2015

UNFOLDING

A personal reflection

© Rahma Wiryomartono Artwork

‘Unfolding’ Oil on Canvas, 40″ x 40″

This painting was created as a visualization of day-to-day life. Life is represented by a river, since both are linear paths that are defined by their course. The figure is in the river with no explanation as to why, just simply moving along with the current. Where the river ultimately feeds into remains unknown. The ethereal surroundings are meant to further suggest the unknown, being otherworldly and out of reach. Consequently the figure is immobilized in her position. Meanwhile, the river continues to move forward, life incessantly forging its path.

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THE SLUMBER

A visual response to Kafka on the Shore

© Rahma Wiryomartono Artwork

‘The Slumber’ Oil on Canvas, 36″ x 24″

This piece was inspired by Haruki Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore, my favourite book at the time. The narrative follows a fifteen year old boy as he runs away from home to escape an Oedipal prophecy (“you will kill your father and lay with your mother”) and confronts the alienation, depersonalization, and bizarre external situations characteristic of Franz Kafka’s work. Consequently, he calls himself Kafka as his true name is never revealed in order to subtly allude to the distance that he imposes between himself and everything else. All other characters are similarly extremely isolated, each having their own places to withdraw and retreat into.

“When I was fifteen,” Miss Saeki says with a smile, “all I wanted was to go off to some other world, a place beyond anybody’s reach. A place beyond the flow of time.”
“But there’s no place like that in this world.”

Though there is, but it’s not technically of this world – the dream realm. It’s the only time when we’re completely alone, since everything visceral is merely contained in ideas. Nothing in dreams ever really touches us, as experiences only consist of constantly firing electrical synapses in the brain. During sleep, the mind exists as a self-contained universe – a state of absolute disconnection.

If alienation had a form, I would visualize it as a barren mountainside or a vacuum. Frightening and inhospitable, both are not only devoid of life, but utterly hostile to it. Those visuals combined with a dreaming figure creates a personal interpretation of what total isolation would look like, the goal in creating this piece.

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OF HOMECOMING

A visual introspection

© Rahma Wiryomartono Artwork

‘Of Homecoming’ Oil on Canvas, 24″ x 36″

This painting explores my fluctuating response to homecoming. For many, home is more than a physical space – it’s a warm concept attached to feelings of stability and belonging. The familiarity and safety that home offers make it an enveloping embrace. Yet these qualities are what also make it a chokehold. In this way, the painting ties into how the desire for stability goes against the restlessness of my personality. Stillness is found in a permanent home and settled state of being. Constant activity and change, however, are by nature unable to be pinned down to one home, whether it be geographical or emotional.

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