Darek #1: Bentang Alam


    August 27, 2022 – September 18, 2022

    Gajah Gallery Jakarta


    Gajah Gallery Jakarta is pleased to launch Darek #1: Bentang Alam (Plateau #1: Landscapes), a solo exhibition by Erizal As. The show presents a fresh series of works that veer away from his established oeuvre of purely abstract, non-objective art: vigorous landscape paintings of his hometown, West Sumatra. Darek #1: Bentang Alam (Plateau #1: Landscapes) coincides with the opening weekend of Art Jakarta.

    During the pandemic, Erizal sought to revisit his home and Minangkabau roots in Padang, which he had left years before to pursue his artistic career in Yogyakarta. To him, returning home meant immersing in nature, revelling in the physicality of a lush land that previously, he could only access through memory. Feeling nature then inevitably became integral to his artistic practice: Initially, he would spend time in nature then return to his studio to create his landscape paintings. Yet, this left Erizal only longing for more time to absorb his environment, developing a distinct process that involved him going back and forth between nature and his studio, collapsing the boundaries between the two. This intuitive call reveals the core of what Erizal perpetually attempts to capture in this series: the richness of a land deeply close and personal to him, yet ultimately beyond his grasp. Tellingly, in several of the works in this series, Erizal’s paint bursts beyond the edges of the canvases—challenging the notion of a framed and contained landscape.

    Rather than continuing the static, idealised landscapes of Indonesia common in the colonial era, Erizal’s new paintings dig deep into the history of his place and its ever-shifting natural and cultural landscapes. In the Minangkabau area, movement is an integral part of its story. There is land or darek that forms the core area of Minangkabau area, also known as the Luhak Nan Tigo; and there is a surrounding area called the Nagarai Rantau, containing satellite villages where Minang people eventually spread and settled. Though separated from their original land, the rantau community still identifies ethnically and culturally with the Minangkabau; Together, their lands form the concept of the Minangkabau realm, or alam minangkabau.

    Within this context, there is a deeper layer to the vigorous gestures on Erizal’s canvases, beyond merely being stylistic qualities. They communicate this dynamic movement that is deeply connected to the landscapes he paints, brimming with the vital interactions between the different communities of Minangkabau people, those who reside in darek or rantau, who are eternally bonded by their geographical origins. Filled with bold, urgent strokes and the intricate shades of earthy colours, these new paintings portray the raw, rugged beauty of Minangkabau nature not from a distance, but from the perspective of someone deeply immersed in its humanity. Ultimately, they reveal the artist striving for harmony amidst the wild, harnessing the emotional force of his signature abstract style to capture the complexities of belonging to a land.

    Untitled [EA110]


    Oil on Canvas, 80 x 160 cm (Framed: 103 x 173 x 9 cm)

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