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Soedibio Collection

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[1a]  [1]  [2]  [3]  [4]  [5]

Bhagawad Gita - The song of the Lords, 130x75 cm oil on canvas

On the eve of the great battle with his cousins in the war of the 'Bharatas' (Bharatayuda) - Arjuna turns in distress to his divine mentor 'Krishna', he does not want to fight and to kill, feeling that his own death is preferable to slaying his kin.

But the pain and doubts of this great conscientious objector in the wayang mythology are overidden by Krishna exposition of the mystic of caste duty - 'there is nothing nobler than a righteous war'. When a warrior slays, he must do so with detachment, without hate. Soedibo captures the essence of this metaphysical doctrine, all worldly experience is illusory. The universal Self is eternal and imperishable. Only the body in which it dwells perishes.

Arjuna Wiwaha, both sized 150x100 cm oil on canvas

Arjuna's meditation (Semadi) in the cave hermitage on the mountain Indrakila was successful, for having withstood a number of trials including temptations by the celestial nymphs sent down by the gods to disrupt his mystic exercise. Arjuna's meditation was undertaken in order to acquire special powers by which he could conquer the demon king Nitakawaca. He received from the God Shiva a magic arrow (Pasopati) which make him victorious over many battles including the great war of Bharatayuda.

 

 

The Buddha of Borobudur, left 105x90 cm,right 100x80 cm, oil 

The terraces of this great monument was divided into three spheres. The base represent the sphere of desire - the Kamadhatu. The sphere of forms - the Rupadhatu - on the middle level, and the sphere of formlessness -the Arupadhatu- the absence of forms, at the top. 

The lowest sphere, the Kamadhatu is symbolized the 'burried foot' of the monument, the base terrace. Its outer walls have been carved with reliefs depicting the early existence (karma) of human beings in the power of desire, their good and evil deeds and their corresponding rewards and punishments.

The spere of forms, the Rupadhatu, symbolized by the four galleries above the base, contains all the visible reliefs, depicting the episodes from the life of Prince Siddharta Gautama untill he became Bodhisatva.

On the highest square terrace, the Arupadhatu, no representations divert one's eyes, where form is absent or has been surpassed. Only the perforated bell shaped dagobas arrayed in circles suggest invisible presences: within each a seated Buddha image is enclosed.

Soedibio artistically picked out some details of the Borobudur monument on his canvas with a complete Buddha image as being fucused on, symbolizing the Buddhist cosmology, a hymn to the Buddhist way of salvation. 

 

Size 150x110 cm, oil on canvas

Size 300x125 cm, oil on canvas

 

The story of Ramayana

Rama the first born son of Dasarata, King of Ayodya, was the incarnation of God Wishnu - who was to fight and conquer the king of demons Rawana, who ruled Alengka. Rama displayed amazing prowess and skill in archery. Rama surpassed all his rivals in an archery contest at the court of king Janaka and won the beautiful princess Sita for his bride.

The aged king Dasarata appointed Rama his heir, but the king's other wife, Kaikeyi, reminded him of a vow made to her long ago, in which Dasarata has promised to fulfill anything she might wish. Kaikeyi demands the banishment of Rama and the coronation of her own son Barata.

The king is forced to keep his vow, but dies soon afterward. Rama honors his father's obligation and goes into exile followed by Sita and his devoted brother Laksmana. They wander through the forest and go deeper into the woods beyond the reach of his relations and people. With Sita and Laksmana he finds asylum with hermits and saints, including Agastya, who gives him a magic bow. With the help of Laksmana a cottage is built in the forest of Pancawati.

Then Sarpakenaka, the sister of the demon-king Rawana. while wandering in the wood happens upon Rama, falls in love with him, and tries to win him for herself. Rama repulses her and Sarpakenaka furiously flees to her brother Rawana, who orders his servant Marica to assume the shape of a marvelous golden deer. Sita enraptured by the sight of the golden deer, begs Rama to capture it for her, despite Laksmana's warning. Rama disappears in pursuit of the golden deer, leaving Sita in Laksmana's care. But soon they hear Rama's voice calling for help, which is actually Marica's last cry before he dies, pierced by Rama's arrow. Sita forces Laksmana to go to what she believes is Rama's rescue, and she remains alone.

Then Rawana himself appears and grasps Sita and carries her off, soaring into the air as he assumes his own terrible shape of many heads and arms.

A brave bird Jatayu, tries in vain to rescue Sita by attacking Rawana in flight, but is mortally wounded and only manages before dying to tell Rama of Sita abduction.

The big search begins. Wandering with Laksmana through the dense and dangerous woods, Rama in vain seeks some traces of Sita. Then a white monkey, Hanoman, appears and leads Rama to the king of the monkeys, Sugriwa, who had been deprived of his throne by his brother Subali.

Rama helps Sugriwa regains his throne by killing Subali with his magic bow. Out of gratitude, Sugriwa offers Rama his assistance and orders his monkey armies to search the world for Sita in all four directions.

The armies going south are commanded by Hanoman, and Rama and Laksmana join them. After many adventures they finally reach the shore opposite Alengka. In a daring leap across the sea, Hanoman lands in Alengka, and eventually comes to a garden of Rawana's palace, where he discovers Sita. Hidden in the foliage of a tree, he witnesses Sita refusing to yield to Rawana and threatening to commit suicide.

After the frustrated king of demons Rawana retires, Hanoman sings of Rama's message and of Rama's coming to Sita's rescue.

Before leaping back to India's coast, Hanoman manages to wreck havoc in Rawana's capital.  The demons capture him and set fire to his tail in an attempt to burn him. But Hanoman, freeing himself, jumps from roof to roof and sets houses on fire. His capital aflame, Rawana is alarmed and decided on war.

Hanoman then rushes to the sea and leaps back to the mainland. The monkey armies are then ordered to throw rocks into the sea in order to build a causeway. The armies cross to Alengka and violent battles ensue. In the end Rawana is slain by Rama, and then Rama and Sita are reunited.

But suspicion that she may not have resisted her captor, poisens Rama's mind, and Sita is subjected to an ordeal by fire which proves her stainless virtue.

Thereupon Rama, Sita and Laksmana return to Ayodya, and Rama is consecrated as king of Ayodya.

However this great epic has a melancholy sequal. Sita's captivity in Rawana's palace continues to cast shadows upon her reputation, the previous ordeal notwithstanding. Yielding to public pressure, Rama banishes his devoted wife and Sita finds shelter in the forest hermitage of the sage Valmiki.

Soedibio depicts on his huge canvas (300 X 125 cm) the sequence of episodes of this great epic in a very artistic arrangement and in a mesmerizing colour composition.

 A Panji Romance, 150x125 cm, oil on panel

Raden Panji or Raden Inu Kertapati, prince of Kuripan is in despair when on the eve of their wedding his beautiful bride Chandra Kirana (means 'radiant ray of the moon') the princess of Daha, mysteriously vanishes from their bridal chamber.Raden Panji's long wandering in search of Chandra Kirana are filled with adventures in battles as well as in hard sufferings, always untiringly seeking for traces of his lost bride.

Chandra Kirana, with the advice of the gods, that she must assume a male disguise in order to finally reunited with Raden Panji, is also going through her own series of adventures as a satria (warrior) and eventually becomes the king of Bali- a monarch renowned for his courage as well as for some distinctly feminine skills such as embroidery and laceworks.

The climax of the story is reached as Panji and Chandra Kirana oppose each other on a battle field. The gods say that she could win back her beloved prince only in a face to face combat in which his blood would flow. Then they fight with swords and later with arrows and Chandra Kirana can not harm her opponent, however, untill she slyly resorts to her hairpin as a weapon. Panji is wounded, reveals his identity and the two are happily reunited.

Soedibio depicts on his huge canvas ( 150x125cm) the happy reunion of prince Panji and Chandra Kirana after so many years of separation and hard sufferings. The happy couple then decide to return home to regain the throne of Kuripan and Daha.

 

Size 125x90 cm, oil on canvas

The journey to the eternity

A few months before he dies, Soedibio manages to finish his last painting, titled 'The journey to reach heaven'. In this painting, sized (125x90cm), he depicts the mood as if he is already aware of the devine signal that his life in this world will soon come to an end. On a deep pruisian blue canvas,  Soedibio illustrates the human bare hands that emerge outward from the earth have not been able to grasp anything in the realm of the meta realistic awareness.

This depiction symbolizes Soedibio's conviction that all worldly grandeur and sophisticated material achiements are illusory and perishable. The inner self which dwells in this impermanent mortal body is eternal and imperishable, and with sufficient spiritual provisions one will finally regain his own way  to reach the  eternal universal Self.

After having signed his initial on this painting at that very same day in December 1981 Soedibio faints from  a severe heart attack, and dies not long afterward at the age of almost 70 years.

Size 80x100 cm (left) 50x65cm (right) oil, canvas

Gunungan as The Tree of Life

In the wayang world, the Gunungan or Kayon stands for the cosmic order, the realm of the gods, the universe.Though the elements of its internal design vary, they are always mythological symbols of the eternal. The mountain is the mountain of gods, the World Mountain, the tree is the Tree of life, the Celestial Wishing Tree of myth, bearing a solar symbol. When in the course of the shadow play there is an ominous commotion in nature (gara-gara) a sign that cosmic order is being threatened, the Gunungan agitated, flattering shadow streaks across the screen, indicating portentous storms or conflagration. Gunungan also appears between the play's major periods and finally at the conclusion of the wayang show.        

The gunungan created by Soedibio in this painting also expresses the Tree of Life with the lush foliage dominatnly fills the figure.  Birds, monkey and other animals are also included and the waters or the underworld is symbolized by the appearance of the swimming fishes  at the foot of the tree. Soedibio's imagination wishes to perpetuate the ancient perceptions of a dominant world order symbolized by a harmonious balance of nature as well as the cosmic equilibrium.

Unlike the usual gunungan design in the actual wayang play, in this painting Soedibio includes the images of Kamajaya and Dewi Ratih as the symbol of the 'eternal love' that oversee all creatures on earth to accomplish a happy and peaceful life.

'Size 120x90 cm, oil on canvas

The CosmicTree of Life

This is the second last painting that Soedibio has finished before he starts working on his last painting 'The journey to the Eternity'.This painting is also another version of the 'Gunungan ' figure, or the Tree of Life philosophy, in which Soedibio predominantly ilustrates the human images in the form of a pair of celestial trees embracing the globe in the space of a galaxy, holding out against the commotion of a cosmic storms.

Soedibio considers himself as having entered the realm of the mysteriousness, symbolizes by his footprints left behind in the foreground of this depiction. A squeesed tube of oil sprays various colour of paints symbolizing that the whole creations in the universe originate from one supreme source.

Please click the Number below:

[1a]  [1]  [2]  [3]  [4]  [5]

 

 

 

 

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Sweet Aminah Fine Art Gallery

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webmaster : R Raja Fajar e-mail: ra_hakiem@yahoo.com   build on August 2001