Imam Santoso’s ‘Love Nature Unnatural’


    “Love Nature Unnatural” is Imam Santoso’s second exhibition with Galerie Stephanie. In this show, Imam displays how his artistry drives a poignant resolution to nature’s prevalent state. The methodological composition of his work champions the solidarity of each element, which while stands out separately creates a complete, aggregated image. At first glance, Santoso seems to have fortuitously established beauty in chaos yet the calamitous reality unfolds as you dissect the works, pull apart each hue, each stroke and reveal its natural beauty from within.

    Santoso goes on to display a masterfully designed line of surreal creations that display the utter subversion of nature under the human hands. On the underside, the canvas safely lies in realism where nature is free and quiet—trees and branches fluttering swiftly through each stroke and mountains flourishing in faint hues as if clouds float before them. The spaces, though tight and cluttered, bloom in undomesticated prosperity. Surrealism is ingeniously established as bold lines subdue each canvas. Unnatural figures begin to corrupt the human mind, giving each scribble faces, shapes, and colors, almost relatively close to nature’s form; one may appear to be a mountain or a tree but all these remain to be scrawls of human manipulation. What the works reflect may be construed as a sad reality but it remains magnificent beyond a shadow of a doubt. Nature’s works remain to be persistent motifs among Santoso’s concepts yet this time, the artists’ perception touches on how humans take the pivotal role in nature’s synthetic progression, though holistically may be seen unnatural still can be seen as beautiful.

    Both a conservator at the National Museum of Indonesia as well as a professional artist, Imam Santoso’s (b. 1986) colorful and intricately surreal artworks reflect his motivations as preservator of culture, home, and life. Born in the country’s artistic capital of Yogyakarta, Imam graduated from the Fine Arts Department of the Indonesian Art Institute, after which beginning a professional art career in earnest. He was awarded United Overseas Bank (UOB) Painting of the Year in 2011, and has exhibited in Indonesia, Malaysia, Hungary, Korea, and now the Philippines.

    “Love Nature Unnatural” will open on October 7, 2019, 6 pm and will be up for view until October 21, 2019. Galerie Stephanie is located at the 4th floor East Wing of Shangri-La Plaza, Mandaluyong.