2012.08.12 By Ichsan
My name is Ichsan Harja. Living in Bandung __a city known nationally as a city rich in its Art Deco buildings__ has made me an art, history and architecture enthusiast. Among my way of sharing this enthusiasm was using sketch, and since 2005 __along with several friends__ we have been publishing several sketchbooks depicting hundreds of historic buildings in several cities in Indonesia. In 2009, Asian Public Intellectuals (API) Foundation offered me the chance for an artist-in-residence program in Japan for almost one year. The program has greatly affected the style of my artworks, resulted in a more vivid and dramatic painting.
Most of my watercolor works are landscape/urbanscape, usually taken from the best angle possible. Sometimes this means I have to reinterpret something that had been done by somebody else; however, I often add dramatic elements by putting those objects in an entirely different-yet-realistic light or atmosphere. In fact, most of my works are about a certain quality of light: the harsh autumn light with ultramarine-hued shadows, or unusual marmelade sky caused by a rare combination of late noon sunlight, low-hanging clouds and thin snow. Most of my earliest works (2005-2009) done in studio; however, I have been doing a lot of plein-air painting lately, since the limited time and the everchanging quality of light compel me to work quickly, creating a more spontaneous and expressive artworks.
Although I want certain message to be conveyed through my artworks, those are not a political statement. I am not interested in using it to criticising any social, cultural nor political conditions in any context and time; instead, I tried to convey a notion of universal, timeless beauty. I want the viewer to enjoy my work as is, without any pretext nor context. Indeed, one of my best moment was happened during my exhibition in Kyoto Prefectural University, when a janitor _after cleaning the exhibition room right before the opening ceremony__ come up to me with his wife (brought hastily from their home, just to see my painting) and said, We enjoy your picture very much, sir. Art should be universal, regardless one one’s education and position in life.
See more of Ichsan here.