Artists' collaboration with a gallery is certainly not a new deed. What's new is when the gallery bears fresh new talents into the art market. If one of these artists later on gets to be famous, the gallery's name will automatically get its name more known applauded. Indonesian is fortunate to have a number of galleries with international reputation. "It's unique to have a gallery in the centre of painters" community a situation synchronous with the law of economics; when there is demand, there is market. In Indonesian, most art and painting galleries flourish on Bali, for it is on the island that artists are mushrooming. Nevertheless, there are also quite a lot of art and painting galleries on Java, in cities like Jakarta, Bandung and Surabaya.
"All true artists, whether they know it or not,
create from a place of no-mind, from inner stillness."
~ Earnst Ludwig Kirchner
Bandung is one of the cities filled with artists those digging on music, pure art, painting and architecture. Big names of old school painters like Srihadi, Jeihan, Ade Pirous were born in Bandung. And it was in this city, nicknamed Kota Kembang or the city of flowers, that a gallery named Zola Zolu (ZZ) was lodged in 1998, and it's been run by its owner Hingkie H.P. Ever since then, ZZ can now be found in two locations - on Natuna street and Ciwalk, Cihampleas Area. The reputation of ZZ has gotten more affirmed since the gallery often took part in international events like Singapore Art Fair and Taipei Art in Taiwan. Arifien Neif and Richard Winkler, two of ZZ's highlighted artists, fall into the category of artist with works "diligently" being referred to by the international auction houses. Christie's and Sotheby's Oddly enough. Hingkie is not even a painter or someone who's ever learned art formally; his passion for marketing and economics combined with a strong principle, has enabled him to make ZZ get stronger in business. Last January a branch in Jakarta was officially opened. it's situated at the first floor of City Plaza, in the golden triangle business area of Jakarta a very strategic spot of the city. With thenew location. Hingkie opens a business opportunity to foreign potential buyers which can benefit the artists.
The loyal customers of ZZ are not people who, from the very beginning, have really any clues whatsoever about art. But Hingkie has a way in educating potential buyers before they finally make a decision in their pick. "I always suggest every potential buyer not to buy a painting merely for investment. You must first love a certain painting, and second, you must know who the artist is. Third check the price. If after purchasing the painting, the price is higher, think of it as a bonus." Customers' who like Hingkie's method keep coming back for more. They eventually become collections.
"Colour Art & Painting for Healing"
~ ZOLA ZOLU Gallery's Slogan Printed on all of It's Business Cards
How has ZZ, applied its standards to its artists? "We have a quite unique way of thinking. All of the paintings sold at our galleries are painted by artists who are still alive. We do this to reduce the risk of forgery." Hingkie explains. Zola Zolu Gallery is embedded by 18 exlusive. "Colour Art & Painting for Healing", the slogan printed on ZZ's business cards, has a symbolic meaning related to the artists together with his beloved wife. Hingkie applies a principle when picking an artist to join ZZ. "I myself do the search by going to every corner in the country. When I finally find one. I have to like the works of the artist. Another important matter is that an artist must understand business ethics to be able to have a good commitment. The last contributing factor is, an artist has to have a harmonious family."
Some criteria indeed, but these criteria matter a lot for Hingkie. "A painting must be able to bring peace to those enjoying it (this is what"... for Healing" means). How can an artist produce a beautiful painting if his personal life is a mess? My wife and I have made a deal that if one of our artists has problems in his/her personal life, he/she should not longer be under ZZ." he affirms. Hingkie then takes artist Arifien Neif as an example. He is soft spoken and has a good family. This is reflected in what he sees and feels, which can be seen in his paintings. His soft personality is reflected through the soft and romantic colours in his works. He is able to capture faces with such many characters in his paintings, because in the real life there are plenty of human characters. There are also slanted chairs in some of his paintings; turns out, there are such chairs in his home. As for Richard Winkler a Swedish painter who is married to a Chinese Indonesian and settles in Ubud, Bali, when portraying a women bathing in a river, his imagination develops and transpires into a beautiful piece of art a reflection of his home environment that is surrounded by the tropical trees. He maintains his style by continuously developing and elaborating the forms.
"Nature has always inspired me.
As a child I would collect fruits and flowers, then I made drawings of them."
~ Richard Winkler, One of The 18 Exclusive Painter of Zola Zolu Gallery
Amidst the competition between galleries. Hingkie puts on an open minded attitude. Following art fairs or holding art exhibitions to Hengkie is a reward for the artists. He has held both solo and group exhibitions, collaborating with local and overseas galleries. "There, painters whom I call princes have the chance to meet with collectors whom I call kings. There is the place to "show off" and receive praises or critics. The artists can also understand what the collectors see in their paintings, which enables them to be more mature in their works. ZZ has a responsibility to continually hold such events, not just stop after one or two projects. Well, our work does get harder, but to win in the competition, this is what we've got to do," he ends the conversation.
By Miranti M Lemy.