Estuary Flower (1979) by Hendra GunawanCiputra Artpreneur
“Only to his wife and children will a husband and father be anchored. A man’s soul will only find peace within his family”. The painting Estuary Flower is a visualization of these immortal words.
After spending hours or days at sea, the fisherman returns to land, having the same meetings, life events that never stop being yearned for. “To you my Flower my soul finds haven,” says this man in calm weather.
Hendra often said that his paintings were also words of wisdom. These words of wisdom were bubbles of philosophy. In another section he mentioned that his paintings could also resemble poetry.
Hendra was very fond of Chinese classical poetry produced by Chu Yuan, the post-Confucian poet. One of the sentences Hendra specifically focused on in this poem entitled "The Gods Who Reside Above the Clouds" reads as follows: “He bathed among the blooming flowers, washing his hair in a fragrant river”. The sweetness of poetry such as this inspired the painting Estuary Flower.
This painting was done when he was imprisoned in a cell for political prisoners. During his time in prison, Hendra gradually abandoned the themes of the struggle for independence and political ideology.
The painting Estuary Flower is one of the best examples of the “post-revolution” and “post political” period.
The art circles refer to Hendra’s works during this time as being the “Kebon Waru period”. Kebon Waru is the name of the prison for political prisoners in Bandung, where Hendra was incarcerated for 13 years.
copyright 2020 Ciputra Artpreneur
Texts taken from:
Painting description by Agus Dermawan T.
Prisoner of Hope: 100 Years Hendra Gunawan curated by Aminudin TH Siregar and Agus Dermawan T.
Photo credits: Ciputra Artpreneur documentation