Behind The Gallery
Born in Bogor West Java on the August 13’ 1929, has the original Chinese name of Hoe Tjoe Henk, and popular as Om Henk (Uncle Henk). Up to the second millennium he has been a famous art collector. The magazine Visual Arts No. 22 December 2007 – January 2008 even puts him in the list of one hundred Indonesian principal collectors of the 1957 – 2007 period.
Yet Hadiprana’s seriousness in viewing and evaluating painting, in predicting the developments in painting creation, and in observing painters behaviors and lives, is not to be taken lightly. He is perhaps the only Indonesian collector that see paintings as a small part of the the big world of art and artists. That’s why after finding paintings that he likes he will proceed to trace who the makers are, what their artistic concept/perspectives are, the kinds of life they live, the extents of their spirits, their stamina, and their energy to make advancements in their creative pursuits.
Yet behind the pedagogic interest, he pursues amid art community, Hadiprana is a painting enthusiast with rigorous selectivity. The rigor springs from conviction. And the conviction root in understanding of art, the experience of viewing and enjoying art, and the seriousness in observing it. Therefore the works, Hadiprana already decide to pick are ones of the qualities he is certain. Being sure of quality of the works, he then forcefully tries to promote them among the public.
Hadiprana is really an architect with the Midas touch. Everything he touches becomes effectively influential. His ideas make clients satisfied. Whatever he is interested in dealing with becomes an artistic trend. Architect communities everywhere admit his great potency. Hadiprana is referred to as a creator with the expertise of imbuing the characteristics image of Indonesianess. And the characteristic image image has Hadiprana’s specific atmosphere. It goes not only for the structural patterns and designs but also the characters of objects as esthetic elements of the interior design. Such interior elements he picks from the realm of Indonesian traditional art.
Regarding Balinese art, for instance, he is the one who diffuses the idea of changing the colors of wooden sculptures and relief. He embellishes the plain ones with white, ocher, and gold coloring. Wooden relief with glossy and garish coloring he transforms to more “urban” images that are sophisticated in their simplicity. The idea that he launched in mid-1980s remain an enchanting trend in this early part of the second millennium.
Hendra Hadiprana began his career as an architect in 1957 after graduating from Academy Minerva Afdeling Architectuur in Groningen the Netherlands. He was then one among very few architects and interior decoration experts in Indonesia. However, architect and interior expert were not what he wanted to be when he was a child.
After returning home from the Netherlands, Hadiprana decided to work with the Jatiluhur Dam Development Project instead of with his faher company. Hendra Hadiprana’s father, Hoo Tiang Hoe, was known as an acclaimed constructor who lived in Bogor. The reason was that a French gentleman headed the Jatiluhur Development Project. As a result, the Frech community easily accepted Hadiprana who speaks French fluently. As he saw it then, dealing with smart expatriates would help him broaden his horizon and expand his opportunities for advancement. Every Tuesday he would go to Jatiluhur and went home to Jakarta on Fridays by the low cost public transportation called “oplet” or small suburban minibus.
And he was right; his supervisor asked him to be the architect responsible for the construction of a Catholic church in Jatiluhur. The assignment was for Hadiprana a blessing because ever since his study in the Netherlands he had always wanted to build a church . Another project followed when he was asked to build a facility called Wisma Oikumene for another denomination of the Christian Church in Sukabumi, West Java. For this project Hadiprana did not want to take any payment because he did the job as the fulfillment of his vow.
With consistent encouragement from his wife, Hendra Hadiprana untiringly proceeded step by step. Interspersed with teaching at the STM Technical Middle School, his profession as an architect and interior designer thrived. His articulateness in offering argumentation convinced many peoples. Thanks to his perfectionist attitude and good working spirit order came to him from everywhere. But for his founder of Hadiprana architectural bureau the most important point was not the great number of orders that come in.
“The most important question to me is how to offer architecture and interior not as just a place but also as art that has individual touch”, Hendra Hadiprana said while recalling great architects like Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright and Icoh Ming Pei. Now until his old age, Hendra Hadiprana said “I think enthusiasm must not be defeated by time, though my age is over eight already”.
He wants such enthusiasm to also live on in artists. He hopes painters, sculptors, ceramic artists and so on will never feel satisfied with the works they’ve ever made, and they will not stop short at any given terminal. He hopes painters will not get stagnant once their works meet with market and booming sale. It is a great joy from him to see artists with hearts and souls that proceed together with their ever-developing intellectuality. That way the products of skillful hands of the artists provide the true reflections of their hearts, soul and intellectuality.
He said “I will be most disappointed to see works visually good but lacking in terms of capacity of the artists’ hearts, souls and intellectuality. In such case what we have is something like a treachery committed by the artist’ skillful hands to the artist’ own lives”
Puri is a graduate of the Tarumanegara University, Department of Architectural Engineering. Since graduation she was in the world of architecture and interiors. Since 1997 Puri manages the Mitra Hadiprana Boutique Mall Building, a business property in the elite area of Kemang that leases space to the business partners associated with the arts. She also lead Hadiprana Gallery, the first art gallery in Jakarta, established in 1962. Many thanks to the guidance of his father – Mr. Hendra Hadiprana, that is a prominent art connoisseur – she knows the cultural richness and diversity of the art world in Indonesia as well as a close friendship with the painters, sculptors and craftsmen from Jakarta, Jogjakarta, Bandung and Bali. In 1998 in times of monetary crises hit Indonesia, Puri established Hadiprana Art Center, a place where people learn the art, which is now growing rapidly has branches in different places with hundreds of students, both adults and children. In Kemang, Puri also has business Hadiprana Jewelry, Hadiprana Signature and Kedai Mitra. She acts also presently as Owners Representative on the Chedi Club at Tanah Gajah, Ubud Bali. In addition, she was called to do social work in the form of character education for children of poor families in the slums of Pademangan in North Jakarta.
He holds a degree in cultural studies from University Gadjah Mada in Jogjakarta and began his career at Galeri Hadiprana in 1995. Over the years he has organised several successful exhibitions. Along with these activities, he develops strong links with artists, collectors and curators.
He is educated in University Udayana in Bali, started his career at Hadiprana in 1991. He has worked on sourcing and his specialist knowledge include paintings and carvings both traditional and modern Balinese art. He develop strong links with Balinese artist, artisan and sculptors.