Poisonous Beauty – Kompas.id

The flower painting by Elma Lucyana Christin (30) is entitled ”Lily of the Valley” with mixed media in a circle with a diameter of 140 centimeters . This work is displayed in the exhibition Fur & Foliage at Artloka Gallery, Jakarta Art Hub, at Wisma Geha, Jakarta, which opened on Saturday (16/3/2024) and lasts until 6 April 2024.

“Lily of the Valley” is a type of small lily or trumpet flower that grows in subtropical regions. When touched and a part of the flower enters the mouth, it can poison our digestive system.

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“This is a story about a beautiful poisonous flower. I want to convey that not all beautiful things can be touched,” said Elma, a woman from Bontang, East Kalimantan, who studied Interior Design at Trisakti University, Jakarta from 2013 to 2018.

Since 2013 until now, Elma has been living and working in Jakarta. She decided to start painting in 2020 when she started a relationship with her colleague who is also a painter.

“When I first encountered the world of canvas, I felt confused about where to start painting. Then, it just flowed naturally to draw a flower,” said Elma.

Elma realizes that her subconscious mind is starting to work. Since she was little, she has been familiar with flowers because her mother in Bontang has a job as a flower arranger. Her mother has a business of arranging flowers for various purposes, such as weddings and funerals.

Her mother used various types of flowers, both real and fake ones. What stuck most in Elma’s memory was her mother frequently arranging various types of orchids combined with asparagus leaves.

Since she was a child, Elma has enjoyed drawing. In addition, Elma enjoys arranging various objects around her. These objects are arranged and have their own beauty. She imagines her hobby as her mother’s activity in arranging flowers, only in a different medium.

“While painting, it turns out my desire to assemble objects also grew back. I started to develop collage techniques in my canvas field, until eventually forming three-dimensional flower paintings that became a semi-sculpture in my canvas field,” said Elma.


The semi-sculpture painting works themed with flowers and butterflies by Elma Lucyana Christin (30) were displayed in the Fur & Foliage exhibition at the Artloka Gallery, Jakarta Art Hub, on Thursday (March 21, 2024).

The canvas painting turned into a frame for attaching three-dimensional flowers. Elma used wire and paper to manipulate the shape of the flower petals. She called it a semi-sculpture because the colorful flower painting still dominates.

“I allow visitors to touch each of my works,” said Elma.

Of course, her work titled “Lily of the Valley” can also be felt by visitors because it is not a real poisonous flower. This is where Elma begins to play with the world of messages and the context of her work enters the realm of contemporary art. Not everything beautiful can be touched because beauty can be toxic.

Flowers penetrate the cage

Elma also showcased three butterfly works in three-dimensional form. She used clothes hangers as an important framework symbolizing butterflies, like beautiful clothes that anyone can wear, including herself.

This work was created in 2023 when there was an event that made me feel like I was in a cage. At that time, I thought of myself as a flower that had to be able to break through the cage.

Then there is another artwork titled “Hidden Chamber”. Elma used half of a bird cage made of iron and ordered from Jepara, Central Java.

Elma placed flowers inside the birdcage. The flowers growing inside the cage were compared to herself, able to grow and break through the confines of the cage.

Elma talks about the absence of boundaries in creating art. When we start pursuing art, everything must be done to break through every boundary we feel.

“This work was created in 2023 when there was an event that made me feel like I was in a cage. It occurred to me then that I was like a flower that had to be able to break through that cage,” said Elma.

Through her artistic works, Elma enters the world of flowers. She said she is currently compiling her own flower encyclopedia. This encyclopedia tells the story of herself.


Nine paintings themed around pet cats by Mohammad Taufik were displayed in an exhibition titled Fur & Foliage at the Artloka Gallery, Jakarta Art Hub, on Thursday (March 21, 2024).

In addition to Elma, the participants in the Artloka exhibition also include Mohammad Taufik (Emte), Sakia Gita Sakanti, and Tulus Mulia. This exhibition with the theme of the world of plants and animals has received a unique response.

Mohammad Taufik, who is affectionately called Emte, presented nine paintings with themes of pet cat behavior. Each of them used acrylic paint on canvas measuring 50 cm x 50 cm.

“I also keep cats. “By keeping a cat, I can feel calmer, more at peace, and I can even chat with the cat, even if it’s like I’m chatting with myself,” said Emte.

Emte exhibited his artwork in a unique way. He painted figures and objects around the cat with black monochromatic colors. The cat itself was given a pink color.

Every daily narrative is displayed for each painting, for example a painting of a female figure at a dining table. She is seated with a cat next to her. There is a piece of bread, a cup of drink, and a book on the table.

Emte gave it the title “Let Me Tell You a Tail”. Actually, the word tail is a kind of pun on the word tale which means story or fairy tale. Emte gives a narrative about someone in the painting wanting to tell a story from a book to his cat.

“The title of my work is a playful use of words due to my love for cats,” said Emte, while sharing more of their works titled “I’m Feline Fine”, “Ro-meow & Juliet”, “So Fur So Good”, “Fu-get About It!”, and so on.

Land in painting

Jakarta Art Hub features several galleries. Among these galleries, there are those that hold exhibitions with the aim of attracting as many visitors as possible at once.

Galeri V&V, one of the galleries that opened an exhibition concurrently with Artloka, titled “Abstract Perspective: Colors in Motion”. The owner of Galeri V&V, Wilian Robin, displayed a number of abstract paintings from several artists. One unique abstract painting was exhibited by Elka Alva (36) from Lumajang, East Java, who used soil for one of the colors in her painting. Elka displayed three of her abstract paintings titled “I Can’t Wait” (2024), “Are You Really Crying?” (2020), and “Best Good Night Wishes” (2019).

“I first began using soil for painting colors when a canvas I placed outside the studio had marks of splattered soil that had been exposed to water from a faucet. This happened around 2014,” said Elka, a graduate of the Indonesian Art Institute (ISI) Yogyakarta for the 2009-2014 period.

Elka shared her experience. After graduating from ISI Yogyakarta, she returned to Lumajang for eight months. There, she helped her parents take care of their poultry farm.


The abstract painting by Elka Alva (36) from Lumajang, East Java, featuring the use of soil as one of its coloring materials, was displayed on Thursday (March 21, 2024) in the exhibition entitled “Abstract Perspective: Color in Motion” at the V&V Gallery, Jakarta Art Hub.

Elka then returned to Yogyakarta. She stayed at a boarding house that her fellow artist friend from Bali turned into a studio. There is a yard in the house that Elka uses to prepare her painting canvases.

When Elka found her canvas covered in dirt, she didn’t rush to clean it. She gazed at it carefully and felt a beauty element in the splashes of wet dirt on her canvas.

“From that incident, I was fortunate enough to be able to rent my own house. Behind the house, there is still an open yard and that’s where I started developing many experiments of abstract paintings with soil,” said Elka.

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Raw canvas or those that have not been given a base color are chosen because they can absorb soil color better. Elka uses various methods. There are canvases that are immersed in water that has been given soil, and there are also canvases that are scratched with soil.

The latest exhibited painting titled “I Can’t Wait” tells the story of the artist’s desire to not wait in obtaining wealth. Elka spontaneously expressed that. The other two abstract paintings were created to express the feelings being experienced.

The Jakarta Art Hub currently includes Galeri Rubanah, Andis Gallery, Sewu Satu, Museum of Toys, Jagad Gallery, Slab, Artloka, V7V Gallery, Rachel Gallery, Unicorn Gallery, Art Agenda, and Eugene Studio. In addition to presenting beauty for the eyes, many works are also displayed with interesting narratives.

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