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26.000 x 20.000 x 1.000 inches
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Foothills Of Tangkuban Perahu Jawa Barat Java Indonesia 2008
Painting - Oils On Canvas
The village of Cikole lies nestled in the foothills of the Burangrang mountains, in the Javanese province of Jawa Barat. This crop of high grass, which the locals call Rumpur Belalang, is destined for animals, during the dry season. Nearby volcano of Tangkuban Perahu, which I had intended to paint, was covered with a dense mist reeking of Sulfur, which the crater constantly released into the atmosphere. Warnings prevent tourists and locals, not to venture too deep into the crater, as suffocating fumes have proven deadly in the past. Indonesia is peppered with volcanoes, given its location along the ring of fire, which covers most of the south Pacific. Tangkuban Perahu literally means "overturned boat", given its unique shape.
Looking down into this crater reminded me once again of the volatile nature of the earth's crust, especially along this region, where recent volcanic activity have taken many lives and spewed toxic gasses into an already heavily polluted atmosphere. Java is heavily populated and most inhabitants desperately poor, subsisting on rice, chicken and fish, which are prepared in a myriad different ways with the addition of exotic spices.
The dignity with which locals ward off impoverishment, is testimony to their nobility of spirit. This becomes very apparent when traveling through the region, mixing with locals along their daily arduous routine.They are eager to please, and offer lessons in humility, from which the west can certainly learn. This is anchored by their steadfast faith in Islam. Further east where Hinduism prevails the atmosphere is different.
August 25th, 2009
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