Change the world #8 , 2017
Acrylic on Canvas, 129 x 149 cm
About the artwork
In today’s world, we live in the era of war. Firearms and physical violence despite being ancient tools, are still used today. The consequences of which include fatal damages, wasted costs, and broken families. Through this symbolic and multilayered work, Vani illustrates how instead of resorting to physical violence and destruction, we should be using our intelligence as a tool to “conquer”. Sepia toned images of warfare are overlayed by a monochromatic rendering of a ship, out of which numerous multi colored miniature figures fire ‘cannons’ which are in fact pens. The figures despite their different colourings are all working towards a common goal, symbolically representing how we can change the world progressively through ideas and knowledge, by building better communities, championing peace instead of violence and by mutually inspiring and being inspired by bright ideas.
About the artist
Born in 1981 in Semarang, Indonesia, artist Vani Hidayatur Rahman is currently based in Jogjakarta. He has shown his works in various group exhibitions including ArtJog 2013: Maritime Culture, Taman Budaya Yogyakarta; Return to Home, International Union of Unified Ummah Cartoon Contest, Iran (2012); Manifesto, Indonesian National Gallery, Jakarta (2010). Vani has received a number of art awards including the Best Painting accolade at the 2012 Jakarta Art Awards and was a finalist at the 2008 Jakarta Art Awards.
Vani Hidayatur Rahman has made a name for himself with his distinctive and realistic style. With his highly complex paintings that are adorned with detailed embellishments, Vani imbues a strong concept and story into each piece and addresses pertinent political, social and environmental issues that span war to pollution. In his artwork entitled "Unity," Vani depicts a large ark - a motif that has been reiterated by other Indonesian painters such as Widayat and Amrus Natalya. However, Vani presents his own interpretation of the timber vessel by painting it in an unfinished stage of construction and glory - a group of workers on deck are still sawing, carrying wooden beams and measuring for dimensions. The flurry of activity is painted from a birds-eye view and aerial perspective, with the entire structure and frame visible - allowing the viewer to feel as if he or she is an omniscient being looking down from above.