Indonesia Semangat Dunia

by Beata Primana
15th August 2018
To welcome the month of our national independence, "Indonesia Semangat Dunia" presents historical artworks by Indonesian maestros who coloured our history at the National Gallery of Indonesia, all the way brought in from the presidential palace.

To commemorate the upcoming Indonesian 73 years of independence, the National Gallery of Indonesia reveals the annual exhibition of the Indonesian presidential palace art collection to the public. Titled “Indonesia Semangat Dunia” or Indonesia in the Global Spirit, it is the third instalment for the exhibition where they feature 45 artworks from 34 different artists.

Despite running for the third time, this year’s exhibition is no less riveting than its predecessors. Aside from being a celebration of the country’s independence day, the theme “Indonesia Semangat Dunia” is also a nod to the forthcoming Asian Games 2018 that lends the keywords “spirit”, “collaboration and cooperation” and “hard work” as the central narratives of the works on display.

This collection is transported from five presidential palaces located across Java and Bali – Istana Negara (Jakarta), Istana Bogor, Istana Cipanas, Istana Gedung Agung (Yogyakarta), and Istana Tampaksiring (Bali) – whereby in each work, rich stories and milestones of the country’s history are portrayed through every brush stroke.

Naturally, visitors may expect to see oeuvres by Indonesian maestros like the famous “Berburu Banteng” (Banteng Hunt) and “Perkelahian dengan Singa” (Fighting with a Lion) by Raden Saleh Syarif Bustaman. Also, there is Basoeki Abdullah’s painting to look forward to, like the “Perkelahian Antara Rahwana dan Jatayu Memperebutkan Sinta” (Jatayu Fights Rahwana for Princess Sinta) that takes a leaf out of the story of Ramayana. Names like Dullah, Henk Ngantung, Hendra Gunawan, Harijadi S. Sementara, are also present among many other artists whose works are being showcased here.

While visiting, be sure not to miss a few of the artworks that belong to the first Indonesian President, Soekarno, who had a penchant for collecting artworks and arguably, an aesthete. These were gifts presented to him as a form of cultural diplomacy from country leaders. Among those gifts includes statues by Yevgeny Vitorovich Vuchetich from then Soviet Union, Fernando Amorsolo from The Philippines, and Hungarian sculptor and artist Zsigmond Kisfaludi Strobl.

Historic nostalgia reverberates around the exhibition room as these national relics are hung and displayed gracefully. Visitors get to ponder and be in tune with our nation’s past while revelling in a quiet and calm aesthetic leisure. This annual exhibition is something that you simply shan’t miss, and will absolutely be an event to look forward to each year.


“Indonesia Semangat Dunia” is open to public until 31st of August 2018 at Building A, National Gallery of Indonesia, every day from 10am-8pm.

For more info about the exhibition and National Gallery of Indonesia, visit