Indonesian (1948 - 1994)

Sumatra-born Nashar (1948 – 1994) is known for his poetic interpretations of Indonesian landscape and human suffering. Having maintained that “an artist must not ask consent from other persons”, Nashar embarked on a journey of free expression that was contrary to the more formal and technical routes embraced by other Indonesian painters. Taught by Affandi and influenced by the works of Rusli, Zaini and Popo Iskandar, he aimed to investigate his subjects and capture their essence through intuition-led abstract paintings.

Nashar earned his reputation as a controversial “suffering” artist in Indonesia. Despite this, he often published writings that revealed both an optimistic outlook and his attraction to the romanticism of suffering. With his sensitive abstractions of stones, fish bones, plants and more, others also saw him as a “genuine artist” who painted without thought of economic gain. Rather, he saw painting as his sole service in life.

Throughout his life, Nashar was deeply embedded in the artistic landscape of Jakarta. After studying painting at Seniman Indonesia Muda (Indonesia Youth Painters), he joined the Gabungan Pelukis Indonesia (Indonesian Painter’s Collective) in 1949. He also helped to establish the Institut Kesenian Jakarta (Jakarta Arts Institute) and began lecturing there in 1970. From 1973, he was a member of the Dewan Kesenian Jakarta (Jakarta Arts Committee) and subsequently became the committee’s daily administrator from 1981 to 1984.
A portrait of the Indonesian artist, Nashar


Nashar, Mencari yang Samar
(Online Exhibition)

1928 Born in Pariaman, West Sumatra
1936 Moves to Bandung and later to Jakarta
1944 Quits junior high school
1945 Escapes to Central Java (Solo) and East Java (Madiun) at the end of Japanese occupation in Indonesia
1946 Becomes a member of Seniman Rakyat (People’s Artist) in Yogyakarta
1947 Becomes part of Seniman Indonesia Muda (SIM, Young Indonesia Artists) in Solo and meets S. Sudjojono, head of SIM association
1949 Returns to Jakarta
Joins Gabungan Pelukis Indonesia (GPI, Indonesia Painter’s Collective)
1959 Heads Organisasi Seniman Indonesia (OSI, Indonesian Artists Organisation)
1963 Signs the Manifes Kebudayaan (Manifesto of Culture)
1970 Begins lecturing at Institut Kesenian Jakarta (Jakarta Arts Institute)
1973 Becomes member of the Dewan Kesenian Jakarta (Jakarta Arts Committee)
1979 Rejoins as Jakarta Arts Institute as a lecturer
1981 Becomes daily administrator of the Jakarta Arts Commitee
1994 Passes away in Jakarta at the age of 66

2002 Nashar, Nashar Oleh Nashar. Jogjakarta: Yayasan Bentang Budaya.
1976 Nashar, Surat-Surat Malam (Night Letters). Jakarta: Pustaka Jaya.
1955 Nashar, “Pameran Pelukis Rakjat” Mimbar Indonesia, no. 34, IX, 17 August.