Artisan Profiles: Agung

Agus Swantoro, or Agung for short, was born in August, 1961. Living in rural hamlet surrounded by ambrosial nature had inspired Agung to immortalize his fond memories on canvas. His depictions of kampong life can be described as somewhat comical yet deeply fascinating. His taste on art is often generic, but recent works have seen him maneuvering towards mythical beings that signify meaningful interpretations for certain customs and beliefs, especially in Asian countries.

Growing up without a formal education probably led Agung into oblivion about Western Art Movements. However, art students can relate Agung’s style to certain movements; his genre can be categorized as close to a cross between Cubism and Abstract Expressionism. The former stresses on geometric forms of objects from different angles and the latter emphasizes on form and colour rather than an actual subject.

Agung is literally translated as ‘Great’, and as his pseudonym represents, his work of art have always been deemed as magnificent. Take a look at his Batik paintings of ‘Peacocks on a Tree’ or ‘Tree of Life’ and one is sure to be mesmerized by the tones of colours, proportions, and great attention to details. For an expert, Agung works on Batik paintings effortlessly, although one can definitely discern the level of difficulty from his chef d’oeuvre paintings.

Art enthusiasts can easily pick up Agung’s distinct styles: Clear white background, colourful palette, and multiplication of a significant focal subject. Agung main muse (or muses, if you prefer) have always been animals like Phoenix, Dragon, Fish, and Turtles – all of which have positive meanings and energy for good Feng Shui. A good observer will be able to distinguish Agung’s painting to that of M. Yono’s; apparently Agung was M. Yono’s devout protégé. Born as a Virgo, Agung’s perfectionism and incredible personality has got him far – as far as the United States, Germany, and Portugal to exhibit his masterpieces.




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