Seruni Bodjawati Interview with CHIC Magazine (KOMPAS, Gramedia)

Seruni Bodjawati Complete Interview with CHIC Magazine (KOMPAS, Gramedia) 
Special Section: Inspiring young people who dedicate their lives to bring Indonesia onto the world stage.

1. What are you up to lately? Reading and painting every day. I have to read at least a hundred pages and I must paint every day, even though just a few scratches. This is the necessity of the soul. It is not possible to sleep without the satisfaction of reading. I can't have a break without working hard in creating masterpieces. I also usually have art discussions, watch movie, write, and hold painting exhibition. I just took part in an international art exhibition event in Yogyakarta, ArtJog 2012 and my upcoming exhibition will be held in Hungary, South Korea, France, and Spain.
2. Since when did you love to paint? Since I was 10 months I started to draw on papers. There are thousands of artworks which are all organized neatly by my father. It’s a habit that lasts continuously until it has transformed into a distinctive of my character until now.
3. What are the goals of your childhood?  I just simply want to be a painter. I want to be a great painter ha ha ha....
4. When was your first time to paint on canvas and did you paint?  At the third grade. I painted the Princess of China from the White Snake Legend.
5. Tell me about your journey from the time you go to school until you are focus as a painter? Does your family support you from the beginning? Are your family painters too? My family is very supportive. My parents always assure me that my life is mine. I  must take charge of my own life. Live is to choose, rather than simply to experience. I have to do what really makes me happy and feel worthy. My happiness overflows whenever I paint. My mother, Wara Anindyah, is a painter.  My father, Sri Harjanto Sahid,  paints and writes literary works. He is also an actor, martial arts teacher and motivational speaker.

6. What is the reason that you become a painter? I feel that I am truly alive whenever I paint. The joy of making the most beautiful work is a gift for an artist. Sincerely taking the process of creating artworks is more important than enjoying the result. My art is only a result of an unnecessary thought as I joyfully work. Fame and public appreciation is just a mere risk, not the main purpose to create art.
7. What is the theme of most of your paintings and why? I determine the themes according to the soul anxiety and the need of imagination that crawl in my thoughts. The reason is to keep the focus of my creation intact.
8. Is there any related Indonesian culture? Yes. Everything that has formed the history of my life has also been portrayed on my artworks. Especially Indonesian culture.
9. What are the toughest challenges to become painter and how to solve it? The toughest challenge is myself. The most potential enemies to destroy my art is myself.  I try not to blame anyone else when I fail.
10. Currently, how many you exhibitions have you followed? More than 30 times participated in group exhibitions in Kyoto, New York, Melbourne, Manila, Bucharest, Marseille, Boulogne, Paris, Hyderabad, London, Christchurch, Singapore, Budapest & Eger. In Indonesia, I often participate in exhibitions at galleries and fine art spaces like in Edwin's Gallery Jakarta, National Gallery of Indonesia Jakarta, Taman Budaya Yogyakarta, The Ritz Carlton Jakarta, Jogja  National Museum and others.
11. Do you already have your own showroom? I haven’t had yet. I never offer my artworks to collectors. If anyone is interested then I’ll sell the works gladly. I don’t sell my paintings, they are purchased. For me painting is not a business, but an activity to trawl the meaning of life. If anyone appreciates my work, I will thank them very much because it is an invaluable support.
12. When was your first award? When I was 3 years old I won my first award at a painting championship in Yogyakarta, whereas the other participants were from pre-kindergarten to third graders. In fact, there are even some participants who had won several times in national and international championship. One of the juries, Eddie Hara, said that my painting was quirky, unique and against the mainstream of children paintings.
13. Mention the awards you received:
2012: - The Most Inspiring Woman in Art and Culture, Kartini Awards 2012 by Kartini Magazine Indonesia and Indonesian First Lady Ani Yudhoyono.
-  Honorary Award from Director General of Higher Education of the Ministry of Education and Culture.
- The Best High-Achieving Student by Indonesian Institute of the Arts Yogyakarta and the Rector of ISI, Prof. Dr. AM. Hermien Kusmayati, S.S.T., S.U.
2011: - The Best Painting Artwork Dies Natalis XXVII Indonesian Institute of Arts Yogyakarta.
- Awarded as The Most Successful International Visual Artist under 20 by La Société des Artistes Contemporains, France.
-Top 12 The Best Artwork Bazaar Art Award 2011, Harper's Bazaar Indonesia and Vanessa Art Link Jakarta.
- Elected as one of Indonesian Young Heroes by Aplaus The Lifestyle Indonesia.
2010: - The Best Painting Artwork, Dies Natalis XXVI, Indonesian Institute of Art Yogyakarta.
2010: - The Best Watercolor Painting, Indonesian Institute of Art Yogyakarta.
2010: - The Best Sketch, FSR Indonesian Institute of Art Yogyakarta.
1997: - Selected Painter: Local Government of Yogyakarta and Kyoto Japan Painting Cooperation.
1995-1997: - The champion of 15 children art competitions in Jogjakarta and Central Java.
14. Do you have regular collectors? Yes. Some of them like to collect regularly and they are from foreign countries.
15. Since this is the issue of August 17, what contributions have you given to our country? I helped poor people. I also particularly like to give food to beggars, abandoned children and especially those who are mentally ill . I really hate the Government rule that forbid giving money to beggars. It's a cruel rule. This country will be very wonderful if people are willing to share with poor people. At the moment, I’m not able to give much for my country. A moment later, I want to be able to give as much as I can. I want to give my whole self to the country.
16. How is your way to introduce Indonesia in the eyes of the world? The most concrete way is through my artworks and various events such as art exhibitions and publications in mass media.
17. What message you want to convey through your paintings to the art lovers? No message, whatsoever. I just want to share my ideas and life awareness to make the world more radiant.
18. Who has the important role to your career advancement? My father, Sri Harjanto Sahid, and my mother, Wara Anindyah.  Also collectors, curators, galleries and mass media colleagues who always support me.
19. What keeps you motivated in the profession as a painter? My belief since I was a child that I was born to become a painter.
20. What is the plan you want to accomplish in the next five years? I want to finish my Master's, and Doctoral degrees. In this 7th semester, I’m allowed to take the final assignment because I have 3.9 GPA. Of course I will continue to work and hold exhibition. I want to participate in more international exhibitions and hopefully in the next 3 years I will be able to start building my art museum. I was asked by my dad to think about it. There are more than 2500 canvas paintings at my house that need to be managed and there are more than 700 paintings collection from many maestros including Hendra Gunawan, Basuki Abdullah, Widayat, Abdul Salam, Kartika Affandi, Nyoman Masriadi, and others. There is also a collection of nearly 10,000 books and hundreds of ancient maps.
21. What is the reason that you love Indonesia? I love Indonesia because my body, soul, and spirit belong to Indonesia. I will always proud to be an Indonesian.

Many thanks to Ayunda Pininta Kasih, CHIC Magazine (KOMPAS, Gramedia) and Trie Ayuningtyas.

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