Wednesday, September 8, 2010

INDONESIAN GLASS PAINTING






Indonesia has a long tradition in glass art painting. Since the 15th century, the trader came from Gujarat to do the trading alongside with spreading the teaching of Islam using the glass painting tradition which its content is Islamic story or calligraphy.

Each region of Indonesia is diverse and has their own development and signature of glass painting art. The glass painter in mid of Java use glass just like a canvas. Otherwhile the artists of Cirebon use the reverse glass technique which has higher level of difficulty. This reverse glass paint technique had also been developed in Bali. Tough glass painting in Bali is kinda rather new. It just started in 1927 in Nagasepaha, Buleleng by Jro Dalang Diah. But the highest achievement of glass painting technique has been reached by painter origin in Cirebon, like the well known masters, Rastika and Sumbar Prianto Sunu, familiar known as Toto Sunu.

For centuries glass painting in Cirebon was still using common and uniform theme of Islamic, combined with Hindu mithology, in wayang. The decorative motifs was also explored and applied, borrowing the Cirebon batik motifs like wadasan - clouds.
Rastika, the master himself, is really known for this decorative style of glass painting. In Cirebon glass painting is not only seen as painting but also develope as architectural element with deep toughts or philosophy influenced by the Hindu.

As time goes by, besides religious theme, Hindu mythology, glass painter in Indonesia started to explore other theme like scenery and social issues, just like other Cirebon master, Toto Sunu. Glass painting art had changed from crafty tradition which tend to have a common and uniform look, into an expression of personal interpretation and creativity of the artist.

Toto Sunu had interpreted his own style creating black and white painting just like his painting titled 'When Man Changed'. He even applied paper tole technique to create 3 dimension effect in his painting. He also applied scratching technique to create the object of his painting. I think his scratching technique had similarity principle with batik technique. So if other painter using batik motifs, Toto Sunu had explored the principle of batik technique and apply it on glass painting technique.

Glass painting technique is not just applied for art objects, it is also applied for home glassware as home accessories. Hedy Yamasari started using glass painting technique for her collection of glassware, named Hess Qiva. Her style of glass painting is influenced by Indian paintings which are characterized by bright colors and ornamental nature.




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