Lot 068

b. Indonesia, 1927 – d. 2000


Signed and dated ‘popo ‘98’ (lower left)
Watercolour on paper
21cm x 25.5cm

Private Collection, Indonesia.

Accompanied with certificate from Griya Seni Popo Iskandar, Bandung, Indonesia.

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ESTIMATE  RM 2,000 - 3,000
Popo Iskandar’s paintings of cats developed into leopards in the early 1980s. His leopards are usually characterised by strong smooth lines that express a musical flow, an indication of his penchant for traditional Sundanese music. In Dua Macan, two leopards commingle, almost indistinct from one another. The only hint that there are two is from the sharp green eyes that peak out from the leopards’ spots. Here there is no clear delineation of form, the leopards are painted in a manner that suggests Popo’s desire to paint them in a way that expresses their ability to camouflage with their surroundings. As if to underline this cheeky ability of concealment, the leopards’ faces are drawn with impudent smiles. The sun is depicted by a round ochre spot on top, an element that was often used by Popo as a way to balance the piece rhythmically, or as a punctuation of emphasis.

As a Sundanese, it is a cultural belief that the suppleness of a leopard is similar to the way a woman walks. The expression of the leopard appears wistful and the gaze of its eyes is calming. Elements of musical manifestation and compositional balance can be traced to the dark spots of the leopard. The spots were also developed from his painting of pebbles and stones at the river.

As written by Popo in Pikiran Rakyat in 1983: “A leopard is speechless in his amusement as he is surrounded by a swarm of fireflies, to which he can do nothing. This theme which has never before been touched upon in the jungle if Indonesian fine arts is perhaps a kind of humour which is gentle, teasing, even philosophical, up to the interpreter but yet clear, this is a kind of rest stop for a painter who has worked for 40 years, in which for an instant he can free himself from the problems of modern forms.”

55 Tahun Seni Lukis Popo Iskandar
, Mamannoor – Bandung: Yayasan Matra Media, 1998.