Possessing a distinctly childlike, intuitive yet sophisticated style, Yogyakarta-based artist YUNIZAR is most known for his paintings that merge motifs from both his everyday life and wild imagination, creating fantastical worlds often brimming with whimsical animals, rugged and rhythmic scribbles, and enigmatic human characters. Moved by the simplicity and poetry in the still lifes of Cezanne during his early days as an art student, Yunizar discovered that every object, no matter how mundane and ordinary, holds inherent beauty. He thus became dedicated to expressing this “rasa”—an intrinsic sense, essence, taste, or feeling—in his subjects, consequently abandoning traditional painting techniques and establishing his own unique, organic oeuvre.
Raw, simple and pure, his works strip away any needless pretension and aim to reveal the core of what the subject truly is. Even as he works across various forms and media, from his fluid, evocative paintings to more solid, commanding bronze sculptures, this core philosophy continues to underpin his diverse works, giving them its inimitable vibrancy and life.
Acrylic on paper
145 x 92 x 5 cm each
In this triptych, Yunizar offers a close-up view into his elusive words and symbols in three distinct, yet connected parts. All three pieces that compose the work employ a pale beige background—akin to the colour washing faded, historic monuments—imbuing the parts with an ancient, old-world charm. Each paper contains roughly painted illegible black scribbles, similar to the gestural graffiti marks boldly asserting on otherwise sacred, pristine walls. An ambiguous blood red shape appears on the upper half of each paper, with each varying in crude form—a cylindrical container, an inverted triangle, and a square or table—yet all possessing a solid, imposing presence with its thick textures and deep red colours. Such enigmatic clues trigger in viewers a longing to understand what these shapes and texts could be implicitly communicating in private codes. It is quintessential Yunizar to leave viewers mystified, never revealing the full and literal story. Yet, as he refrains from offering a didactic relationship between his symbols and their meaning, he communicates something deeper—as if he were inviting us to look at the similarly overlooked ‘graffiti’, or unwanted marks on monuments around us with fresh eyes.
Untitled ignites a curiosity not necessarily towards their literal meaning, but the implicit feelings they convey: the coarseness of the letters, the abstraction of their shapes, and the piercing energy of their colours—and how, bonded by their visceral emotion, these frank, brutal marks transcend the boundaries of language and image, tugging at the more unspoken, unseen aspects of our humanity.