Zola Zolu Gallery
Zola Zolu Gallery
Arifien Neif Fine Romance
Registry Indonesia, January 2008
Artists know for their melancholic and gloomy attitude. Most influenced their works and today we aware that these are part of humankind intelligence's evolution. Most of recent artists that I met are very much influenced with socio-political situation. How they expressed conflicts based on their personal experiences in some stage makes a heave as it is a never ending sad poetry of life.

There is a gallery in Bandung, which exhibited high - end level masterpieces. Among the speechless works of art that may hold anyone schedule for more that two hours, a series of frames that bound wonderful colour play of blue, pink, yellow, black, spots of oranges, surely will just stunned eyes of those who spotted them. The main objects of each painting are reminding of those of Gauguin, Chagall, or even Matisse.

The man behind this extraordinary experience is Arifien Neif. He is one of Indonesia's foremost colorists. At the age of forty, he already commends a wide audience and has become one of the country's most sought after painters. His paintings are exhibited in Sotheby and Christies. Through his first book; Arifien, the Life and Fantasy of an Emerging Indonesian Painter; 1997 Museum Universitas Pelita Harapan Press, it is known that Arifien's talent sharpen by his life experience. There is stage of certain turning points that infiltrated most of his works up to his recent pieces. In a very short period Arifien could transformed himself in to being to what he is now. Arifien obtain his natural identity as painter by natural process that not possessed by other world known painters.

Like other artists, Arifien is a borrower. However, he has the ability to visualize familiar scenes thoroughly unselfconsciously, stamping them with his own personality. Struggling against lack of means and the precisely defined tastes of art buyers, he started to experiments furiously, desperate to create something new. His imagination took shape in the context of colour and harmony, almost musical, forms and irrepressible, refreshing humour. Not many Indonesian painters have looked at the human race with a more compassionate eye, and recorded their findings with a more sparkling wit. He paid homage to the human body, not through pretty pictures, but through idiosyncratic arrangements of the female form, in the process, redefining aesthetic parameters in modern Indonesian art, which surely raised my curiosity.

"For me female object triggered my inspiration. They sparked off my willingness to observe and and understand them. Besides, female object are always universal, to which people easily accepted," explained Arifien Neif as I got a chance to converse with him.

Approaching his own personal life, with trepidation and an inspired reverence for nature. Arifien seems capable of losing himself through his work. In art he is free, detached, and in complete control almost aesthetic. He has passed through the realm of symbolic art into a domain dominated by purse shapes which fuse together in a large that life tableu, ready for interpretation in any manner or form by those who view them. This transformation makes his work universal although he incorporates the memories of his land and people in decorative motifs, he stands liberated from his roots.

"The art is already my soul, and I knew my aim with it. However, I just let my self flow with everything that I experienced, while I maintain my identity, which is not depend on another aspects that happens in society, because I have to keep my own originality, although I am very much comprehend that art is not unbound completely from external influence." continued Arifien philosophically.

Regarding his contribution to society. Arifien Neif involves himself in series of exhibitions that not only display his latest masterpieces but also send message through themes that he upholds from each exhibition. He informed me that in April 2008, he will display 20 to 25 of his works in the National Museum of Singapore. This solo exhibition will last for three days, and I can imagine the impact after that, if I recall the quality and the typical characteristic of Arifien Neif's works. For me personally, this is an ultimate achievement for Indonesian painter that he has opportunity to evidence that Indonesian art is in advance path as other countries.

"I choose 'Fine Romance' as theme of my exhibition because most of my works that exhibited in Singapore are my tribute to love," explain Arifien Neif answering my question about his coming exhibition agenda. This is pretty clear for me that Arifien has his own perspective regarding love. He understands that love has much deep meaning as we all knew. There is certain emotional value regarding love that speaks more through his painting.

I asked him about how he reflected himself now in connection with all achievement that he obtained. With a modest manner Arifien Neil answered that all what he obtained is part of his learning process. Arifien does answered that he will continue to metamorphose to transform his art expression in another trend

Speaking about trend not many people know that Arifien Neif is one of Indonesian painter's pioneers, who displayed his works in book. His firs book, as I mentioned previously, encourage young Indonesian painter's to keep creating best pieces of art. This strengthen Arifien's position in Indonesian art community.

"My first book told stories about my past, how I struggle to find my identity in world of arts and becoming who I am now. I hope this could motivate anyone who has talent in art and dare to totally contribute themselves in this field." said Arifien expressed a little about his book that sponsored by Museum Univeritas Pelita Harapan andGaleru santi. At present Arifien is preparing his second book. Arifien plan to launch it on October 2008, however, he academical field where student from all grates are able to dig deeper in a world of Indonesian art. Arifien believes that many people were devoting themselves in art, but few of them understand that to introduce art, but few of them understand that to introduce art has to perform in earlier age. His future book will include also collections of his latest exhibitions that he accomplished in Indonesian or abroad during the previous years.

I am very much looking forward to Arifien Neif's next move since he was contributed pretty much inspiring from his last. I am sure that it will always give new perspective for those who know how to value art from every point of view. It is not a wonder for me, if Arifien Neif's next move is in a certain advance level that will put Indonesian art in a proer place, as it should be.

"I just let my self flow with everything that I experienced, while I maintain my identity, which is not depend on another aspects that happens in society, because I have to keep my own originality."

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