Indonesian (1942 - 2009)

An influential figure in the course of Indonesian abstraction, Umi Dachlan (1942-2009) is known for her distinct iconography of organic colour blocks lined with maroon and gold accents. The Bandung-trained artist drew inspiration from Islamic philosophy, the natural landscape and music. The influence of Ahmad Sadali (1924-1987), her teacher at Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), demonstrated itself in the two’s affinity for depicting the divine on canvas. While her earlier works were more spontaneous, Umi Dachlan gradually saw artmaking as a slow, contemplative process.

Reflecting the worldview of the Islamic faith, Umi Dachlan also saw the natural environment as God’s creations. This view compelled her unique technique of faint scratching and layering of oils, which culminated in immaculate surface textures mimicking the earth and rocks. Her varied tones of terracotta, violet and maroon imitated the colours of the earth, while her trademark use of gold seamlessly linked experiences of both the natural and divine. With these unique approaches, her works undoubtedly command a sense of timelessness.  

Umi Dachlan’s works have been displayed in an impressive number of group exhibitions across countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Belgium, Denmark and the Netherlands. This exposure existed despite the artist being one of the few female Indonesian abstract painters at the time, as demonstrated by her being ITB’s third female graduate in 1968 and first female lecturer in 1969. Indeed, the artist had a place amongst the new generation of modern Indonesian artists, alongside Popo Iskandar, Fadjar Sidik, Nashar and Zaini.
A portrait of Indonesian artist, Umi Dachlan


Umi Dachlan: Metaphors for Humanity
Author: Vivyan Yeo

ISBN: 978-981-14-9446-8
Paperback, 248 pages



1942 Born in Cirebon, West Java, Indonesia
1961 Studies at The Art Department, Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB)
1969 Appointed as lecturer at Faculty of Fine Arts, ITB
Receives Wendy Sorensen Memorial Award, New York, USA for best painting
1977 Studies at Gerrit Rietveld Academy, Amsterdam, Holland
1981 Receives Badan Koordinasi Organisasi Wanita (BKOW Award) for Wanita Berprestasi (Best Woman Painter)
1983 Invited to be an honorary judge in the exhibition of young painters in the National Palace, Amsterdam, Netherlands
1991 Travels around the United States with Kartika Affandi, Farida Srihadi, Nunung Sulebar and Erna Pirous under the Indonesian Women's Artist Program, organised within the activities of Kebudayaan Indonesia di Amerika Serikat (KIAS, Indonesian Culture in the United States)
1992 Makes the Hajj pilgrimage
1999 Steps down as lecturer at ITB
2007 Receives the 30-year Satyalancana Karya Satya award from Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
2009 Passes away in Bandung

2013 Mythomorphic, Galleri III Affandi Museum, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
2010 Exhibition in Memory of the Artist Umi Dachlan "Mythomorphic", Affandi Museum, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
2009 Mythomorphic, Selasar Sunaryo Art Space, Bandung, Indonesia
2000 Solo Exhibition,Niaga Tower and Andi Galeri, Jakarta, Indonesia
1991 Solo Exhibition, Pusat Kebudayaan Perancis, Jakarta, Indonesia
1990 Solo Exhibition, Gallery Bandung, Bandung, Indonesia
1985 Solo Exhibition, The Japan Foundation Hall, Jakarta, Indonesia
1980 Solo Exhibition, Taman Ismail Marzuki (TIM), Jakarta, Indonesia
Solo Exhibition, Decenta Gallery, Bandung, Indonesia
1978 Exhibition of Painting and Tapestry/Wall Hanging, Museum TOLLENHUIS, Rijwijk, The Hague, Netherlands
Solo Exhibition, Galerie Jos, Eindhoven, Netherlands
1977 Solo Exhibition, TIM, Jakarta, Indonesia
1973 Solo Exhibition, Chase Manhattan Bank, Jakarta, Indonesia
1968 Solo Exhibition, ITB, Bandung, Indonesia

2017 Intuition/Abstraction, Art Stage Jakarta, Indonesia
2002- 2008 Breaking the Veils: Women Artists From the Islamic World (Travelling Exhibition), Porte d’Amboise, Rhodes, Greece
1999 12 Asian International Art Exhibition, Fukuoka, Japan Abstract Painting, Java Gallery, Kemang, Jakarta, Indonesia Lukisan Indoensia Menuju Millenium III, Graha Pena Jawa Pos, Surabaya, Indonesia Group Exhibition, Rudana Museum, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia
1997 13 Nutids Kunstnere fra Indonesien, Sophienholm – Nybrovej 401, Lyngby, Denmark
1996 9 Indonesian Contemporary Artist, Gothaer Kunst Forum, Koln, Germany 11th Asian International Art ExhibitionThe Metropolitan Museum of Art, Manila, Philippines From Script to Abstraction, Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts, Amman, Jordan
1995 Group Exhibition of Kyungsung University Lecturers and ITB Lecturers, Pusan, South Korea 10th Asian International Art Exhibition, Singapore 9th Indonesia Contemporary Visual Art , Belgium Embassy and Royal Academy of Fine Art, Antwerp, Belgium Istiqlal Contemporary Art – Festival Istiqlal II,Masjid Istiqlal and National Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia Contemporary Art of Non-Aligned Countries, Taman Ismail Marzuki (TIM), Jakarta, Indonesia
1994 9th Asian International Art Festival, Taipei, Taiwan Print and Painting Exhibition, Edwin Art Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia
1993 Lintasan Seni Indonesia, World Trade entre, Jakarta, Indonesia Painting Exhibition, Landmark Building, Jakarta, Indonesia 8th Asian International Art Festival, Fukuoka, Japan
1992 Flyways Project, Monterey County, Los Angeles, United States Paris – Jakarta, Gedung Seni Rupa Depdikbud, Jakarta, Indonesia 7th Asian International Art Exhibition, Merdaka Building, Bandung, Indonesia
1991 Painting Exhibition – A.D Pirous, Sunaryo, Umi Dachlan, Hotel Padma, Legian, Bali, Indonesia 5th Asian Art Festival Exhibition, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Misi Muhibah Malaysia – Indonesia Art Exhibition, Braga Art Gallery, Bandung, Indonesia
1990 Painting and Graphic Art Exhibition, Gallery Nyoman Gunarsa, Yogyakarta, Indonesia Painting and Print Exhibition, West Java Trade Centre, Bandung, Indonesia
1989 Painting Exhibition, 11 Women Artists, Grand Hotel Homann, Bandung, Indonesia
1988 Indonesia – Perancis, Gedung Balai Pertumuan Ilmiah, ITB, Bandung, Indonesia
1986 Group Exhibition, Yayasan Kebudayaan Gallery, Bandung, Indonesia
1984 Group Exhibition, Gallery Nikko, Bandung, Indonesia International Art Exhibition of Women Artists, Vienna, Australia
1983 Arts Exhibition, Purna Budaya Museum, Yogyakarta, Indonesia Painting Exhibition, Geneva, Switzerland
1982 Indonesian Women Painters, Lembaga Indonesia Amerika, Jakarta, Indonesia
1981 Drawing Exhibition by Fine Arts and Design Lecturers, Gallery Sumardja, Bandung, Indonesia
1979 The National Exhibition of Calligraphy, Semarang, Indonesia Contemporary Painting Exhibition, Meno Park Museum, Tokyo, Japan
1976 Painting Exhibition by Women Painters, Gedung Stovia, Jakarta, Indonesia Painting exhibition by Kartika-Sriyani-Umi Dachlan, TIM, Jakarta, Indonesia Painting exhibition by Kartika-Sriyani-Umi Dachlan, Gallery Sumardja, ITB, Bandung, Indonesia Group Exhibition, Gadjah Mada Campus, Yogyakarta, Indonesia Biennale II, TIM, Jakarta, Indonesia 100 Years Anniversary of Indonesian Paintings, Museum Taman Fatahilah, Jakarta, Indonesia
1974 Painting Exhibition, TIM, Jakarta, Indonesia Young Artists Asian Festival of Contemporary Art, Malaysia and Singapore
1972 Grand Exhibition of Indonesian Painting ‘72, TIM, Jakarta, Indonesia
1971 Group 18, TIM, Jakarta, Indonesia
1970 Biennale I, TIM, Jakarta, Indonesia Painting Exhibition, United Nations Headquarters, New York, United States
1969 Painting Exhibition of Wanita Pelukis, Balai Budaya, Jakarta, Indonesia Group Exhibition, Gallery Malacang, Manila, Philippines
1968 Exhibition of Group Pelukis Muda Indonesia, Lembaga Persahabatan Indonesia, - Amerika, Jakarta, Indonesia Pelukis Seluruh Indonesia, TIM, Jakarta, Indonesia Painting Exhibition of Young Indonesian Painters, Jakarta, Bandung, Yogyakarta, Gedung Kwartir Gerakan Pramuka, Jakarta, Indonesia
1967 Studio 13, Gedung Merdaka, Bandung, Indonesia