculpture of a “women” wouldn’t work; I have to find something to relate them to. At that point recalled an old song by the legendary Indonesia composer Ismail Marzuki : “Sabda Alam” (“Thus Spoke Nature”). The lyrics tell of the scenario of life between men and women as nature has ’written’. It says that women captivate men not only by the way the look of the latter, but also by their ability to give me the feeling of being cooled off, like what you will feel when staying under the shade of trees in a hot afternoon. What symbolizes coolness? One of the possible answers is the wind. What makes the wind? Well…..fans, For example.

So the women and fans, women with fans, women who bring coolness. “Fan-tastic Lady” was what I had in mind for the exhibition at canna gallery.

In December 2003, two of the sculptures under this new theme have been done. But I fell ill, while keeping on working until two more sculptures were finished.

After that I had to undergo an operation, and before getting myself completely healed I had started to continue my work again, in-between working out as the doctors advised in order to regain my strength. In the meantime the four sculptures of ladies with fan fell out of grace with me. They still looked similar with my goddess of harvest and the fact displeased me. Unless I had to go to gym and swimming pools, I worked on a new set of women figures that wouldn’t remind me of the Goddess of Harvest. These new women look more dynamic, challenging, Lively and fashionable; a few of them are even a little naughty. They use the fans not just for cooling themselves down, but also to strike a sensation when they enter a social event, and some of them are wearing ‘sexy’ garments, one of them even uses the fan to cool her breasts because she’s wearing a tortuous corset.

The women I make the longer stand upright like the goddess of Harvest. These ladies with fans in their hands, slouching, laying down, squatting, and so on.

Not all of them are pretty and slim like mannequins; some of them are ordinary women, even overweight ones. They dress in whichever way the like, not always characteristically Javanese. Some take up the oriental style, some look ‘western’. But they are share the similarity of being coquettish, sensual, hip and self-confident.

These women wear accessories such as earrings, hair ornaments, and of course fans. Most of the metal accessories are created by Rinaldy A. Yunardi, a professional designer of accessories, who has been fascinated by fans, as well, especially in this case metal fans that derive from a number of traditions – Indonesia, Chinese, Japanese and European.

Yet I still use my native tongue, Javanese, to name the sculptures. Korset sumukan (tight corset that makes the wearer feel very hot). Ancikan Tobil (something for lizards to climb on), are example for the previous statement. The ‘oriental’ sculptures, as exceptions, got Chinese-sounding names such as Tiong Tjiu Pia and Yu Tjiong Sam.

In conclusion, my principle in creating the works for this exhibition is, just relax and make some ‘ light’ stuff. That’s what I intend to convey through the women with fans.

How about my Narcissus? I guess is this for next; because of its psychological content that renders it’s difficult to make. For now, please enjoy the ladies with their fans; it is my hope that you wuld feel cooled, too.

Yours truly

F. Widayanto

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