R. SUMANTRI MS

b. 1968 Central Java, Solo, Indonesia

Born to a family of artists, which included his grandfather and his father – an architect and artist by hobby, R. Sumantri’s gift for the arts was recognised since he was only four years old. Throughout primary and secondary schools, he attended and won many painting competitions. In the late 1980s, R. Sumantri briefly attended the Indonesia Institute of Art in Yogyakarta, however he left after the first semester due to financial difficulties.

Life as an artist was never easy. In order to support his family, R. Sumantri started as a movie poster designer. Back in the days when printing technology was not available, artists were often commissioned to paint movie posters and banners for cinemas. R. Sumantri was provided with only five primary hues. Surprisingly, limitation in the materials given did not seem to bother the young man; instead it established R. Sumantri as an artist with absolute mastery of colours. In 1987, he won First Prize in the Solo Health Poster Competition. From 1991 to 1996, R. Sumantri worked as a Batik designer at the famous Batik Semar in Solo; in 1997, he won First Prize in the Batik Design Competition for all Solo.

R. Sumantri made an official debut on the Indonesian art scene with his decorative paintings of Koi fish. Under his skilful rendering, the images of beautiful carps appear full of life. Looking at his paintings, viewers are lured to a shimmering world of Koi in which the colourful fish nonchalantly mingle with each other in the water. After nearly a decade painting Koi, not only did he become an expert in his subject matter’s anatomy, R. Sumantri also obtained the title “King of Koi”. His paintings become internationally acclaimed and are found in the homes of collectors from Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Russia, Argentina, Switzerland, the United States and Canada.

In 2005, R. Sumantri experimented a new artistic style with the creation of a superhero series. During his early days, the artist was infatuated with comic-book characters with superhuman power fighting against villains for justice. Superheroes are not simply a childhood fantasy, but they have shaped his belief of good over evil and strength over weakness. With this series, R. Sumantri creates poster-like paintings of Western superhuman along with Asian Gods and Goddesses. These characters are wittily portrayed through the use of eye-catching colours; yet they address the artist’s serious thoughts regarding his Asian pride. In his optimism, it is now the time for the East to rise, and the West’s turn to appreciate its vibrant and long-standing culture. R. Sumantri always seek to break away from the norm with creative inventions. Recently, he has elevated the collection’s level of intricacy and perfection as his oeuvres are seen embellished with exotic Indonesian woodcarvings. It is believed that he might be the first in the world to use such style.

Acrylic is R. Sumantri’s favourite medium to work with. This type of paint dries very quickly, and the outcome usually appears less vibrant and darker when it does. On top of that, acrylic is a very challenging material when it comes to colour blending to achieve the desired gradation. Yet, this does not appear to pose as a challenge for the King of Koi. His paintings and subject matters are dominated by a strong force of vivid colours. To bring out such intense finishing, he harmonises the harshness of acrylic by incorporating the smoothness of oil to the mixture. This has taken R. Sumantri’s years of practice and countless effort to master his colour mixing. He has learnt to understand the attributes of acrylic paint and conquered it with his secret technique.

 

AWARDS

2013
Indonesian Art Award 2013 – Top 40 Finalist

2009
East Javanese Biennale, Surabaya – Finalist

2004
“Indonesian President Megawati – Best Portrait Contest” – Top 50 Finalist

 

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2015
“Up, Up & Away” in Bazaar Art Jakarta with Art Xchange Gallery at Pacific Place, Jakarta

2014
“Koibito: – For the Love of Koi” at Art Xchange Gallery, Singapore

2012
“Visions Of Koi” at Art Xchange Gallery, Singapore

 

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2017
Art Jakarta, Art Xchange Gallery, The Ritz Carlton, Pacific Place, Jakarta

2016
Art Expo Malaysia Plus with Art Xchange Gallery, MATRADE Exhibition & Convention Centre, Kuala Lumpur
“WhArt Now?” Traveling Exhibitions with Art Xchange Gallery, Jogja Gallery, Yogyakarta; Galeri Prima, Kuala Lumpur; Art Xchange Gallery, Singapore
Bazaar Art Jakarta with Art Xchange Gallery, The Ritz Carlton, Pacific Place, Jakarta
Art Stage Singapore with Art Xchange Gallery at Sands Expo & Convention Centre, Singapore

2015
Art Expo Malaysia Plus with Art Xchange Gallery at MATRADE Exhibition & Convention Centre, Kuala Lumpur
Artexpo New York with Art Xchange Gallery at Pier 94, New York
Asia Contemporary Art Show with Art Xchange Gallery at The Conrad, Hong Kong

2014
Art Expo Malaysia with Art Xchange Gallery at MATRADE Exhibition & Convention Centre, Kuala Lumpur
Bazaar Art Jakarta 2014 with Art Xchange Gallery at Pacific Place, Jakarta
“Diamonds for Life” Exhibition with Art Xchange Gallery at ‘The Royal Palace at The Meir’, Antwerp, Belgium
Art Apart Fair with Art Xchange Gallery at PARKROYAL on Pickering, Singapore

2013
Affordable Art Fair (AAF) with Art Xchange Gallery at F1 Pit Building, Singapore
Art Taipei 2013 with Art Xchange Gallery at Taipei World Trade Center, Taipei
Art Expo Malaysia with Art Xchange Gallery at MATRADE Exhibition & Convention Centre, Kuala Lumpur
“Picturing Pictures” Art Exhibition with Art Xchange Gallery at the Ho Chi Minh City Fine Arts Museum, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Group Exhibition “GadoGado” with Art Xchange Gallery at the Gallery @ Star Hill, Kuala Lumpur
Asia Contemporary Art Show with Art Xchange Gallery at JW Marriott, Hong Kong
Group Exhibition “Multeity in Unity” with Art Xchange Gallery at ION Art Gallery, Singapore

2012
Affordable Art Fair (AAF) with Art Xchange Gallery at F1 Pit Building, Singapore
Asia Contemporary Art Show with Art Xchange Gallery at Grand Hyatt, Hong Kong
Group Exhibition “UneARTh Asia” with Art Xchange Gallery at Art Expo Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur
Spoon Art Fair HK12 with Art Xchange Gallery at Grand Hyatt, Hong Kong
Group Exhibition “Real / Unreal?” at Art Xchange Gallery, Singapore
Asia Top Gallery Hotel Art Fair (AHAF HK12) with Art Xchange Gallery at Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong

2011
Affordable Art Fair (AAF) with Art Xchange Gallery at F1 Pit Building, Singapore
Group Exhibition “PMR Cube Contemporary Culture Interplay” at Sampoerna Strategic Square, Jakarta
Group Exhibition “Seni (3) Zaman” with Art Xchange Gallery at Art Expo Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur
Group Exhibition “A Tribute to Salvador Dalí” at Art Xchange Gallery, Singapore
The Inaugural Opening Exhibition of Art Xchange Gallery “[dəˈv3:səti]”, Singapore
Group Exhibition “Origin of the World” at the Arts House (March 2011), Singapore

2010
Group Exhibition “RatuKiduldanDuniaMitos Kita” at BalaiSoedjatmoko, Solo

2009
Finalist at the 2009 East Javanese Biennale, Surabaya
Group Exhibition at JNM “Black-Blakan”, Yogyakarta

2006
Group Exhibition “Wanita di Mata Pria” at Quality Hotel, Solo

2005
Group Exhibition “Commemorating Pakoeboeono XII” at Surakarta Palace Museum, Solo
Group Exhibion “BaladaSemar” at KusumaSahid Prince Hotel, Solo

2003
Group Exhibition at Quality Hotel, Solo
Group Exhibition at FKBI, Jakarta
Group Exhibition at Master A Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

1994 – 2002
Participated in numerous Selected Group Exhibitions in Indonesia