Born in Kisaran, Sumatra, S.Sudjojono (1913-1986) is undoubtedly one of the most important figures in the history of modern Indonesian art. One of Sudjojono’s biggest contributions to Indonesian Art is arguably his view that art of Indonesia should reflect the character of the land and its people. When Mooi Indië (Beautiful Indies) – a style which depicted the idealized representation of Indonesia with beautiful landscapes and sceneries – was the dominating art style during the early 20th century,
He continued working in the style of works which represent Indonesia at that time, portraying Indonesian people in their everyday life activities and their issues during the colonial regime. A forthright thinker and a passionate art critic, Sudjojono also tirelessly generated his views and ideas through his writings and commentaries.
Sudjojono’s point of view in art was also further disseminated in his involvement in the establishments of several significant art associations during the colonial period. He was one of the founders of PERSAGI (Association of Indonesia Drawing Specialists, 1938), SIM (Young Indonesian Artists, 1946), art mentors in the cultural department of POETERA and Keimin Bunka Shidosho. His involvement in these important associations was done together with many other leading artists at that time, including Affandi, Agus Djaya, Henk Ngantung and Hendra Gunawan. These associations undoubtedly played an important role in the formation and development of modern Indonesian Art.
Sudjojono was a prolific artist and writer. His artistic oeuvre covers a wide spectrum, from paintings, sketches, drawings, public art and reliefs as well as ceramic works. His style and artistic preoccupation were also diverse, from his early and monumental works, which significantly reflect on the true spirit of Indonesia and the people during the war and their struggle against independence; to landscapes; still-lifes; portraits and renditions of his more personal life and family at later years.