At the start of his career, Hendra and a number of artists were involved at the vanguard of the battle to record the course of the war. During this period of intense work, Hendra made sketches and drawings using pencil or ink. Following he then explored the technique of painting faster with any medium, such as pastels, watercolor, tempera, or oil paint Traces of his rapid painting style were evident in the painting Bitten by a Crab, one of the works done by Hendra while in the Kebun Waru Prison, Bandung. The technique is particularly visible on the right hand of the female figure, her clothes, which is all done very spontaneously. Bitten by a Crab relies on a memory of an incident that Hendra had once seen. Although confined behind bars, Hendra remained productive at work, with an imagination that reached far beyond the window. Hendra was indeed an artist whose passion to paint was unstoppable. Once he even made a painting on some jarik cloth (batik) belonging to his wife as he had run out of his stocks of canvas.All his wife could do at this was shake her head. (Agus Dermawan T.)


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