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Saturday, May 07, 2005

Bayu Utomo Radjikin

noko project - harvest”, noko island, fukuoka
bayu utomo radjikin,
x figure,
oil on canvas,
83cm x 110cm,

As I write, the countdown to the Bush ultimatum is ticking away. CNN's headlines read 'Soldiers and Equipment Head for Iraq Border in Vast Formation'. The first image that came to my mind was the oil painting that the Sabahan artist, Bayu Utomo Radjikin had done many years back entitled 'X Figure'.

Bayu's painting, to me, evokes the modern man's angst and grotesque alienation in an unintelligible and hostile world. The backdrop is somewhat like the ink-blot tests; it elicits and defeats attempts at conclusive explanation. In this work, we see the expression of utter terror on the child's countenance, the vulnerability of its emaciated frames pressed against a wall and helplessness of the clasped hands and the eyes, wide opened witnesses to all that is horror and abjection. The expression on the child is obvious to all; there can be no doubt about it and it forms a striking contrast to the convoluted background. There you see substances of the artist's vision on the labyrinthine complexities of the world, anxiety laden absurdities of life and the powerfully oppressive forces at hand. The nightmare within this canvas is now resonating with the chilling reality.

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