Lives and Works: Indonesia
From an early age, R. Sumantri has been recognized for his innate talent. Throughout Primary and Secondary School he won regional art competitions, and in 1987 he won First Prize in the Solo Health Poster Competition.
He pursued his art studies at the Indonesian Institute of Art in Yogyakarta (ISI) but due to financial problems he was forced to leave school only one semester after enrolling. His artistic skills landed him a job as a batik designer at the famous Batik Semar in Solo from 1991 to 1996, and in 1997 he won First Prize in the Batik Design Competition for all Surakarta. In 2004, his work was selected among the Top Fifty Finalists for the “Indonesian President Megawati – Best Portrait Contest”. In 2008, he displayed his largest work yet measuring 7 x 4 meters at the Shahab Gallery in commemoration of the King of Surakart, Pakubuwono PB XII.
R. Sumantri specializes in mastering Koi Fish paintings. His works have found a place in the homes of important collectors all over Indonesia, as well as in neighbouring Singapore and Malaysia and as far as Argentina, Russia, Switzerland, United States and Canada. Because of his proficiency in Koi Fish painting, he has earned the nickname “King of Koi” and gained him a strong group of disciples.
Attention to detail and patience are crucial elements for Sumantri to create his art works. His dedication is reflected in each of his brushstrokes where he tries to capture the essence of outmost perfection. His background in batik painting gives him the ability to incorporate traditional techniques and create unique patterns for his pieces that are combined with contemporary elements resulting in fascinating creations. Sumantri has recently invented a new and unique technique by incorporating real wooden carving of exotic wood into his paintings. This could be a world first and the result is simply breathtaking.
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