Element Art Space is pleased to present RYB − Back to Basics, a three-person exhibition featuring Arkiv Vilmansa, Laila Azra and Ronald Apriyan that goes back to the primary colours in art. With the rising popularity of abstraction in painting today, all artists explore the conceptual process by which general rules and concepts of paintings are simplified using the most basic primary colours of Red, Yellow and Blue.
Departing from painting his fictional characters, Arkiv Vilmansa’s Luminous Landscape took seven years to realise. It started from exploring the idea of light on landscapes as well as the topography of Jerusalem, specifically the areas which the Prophet Muhammad passed. The colour tones in each work show gradation from dark to light, similar to night to day. Vilmansa’s works situate the Prophet’s journey to Heaven as well and situate the trace of topography in relation to time that is being represented by the primary colours—blue representing the dark, night sky, red insinuating sunrise or sunset and yellow vibrates the colour of the sun.
Continuing on this exploration are Laila Azra’s three works. Azra has always been an abstract painter and her works are often influenced by her personal experiences at a universal level. The painting ‘Alur Biru’ imitates the waves of the sea, which is calming and shows openness, depth and wisdom. She refers to the sense of calm and clarity, which many people often associate with by being near the ocean. ‘Hello Yellow’ radiates a strong energy with its bold yellow colours. For Azra, yellow symbolises joy and happiness and the work’s overwhelming colour attributes to her belief that happiness is within her and attainable by surrounding herself with her loved ones. The red in ‘Cinta Merah’ is attributed to human’s lifelong quest to find love in terms of God as well as life partner. The circular shape of the canvas and the spiral stroke throughout the work illustrates the never-ending journey—once you find love, you have to maintain it, which is harder than finding love itself.
Ronald Apriyan extends this discourse through human’s earliest memories—as a child. His works which are predominantly blue, which often symbolises depth and stability, are almost dream-like and abstract in thought, similar to how children’s brains work. Using a child’s viewpoint, Apriyan aims to evoke childhood sentiments in his viewers who are mostly adults. The myriad of pastel and candy shades are reminiscent of children’s drawings and refers to the innocence of childhood. Its playfulness and innate humour take the viewers to a childlike state of mind.