Within a short span of time since the beginning of his artistic career, Mangu Putra has caused more than a stir in his exhibitions throughout Indonesia. A graphic designer before turning into full-time painting in 1998, his paintings exude acuteness and sensitivity to visual forms. The influence from his design background is further apparent in his technique and the execution of ideas on his canvasses, where strong lines, shapes and colours are composed in a mature and harmonious manner.Read More
In creating, Mangu Putra believes in absolute freedom in aesthetic expression. Even though the works of Mangu Putra possess certain distinctive characteristics, the artist seldom abides by one style of painting —abstract, realistic, figurative. Painting to him is more importantly, a process of self-discovery and capturing of the spiritual essence of nature.
Mangu Putra's preferred choice of subject includes mountains, the wilderness, waters and fish, all of which point to a love of nature. These elements serve as metaphors in his commentary on the state of the natural environment and humanity.
'If I had to choose one theme tying all my works together, it would be nature. I truly love nature, not because of its beauty but because nature contains something awe-inspiring, a strength which words can never be enough to express.
There is something in nature that cannot be perceived but whose presence can be keenly felt...All of my creative work is at base an attempt to capture, reveal, and translate this "something" into a visual-aesthetic language'
Text courtesy Gajah Gallery.
Earlier in your career, your paintings focused more specifically on your direct environment, Bali. Now your research considers the national history of Indonesia. What prompted this shift to exploring the broader historical and political landscape of your country? Nature is an endless source of inspiration for me, both in its beautiful, pristine...
Indonesian artist Mangu Putra has a series of recent paintings on display at Gajah Gallery in Singapore from 25 November to 11 December 2016. Entitled Mangu Putra – Between History and Quotidian, the exhibition examines archival footage of Dutch colonisation in Bali in the early to mid 1900s. Putra uses colonial photographs published by...
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