Deft Dame: Kartika Affandi“I don’t want to become the second
.”That is the word of Kartika Affandi when people compare her with her father Affandi.Even though she is already a renowned painter in Indonesia, she still can’t escape from being associated with her father. She once asked her father what she needs to do to forgeher own identity in art and he replied;“I’m not a teacher, you have to find it on your own.”With that, Kartika embarked on a journey to search for her own style and carve her own place in the international art scene.Seeing this dame of 75 years old deftly paint with her fingers is an astonishing experience.A technique inherited from his father, it eschews the traditional brush and palette. Insteadthe paint is pressed out from the tube, mixed at the back of her left hand before being picked up by her right fast fingers.“Using the fingers is quicker, thus the emotions feels truer.”The other defining characteristic that is shared by this father and daughter is the sheer speed in completing a painting. In a vocation where days and months are common measureof time, three hours is enough for them.“I don’t want to overdo the painting, that’s why I limit the time.”Both of them also share the love of painting outdoors; capturing scenes, plants, animal, and people. Not only they explored the various regions in Indonesia but went abroad as well.Among the places are the Great Wall of China, Holland, Paris, and Penang.The early works of Affandi is more of the naturalistic style, faithfully capturing everydetail in full color. He even prefers to describe himself as ‘
’ which can beloosely translated as photographer. But later on he realized that photos will always do that better, so he set out to infuse his expression and interpretation of the subject into the painting.Meanwhile, Kartika who is still searching stumbled upon a series of monochromatic painting by Chinese and Japanese painters. That inspired her to experiment circa 1973;rendering the Affandi technique in black and white. It was challenging at first but her perseverance led to the refinement of the technique.In the workshop hosted by RA Fine Arts, she clearly demonstrated her prowess incapturing the expression of the subject with her fingers in black and white. She picked RajaAhmad Aminullah, the proprietor of the gallery itself to be the model.