To the Market (1960) by Hendra GunawanCiputra Artpreneur
This painting depicts a mother who goes to market to sell fruit from the fields. The joy of the daily work is revealed in the smile of her daughter, and the happiness of her son.
To work is to worship God, because it must be done with passion, as Hendra stated through his painting.
A depiction of the boy flying kites symbolizes one’s desire to live and fly high.
In Java, where Hendra developed his career, another word for flying or floating is muluk, as in the phrase “Layangane muluk duwur banget (Kites are flying very high)”. In Indonesian, meanwhile, muluk is interpreted as “a desire that is too high/ unrealistic.
As in the phrase: “his ideals are too grandiose” (his desires are unachievable). In this painting Hendra is saying: a child may have high-flying ambitions, even if his mother does not have the financial capability to realize them.
The meaning of the word “muluk” in Indonesian and in Javanese often became a topic of discussion between Hendra and his friends during his stay in Yogyakarta.
When this word was associated with kites, Hendra brought together the meaning of muluk and kites.
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