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The Passage of Panji: Memory, Journey and Desire

We must qualify these works, so let us call them paintings, and we must also give them a title, so let us call them by their most visible theme: Wandering. But the works of Eddy Susanto are indeed much more than that. You can “watch” and enjoy them day and night, and what you see is a different “painting”. During the day time you can watch a narrative –that of the “Wandering Prince of the Javanese Majapahit lore—but you can also read its story, as the “lines” that make up the characters drawn in accordance with Balinese classical iconography, consisting of minute Javanese letters that reproduce the classical Middle-Javanese text of WangbangWideya. But the surprise does not end there; under the darkness of light, the story you see showing up on the canvas has nothing to do anymore with Java or Indonesia; it takes you “elsewhere”, across the great cultures that have shaped the history of the world: Europe, China, the Islamic World, India. The result, thus, is for the 20 works presented, a unity that rest in contradictions: of past (in themes and iconography) and present (the technique); of day and night; of national (Indonesian), local (Balinese and Javanese) and cosmopolitan (the cultural range covered); and of written and visual expression. A juggling of forms (and words) that compels us to question our usual categorization of art works.