Lot 222
  • 222

Jumaldi Alfi

140,000 - 250,000 HKD
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  • Jumaldi Alfi
  • Painting Series "070802"
  • Signed and dated 2011; Signed, titled, and dated 2011 on the reverse
  • Acrylic on canvas
  • 225 by 190 cm.; 88 1/2 by 74 3/4 in.


The work is in good condition overall, as is the canvas. There are indications of minor wear and handling around the edges, but the paint layers are well-preserved and stable. Under ultraviolet light inspection there is no evidence of restoration. Framed.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.

Catalogue Note

In 1998, most Indonesian artists were preoccupied with the socio-political condition, as they had been for the preceding two decades. Almost everyone creating art had comments on what should, could and would take place to make a change. That same year, a then little-known collective of Indonesian Institute of Arts graduates in Yogyakarta slowly but inevitably started to emerge as key figures in the contemporary art scene. The Jendela Group, as they call themselves, are comprised of Jumaldi Alfi, Rudi Mantofani, Yusra Martunus, Handwirman Saputra and Yunizar. Coming together as a family support system, Jendela does not collaborate on an artistic or professional level. Each member has their own style and perspective when it comes to creative process. Being all from Padang, West Sumatra, however, they do share similar values in their respect and intimacy with nature and as such, sometimes delve into the same theme or subject matter.

Jumaldi Alfi's (b. 1975, Lintau) explores different themes through a combination of trompe l’oeil hyper-realism, abstract expressionism and ‘raw-art’ involving paint dribbles, scratches, metaphors, writing distorted words or sentences of delirious utterance. His art combines the rational and the irrational; sometimes instinctively driven, other times highly conceptual. Alfi’s art is influenced by his family’s tradition of spiritual poetry, such as Amir Hamzah’s Nyanyi Sunyi (Song of Silence), 1966.The critic Suwarno Wisetrotomo commented that Alfi’s work is a spiritual exploration in silence- ‘a pilgrimage of the spirit’. Perhaps the only member of the Jendela group who creates in a succession of series that is chronological, he marks his journey with stones, landscapes, cacti or figures. Cactus from Alfi’s ‘Painting series’, dating from 2008, is an excellent example of this (Lot 222). It appears on the canvas as a projection of a ‘painting’; so, a painting as the object in the painting itself, underpinning the rational aspect of the work. The cactus, a common symbol of endurance in Padang, is strong and majestic, defies arid soil and grows tall and strong; it does not only survive but also thrives. Additionally, in his native Minang culture, rocks mark territories and are reminders of beginnings and endings. For Alfi, they are also based on the Greek mythology of Sisyphus and serves as a philosophical reminder that work is a constant cycle of both a burden and a release. Cactus quintessentially represents Jumaldi Alfi.

Rudi Mantofani (b. 1973, Padang) is a sculptor and painter whose art takes ordinary objects and landscapes and transforms then into absurd ‘visual parables’ (Lot 220 and 221). Mantofani’s thought-provoking works encourage the viewer’s meditations on human experience and behaviour. The essential character of Mantofani’s art practice may be extracted from a broad understanding of the Jendela Group. They have consistently shunned away from declaring any aesthetic positions or cultural manifesto. The distinct visual aesthetics that underline their work are built upon a sensitive understanding of their Minang philosophy and language. The imageries employed in Rudi Mantofani’s visual world reveal such an orientation. While Rudi's sculptures are focused on form and scale and the metaphorical, his paintings revolve around landscape. They provide new interpretations to the grand tradition of landscape painting, constantly challenging the genre through daring visual ploys, such as flattening the pictorial space through heavy repetitions, and enigmatic play on words.

Yusra Martunus (b. 1973, Padang Panjang). Yusra’s works often retains a metaphorical aspect as well as a connotative meaning which had to be explored by the viewer themselves. His pieces are also described as analogies of form-constructions within a framework of social-constructions He seems to be conveying the message that humans must constantly be adaptable and flexible (lentur) in his social environment, to avoid conflict. What is important to Yusra is how his observations of various social situations can serve to inspire his creativity through materiality of form and metaphorical narrative. The A R T Series installation (Lot 219) celebrates this framework. Although the shape and medium of the sculpture suggest rigidity at first, once they are installed on the walls, their interaction with space and light create a dynamic tableau of shadows and reflection that would move and vary according to the source of light. The work brilliantly expresses Yusra’s understanding of material, both tangible and intangible.

Handiwirman Saputra (B. 1975, Bukittinggi), is adept at switching between two- and three-dimensional work, as exemplified by Tutur Karena, Nelan (Lot 224). Handiwirman speaks with a visual language that is solely his. Stylistically, it is neither an extension nor a reinterpretation of any aesthetic form known at present. Handiwirman plays and draws inspiration from mundane objects, whether as forms or metaphors, and transforms them into something extraordinary.

The eldest member of the group, Yunizar (b. 1971, Talawi) began focusing on his most acclaimed Scribbles series since the late 1990s. Critics often refer to then as captivatingly mysterious compositions, composed of incomprehensible scribbling, condensed in lines repeated and jumbled across the canvas. Sometimes appearing as fragments of text, his allusion to writing may also be seen as an attempt to thwart the conventional regard for painting as ‘message’. Surat 1971 (Letter 1971) is one of the finest examples of the artist’s work (Lot 223). Transforming texts to textures, the painting becomes an abstract word filled with repetitive patterns and colour schemes that come together in harmony even though they do not have any particular meaning. By opting to present to the viewer a multi-sensory experience, Yunizar liberates them from preconceived notions.

With the fall of the New Order government, the Jendela group offered the art community a fresh perspective during a challenging time of transition in the lives of the Indonesian people. Their art, with all of its innocence, sincerity and hope provoked, cajoled and humoured their viewers into daring to think differently. After more than a decade, they evolved as the art world progressed, exploring different themes, creating new visual language, yet at its very foundation, the Jendela group still possesses the same conviction to embrace what they deem the most important ideals and instil them into their work: family, gratitude, humility, sensitivity towards others, responsibility, endurance and faith. Regardless of trend and time, the core values of humanity will never be rendered irrelevant and thus the works of the Jendela group will hold its place in the human psyche.