B. Indonesia, 1931-1999
Indonesian Market Scene, 1970
Signed and dated “CHRIS S ‘70” on lower right
Oil on canvas
49 x 64 cm
Private Collection, Kuala Lumpur
Suharso’s path was not easy after Chinese Indonesians were persecuted after the rise of the New Order in 1966. Chinese characters were banned, Yin Hua disintegrated, several artists fled to Singapore, and Suharso, now with a family, had to work in various companies to earn money – all while struggling to make art. Between 1966 and 1977, Chris had to work outside his studio.
By 1984, Suharso could focus exclusively on painting, finding his true calling in painting watercolors of Bali’s scenery.
Suharso began as a mixed-media artist, flipping between watercolours and oil, perhaps settling on the former due to its similarities to traditional Chinese ink paintings, which puts less emphasis on colour in favour of shading and lighting. His love for Balinese landscape and watercolor carried on, however.
Suharso was recognised as a painter who was intensely inspired by impressionism nominating Bali as his favored subject matter. It is evident that Chris Suharso’s character was heavily influenced by impressionism or realism. His works represent his intention to explore the character of light and optical illusion. Suharso thoroughly acknowledged the very nature of light and transformed this knowledge through medium utilisation. Through this mastership, he brought precise representation into his works.