ISA Art Advisory successfully staged the first solo exhibition of British based Indonesian artist Sinta Tantra in Jakarta from 9 to 24 November.
Born in New York to Balinese parents, Tantra has earned an international reputation for her site-specific murals and stunning public art installations. Thanks to a passionate dedication to the disciplines of painting, art, design and architecture both inside a gallery and outdoors, Tantra’s paintings depict extraordinary talent and rather unique aesthetics. Whether through paintings, murals or installation art, she illuminates the complexity of the self, geometric abstraction and her signature intense color palettes with a unique and bold vision.
The exhibition intended to showcase the breadth of contemporary art and was supported by Indonesian Luxury and LAFLO. Its title A House in Bali drew inspiration from the homonymous book written by Colin McPhee in 1946. As a young Canadian composer, McPhee traveled to Bali during the 1920s and 30s. Throughout his journey, he learned about gamelan and depicted ways of capturing the abstract sound of the Indonesian instrument into the Western music traditions. He also explored the remarkable richness of Bali’s cultural and spiritual values and hedonism.
As a Balinese living in London, Tantra’s paintings are inspired by her heritage and her adopted home of London. “Growing up in London, my Balinese father played gamelan music daily on the tape recorder at home. For him, it was a way to transport himself back to the small village where he grew up and immerse himself in fond memories”, Tantra recalled.
According to McPhee, music is a very abstract concept. He never heard about gamelan before. Both gamelan and jazz are percussion led. While in Bali, he tried to incorporate gamelan into western music – similar to what Tantra has been doing in her paintings by trying to visually interpret McPhee’s reflections on the relationship between gamelan and the abstract concept of music. Tantra’s artworks put a strong focus on the sense of rhythm, whereas the lines and colors represent the musical notation across the canvas.
Tantra has been doing in her paintings by trying to visually interpret McPhee’s reflections on the relationship between gamelan and the abstract concept of music. Tantra’s artworks put a strong focus on the sense of rhythm, whereas the lines and colors represent the musical notation across the canvas.
Tantra’s carefully selected color palettes inescapably symbolize Bali over the past century, as described in McPhee’s book. Primarily designed as geometrical forms, her works are philosophically thoughtful and complimenting geography, space and material.
From public commissions worldwide – from the 300-meter painted bridge in London for the 2012 Olympics to murals and canvases – Tantra’s artworks are aesthetically pleasing but never predictable. They show an intriguing combination, reflecting a functional and harmonious experience.