Sriwati Masmundari (Indonesia-Gresik)
Sriwati Masmundari (Gresik, 1904–2005) was a painter of damar kurung, a typical lantern from Gresik since the 16th century and commonly lit in the month of Ramadan. She dedicated her decades of life to developing the art of painting damar kurung lantern. With naive paintings, Masmundari projected the joys of childhood and put certain symbols which became an important part of local history.
During her productive days, Masmundari received several awards, including an invitation from President Soeharto to the Indonesian State Palace; Seniman Berprestasi Nasional (National Outstanding Artist) certificate from the Regent of Gresik (1991); and Seniman Kreator bidang Seni Rupa (Creator in Fine Arts) from the Governor Imam Utomo (2002). Her first solo exhibition was held at Bentara Budaya Jakarta in 1987. Since then, she started gaining recognition in Indonesian visual art scene. In 1989, six of her damar kurung paintings were featured on the cover of the Kompas (an Indonesian national newspaper) daily calendar. Her exhibitions included Pameran Kerajinan Indonesia, Balai Sidang Senayan, Jakarta (1991) and Seabad Masmundari, Bentara Budaya Jakarta (2005).
“Masmundari Memoria” (2021)
Iron bed, wooden table, damar kurung (lantern), watercolor painting on paper
This room presents an installation that marks the journey of Sriwati Masmundari’s life, starting from the corner of Tlogopojok Village, Gresik to the world of visual art in Indonesia. This room is intended as an imaginative museum that invites the public to remember Sriwati Masmundari through an installation that is derived from the archives collected by the Damar Kurung Institute for 11 years.
As an imaginative museum, this room intends to unite the tension between the real and fictional world, to challenge the dead, frozen, and passive nature of archives so that we can find the figure of Sriwati Masmundari through the faint glow of damar kurung painting which features the daily routines of women in the north coast of Java.