STARK REALITY: The ‘Land of Tragedy’ depicts capitalism, people’s apathy and artist’s crusade against injustice
KUALA LUMPUR: ART can do many things. It can inspire, make one appreciate beauty, evoke emotions and sometimes, make you think.
The Land of Tragedy by Januri falls under the last category where his work makes you first think of the idea behind the colours and strokes of his brush and once you understand that, the implication of it on you as an individual and as part of society becomes obvious.
Inspired by corruption, injustice and destruction of the world by human being's greed, Januri's work is not just a pretty picture.
Giving his piece Floating as an example, Januri said the work depicts people who "float" around happily without realising how their actions affect the world.
"The fallen trees show the destruction caused by human in the name of development and capitalism without realising that ultimately, men are destroying themselves," said the 35-year-old artist from Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
He added that his works are inspired by news in mass media and personal experiences.
Paintings titled Personal Case 1-4 tell the story of how development has affected the artist personally.
"A printing plant was built in my housing area, which should not have happened as it is a residential area. The noise caused me great stress that I even fell sick.
"I was the only one fighting it which is why the paintings have a lone house on it and the names of the people who live there but did not dare make a complaint or fight injustice," he said.
His paintings also talk about exploitation and struggle over land between foreign corporations and locals.
"There are so many foreign corporations that take away our land and build businesses. This pushes the locals to the sidelines. There is no balance anymore," he said.
Januri said his work is part of the way he fights for what is right which is why it addresses a lot of social, political and environmental issues.
His work will be exhibited at Galeri Chandan in Publika from now till Aug 27. The art pieces are for sale and priced between RM16,000 and RM24,000.
Visit www.galerichandan.com or head to the gallery for a first-hand experience.