SELF PORTRAIT, CRAYON, 1980, 63 X 48 CM FROM S.SUDJOJONO VISIBLE SOUL BY AMIR SIDHARTA – TAASA Review June 2012

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This article was originally found in the June 2012 edition of TAASA Review (Volume 21, Issue 2, Page 23).

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League), and, encouraged by Rose Padang Wangi, focused on his artistic career. The later half of his life spent with Rose is represented in the second book by history painting, landscape, still life and introspective portraits of her, his children and himself. If we accept that portraiture operates on a similar level to biography in its capacity not only to reveal but also to construct a narrative of the self, then we can make some comparisons between Sudjojono’s narration of his own life through painting and that expressed by these two more recent biographies.

Furthermore we are able to investigate to what degree his selfportraits match with the public perception of his career. Looking at the photograph of Sudjojono standing alongside his self- portrait there is an uncanny sense that he is pointing to his painted self in a gesture of affirmation: "Yes, this is me!".

Made in the mid 1930’s at the very beginnings of his artistic career Sudjojono is quite clearly fashioning himself as Modern Artist...