Jogja Psychedelia – Flowers from Yunizar


    October 15, 2010 – October 31, 2010

    Gajah Gallery


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    A flower by Yunizar does not look like a specific flower we know, but carries the essence of flowers. By painting simplification, his art seeks to remove divisions as it reaches for universals. His cactus, face, flower, etc just corresponds to our reading of a cactus, a flower, a vase – supplying his canvas with a borderline narrative. Yunizar’s paintings show a cactus, a face, a flower in a vase, etc – in a naïve style, suggesting a desire to steer away from detail and sophistication, and instead, work towards the essence. His artworks appear to be distillations of his objects.

    Born in 1971 in Talawi, West Sumatra, Indonesia and a member of the Jendela Art Group, Yunizar’s work embodies the beauty and purity in human creativity, emerging spontaneously from what appears as his unconscious mind. Intentionally he uses simple subject matter, objects which surround his daily life, and a simple painting and sketching technique to focus almost entirely on creativity and inventiveness.

    The works of Yunizar has always allowed maximum possibilities in interpretation. He does not take it upon himself to talk about the ideas and inspirations behind his work, rather he divests the imperative of reading his paintings to his audience. This way, his works continue to challenge and defy fixed aesthetic axioms and interpretative meaning. Yunizar’s preoccupation lies in the search for simplicity of expression.

    The childlike quality of Yunizar’s work belies a complex narrative, through the recurring themes on his canvas including stiff figures, mask-like portraits, mythical creatures and floating objects; which intimately linked with a timeless dream world and a poetic and somewhat quiet presence. In these playful and beautifully balanced compositions, there is a spiritual searching of the mind, a journey in a quest for self and identity.

    Yunizar’s training and maturity is revealed in his sophisticated and expressive style, articulated through a subtle palette and a composition that reflects intellectual depth. His restrained palette of cool colors is deliberately dirtied and smudged as he works and reworks the canvas to create highly tactile works. Executed primarily in acrylic and pencil, Yunizar’s works stand out in terms of texture, color, brushwork, volume and rhythm. His recent success at regional auctions underlines his growing international acclaim.


    The fundamental and vital biological function has made flowers an irresistible subject to many artists through the ages. These days we have lost much of the symbolism associated with them, but many artists, among others Andy Warhol and Yayoi Kusama chose flowers to convey their artistic messages. Warhol’s flower paintings were about life

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