Secret Gardens

Category: Curatorial

abstract impressionist paintings capture the exuberant lightness of a garden in bloom

agus baqul’s secret garden

curated by kadek krishna adidharma

06 – 20 February 2010
viviyipartroom Lot 2 – 3, The Promenade

Jl. Warung Buncit Raya No. 98. Tel. 021 7900 480

Entering Agus Baqul’s Secret Garden is an invigorating experience. Bougainvillea, jasmine, ylang-ylang, dahlia, flame-tree, hydrangea, roses, sunflowers, water lilies and queen of the night, each painting in this bouquet of abstract impressionist art is inspired by flowers in an explosion of colour. A vibrant burst of life emerges from each canvas, drawing the viewer into a world of burgeoning growth. The layer upon layer of numbers that make up each image is more than mere code. The numbers sing, shimmer, blend and dance in unison, enticing the viewer with their secrets.

Inspired by a well-ordered garden bursting through its traditional boundaries, Secret Garden is like a tropical garden left untended for a week during rainy season. There is some semblance of order, or structure, but the frenetic energy of life, in search of light and space, has taken over. Above any idea of structure, there is a seething mass of motion, rhythm and light converging at the verge edge chaos.

And such is life in this country of burgeoning development. Any semblance of law and order is drowned in a frenetic frenzy of economic growth and rush for survival. Almost all the elements on this archipelagic canvas are in motion, striving for life-sustaining light. Occasionally patterns emerge, but they are overtaken by other patterns, and then yet others. They grow and grow and threaten to reach chaos, but are held in check by the laws of nature, by the mutual limitations of co-existence.

Through his abstraction of numbers, Agus Baqul frees these flowers from the visual order enforced by aesthetic tendencies in both painting and gardening. For instance, his depiction of the tropical flame-tree, also known as the peacock flower or flamboyant, is a mesmerizing achievement of repetition that defies patterning. Agus celebrates the energy of life that exists within the plants themselves.

Born in Kendal on the north coast of Central Java in 1975, Agus ‘baqul’ Purnomo is no stranger to the art scene. He has been creating artworks for over a decade, since his college years at the Indonesian Institute of Art, Yogyakarta (ISI). Since March 2007, he has been exploring abstract paintings using numbers as its basic element. In using this technique to respond to natural and cosmic themes, Agus has developed his own unique style of abstract impressionism. His works have been shown at various exhibitions and galleries throughout Indonesia as well as in Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Japan and the United States. He has also participated in numerous visual art projects. His works are currently in the collection of the Taiwan National Museum and the Museum of Small Arts, Malaysia (MoSA).

Published: February 3, 2010

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