Yogyakarta proved that it was still the center of Indonesian art as five artists from the city stole the limelight from 1,199 other artists from across Indonesia at the Indonesia/ASEAN Arts Awards 2003 on Monday.

Winners of the biannual event included, Ayu Arista Murti with her work No. 1, The Greatest Story, Feri Eka Candra with Seribu Kepala Untukku (English title: Mindscape), Galam Zulkifly for Teater Pembebasan (English title: Theater of Liberation), Paul Hendro Nugroho for Semua Hanya AnugerahNya (English title: The Order of Things), and Yusra Martunus for Kerasan Mencair (English title: Melting Down).
Those five will represent Indonesia at the prestigious ASEAN Arts Awards 2004 in Bangkok, Thailand.
“Several artists have begun exploring alternative material and techniques, mostly in the area of digital photo printing and neon box screens, or the use of various objects,” Mamannoor, chairman of the panel of judges, said.
The variety of techniques exhibited this year were reflected in Ayu Arista Murti’s No. 1, The Greatest Story, a mixed media creation presented with a neon box, where the painting or sketch is backlit by neon lighting.
Ayu, the only female winner, created her work from a digital print of her rendering of an aerial view of a decrepit industrial city, adding several drawings of nymph-like beings and roses floating above the city, all mounted on the neon box. The chaotic metal “rays” on top of the piece add to the sense of urban decay.
The artist wants to contrast the busy, noisy city background against the subtle figures of angels and roses. The shifting media suddenly becomes important in relation to the effect the artist wants to convey as the power of form, according to the judges comments in the catalog.
Last year’s ASEAN Arts Awards 2002 winner — Singapore’s Francis Ng Teck Yong with Constructing Construction #1 — was a color photographic print, and now Indonesian artists have also begun to submit similar photographic work for the next competition.
Indonesia/ASEAN Art Awards and the ASEAN Art Awards are held every other year and sponsored by Philip Morris, and in Indonesia it is organize by the Indonesian Fine Arts Foundation (YSRI) and PT Philip Morris Indonesia.