Affandi’s Life and Work


1907 Born in Cirebon, West Java. His father, R. Koesoema, was Mantri Ukur at the Ciledug sugar plantation. Affandi dropped out from Senior High School (AMS-B) in Jakarta.
1933 Married 16-year old Maryati, from Bogor. One year later their daughter, Kartika, was born.
1935 Before taking up painting seriously, Affandi worked as a teacher. He also worked at a movie theatre in Bandung as the person in charge of checking the tickets and painted ads for the movie. He gave up these activities when he decided to take up painting professionally.
1950 Affandi joined the Kelompok Lima Bandung (The Bandung Group of Five) along with Hendra Gunawan, Barli, Sudarso and Wahdi. Affandi was their Chairman. It was not a structured organization but more of a study group, aimed at helping and giving assistance to fellow painters. [Kelompok Lima Bandung contributed significantly to the development of the fine arts in Indonesia]
1943-1944 Held his first exhibition at Gedoeng Poetera, Jakarta during the Japanese occupation. He took a part in the Cultural Section of Poetera (Poesat Tenaga Rakjat – The Peoples Power Centre) under the guidance of Ir. Soekarno, Drs. Mohammad Hatta, Ki Hajar Dewantara and Kyai Haji Mas Mansur. In Poetera, Affandi served as the Chairman of the working committee while S.Soedjojono was the Executive Chairman. They reported to Bung Karno.
1945-1948 Prior to and after the Declaration of Indonesias Independence, and later during the armed struggle against the Dutch occupational forces, he was actively involved in painting posters encouraging people to take arms against the Dutch. This activity was done in cooperation with other painters and artists who belonged to the Cultural Section of Poetera such as S.Soedjojono, Dullah, Trubus and Chairil Anwar.Moved to Yogyakarta and founded the Seniman Masyarakat (Peoples Artists Association) together with Hendra Gunawan. It was aimed at giving practice to young people who were keen on painting.
1948 Moved to Jakarta and became one of the founder of Gabungan Pelukis Indonesia (Union of Indonesian Painters)
1949-1951 Received a scholarship from the government of India to joint The Art School Shantineketan Tagore University. The Principal of The Art School at wise him to travel trough India for exhibition were in Shantineketan, Alahabat, New Delhi, Bombay, and Madras.
1951-1956 Went on exhibitions tour of European Countries (London : Brithis Museum, Den Haag, Belgium, London and Italy).He was appointed by the Indonesian government to represent Indonesia, Brazil (1952) Venice and Sao Paolo (1956). His exhibition troughout Europe were aimed at attracting the worlds attention to the young Republic of Indonesia. Affandi did an excellent job of accomplising this task. The Indonesia government welcomed Affandis success by thanking him with a telegram the sender was Bung Karno himself The first President of Indonesia.
1957 Awarded a grant from the US government to study methods of art education and to stay in the US for four months. He held an exhibition at the World House Galleries in the New York Press Club.
1962 Appointed as a visiting professor in the Art Department of Ohio State University.

Back to Indonesia permanenly choise the city of Yogyakarta because of culture activity and than his thinking for the future to make The Museum.

1967 Commision a fresco mural at the East West Centers Jefferson Hall in Hawaii USA.
1968 Completed a fresco mural at the East-West Centers Jefferson Hall in Hawaii.
1969 Awarded the Anugerah Seni and Gold Medal Merit Award by Indonesias Ministry of Culture and Education.

Received Honorary Life Membership of the Jakarta Academy.

Elected as the Chairman of IAPA (International Association of Plastic Arts) for Indonesia – an international organization under the auspices of UNESCO.

1970 Expo 1970 in Osaka joint exhibition with some other Artist of Indonesia Exhibition Library in Bangkok Thiland cooperative with UNESCO.
1973 Appointed by the Indonesian government to represent Indonesia at the Biennial Exhibition in Sydney, Australia.
1974 Received an Honorary Doctorate degree from the University of Singapore.
1977 Received the International Peace Award from the Dag Hammerskjold Foundation and the title of Grand Maestro. Appointed as a member of the Human Rights Academy from the Central Academy of Peace, Pax Mundi, in Florence, Italy. Accompanied by his wife, Maryati, made the Haj pilgrimage to Mecca, at the invitation from the King.
1978 Received the Bintang Jasa Utama from President Soeharto for his outstanding contribution to the nation.
1979 Held a joint exhibition with his daughter Kartika in Victoria, Australia.

Between 1979-1983 held various family exhibitions in Medan, Surabaya, Jakarta, and Bandung.

1984 Represented Indonesia in a solo exhibition in Houston, Texas, concerning the Indonesian Arts and Handicrafts Festival.
1985 Gave his first joint exhibition together with S. Soedjojono and Basuki Abdullah RA at Pasar Seni Jaya Ancol Gallery, Jakarta.
1986 Held a solo exhibition at Taman Ismail Marzuki, Jakarta, and a joint exhibition at Pasar Seni Jaya Ancol Gallery together with Kartika, Nashar, S. Sulebar, and Nunung S.

Appointed as a member of ISIs Dewan Penyantun (Steering Committee), Yogyakarta.

1987 Affandi turned 80 and held a retrospective exhibition of his work in Gedung Pameran Seni Rupa, Jakarta.
1988-1989 Family exhibition in Surabaya and Denpasar, Bali.
1990 Affandi passed away on 23 May 1990 at 4.30 p.m. and burried outside his museum in Yogyakarta.

A posthumous exhibition was held at the Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC, USA.

To commemorate the 100th days of his death and a century of Vincent van Gogh’s death a joint exhibition was held in Museum Affandi, Yogyakarta, Taman Budaya Semarang and Braga Art Gallery, Bandung.

1990-1991 Took part in KIAS joint exhibition in USA.

Participated in Indonesian Festival in the USA 1990-1991 in Washington DC. The exhibition’s theme was Affandi in America

1993 A joint exhibition with his daughter, Kartika, was held to commemorate the 1000th days of Affandi’s death with the co-operation of The Affandi Foundation, the Department of Culture and Education and the Kartini Foundation.

The exhibition took place in the Exhibition Hall, Department of Culture and Education, Jakarta, on July 31- August 8 1993. The theme was “Introspection behind Affandi’s Faces”.

A joint exhibition with other painters in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia in Asia-Pacific Triennial on September.

1995 Took part on the Contemporary Art Exhibition, Non-Alligned Countries, in Jakarta. For this exhibition, Affandi’s sun symbol was used as the official logo.

Took part on an exhibition during The International Conference on Cultural Tourism (ICCT) in Yogyakarta.

1996 Participated on “Asian Modernism” Art Exhibition held by The Japan Foundation together with another Asian artists from Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines. The exhibition was started in Tokyo (1995) and was continued throughout the three countries.

Family exhibition in Regent Hotel, Jakarta.

1997 Joint exhibition The birth of Modern Art in South East Asia: Artists and Movements in Japan, held by Fukuoka Art Museum.
1998-1999 Collection Exhibition Series Imaging Selves at the Singapore Art Museum.
1999 Invited and represented as the first painter in a solo exhibition Modern Artist Affandi at The Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Fukuoka Japan.
2000 Took part on the exhibition Southeast Asian Paintings: Visions and Enchantment, at the Singapore Art Museum.