Arjuna Sosrobahu (Lot 368) was acquired directly from Sudjojono by collectors from the United Kingdom who were friends of the artist and his wife, Rose Pandanwangi. The couple lived in Jakarta from 1978-1981 when he served as a diplomat with the British Embassy and his wife took painting lessons from Sudjojono. The two couples formed a friendship which continued until the artist's last years.
Lot 368 depicts the mythical king, Arjuna Sosrobahu, from the Mahabharata wayang lore, who is renowned as the king of all kings. Incredibly powerful, he has a hundred heads and a thousand arms, each of which carries a magical weapon. Despite his supremacy and powers, however, Arjuna Sosrobahu is a lover of peace and a proponent of diplomacy. The painting itself, was exhibited in a solo show hosted by the Japan Culture Center, Jakarta (1981).
In 1981, the collectors acquired another painting by Sudjojono depicting Indonesia's first toll-road, the Jagorawi Tol, which was officially opened in 1978. The Jagorawi's etymological background comes from an acronym of the three areas that the highway connects: (Ja)karta, Bo(gor), and Ci(awi). The Lot 369 Jagorawi Tol (Jagorawi Tollroad), has a rather interesting genesis: the Jagorawi Tol painting was chosen to be featured in Bank Dagang Negara's 1982 calendar. During that time the collectors had already moved to Warsaw and had to send the painting back to Jakarta to be photographed.
The two works mark an interesting period in Indonesia's history and progress under the New Order government. Both express Sudjojono's penchant for placing his works in a historical context, but seeing them through the eyes of a visionary artist and international collectors make the paintings even more profound.
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