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Disharmony
1999
444 x 394 cm
Oil paint on canvas






Chusin Setiadikara

Chusin Setiadikara was born in Bandung in 1949. He studied painting at the Barli Sasmitawinata Studio (1976 – 1980). He has taken part in several exhibitions, such as: “Massa Kintamani” (solo) at CP Artspace (2004); CP Open Biennale 2003; “Post-Photography Realistic Portrayal” (solo) at the National Gallery (2002); and “Indonesian Contemporary Art Exhibition”, Museum of Modern Art, Moscow (2000).

Disharmony was created in stages over the period of 1998 – 2005. This work depicts the violence and terror of big cities, specifically violence based in hatred and the desire to hurt the victim.

Unlike the homogenous communities living in villages, the populace of the cities is very heterogenous. This diversity exacerbates the competition for existing space in almost all sectors. Within this kind of situation, competition becomes exceedingly fierce, social jealousy intensifies, and hatred threatens at every moment.

Socio-psychological research has discovered a dramatic increase in violence in large cities. The main reasons for this violence are racial, ethnics and religious biases, and jealousy among the social classes. Data collected by the National Institute Against Prejudice and Violence (NIAPAV) in Baltimore, the United States, up to now indicates that the quantity and quality of this kind of violence have been increasing consistently. The vast majority of this kind of violence has been carried out by mobs and consistently directed at minorities existing in a weaker position. The level of brutality in these acts of violence increases along with the size the group perpetrating it. Mob violence allows for anonymity, in the sense that the perpetrators of the violence lose their personal identity. In this kind of situation, participants lost their human consciousness.

A kind of pleasure is derived from participation in this type of violence, which is an indication that the perpetrators return to the immature emotional state of children. The basis for this exists in city life where there are many instances in which children fail to develop the sensitivity to differentiate between sensibility and comprehension; love and hate; evil and goodness, as well as personal rights and the individual rights of others. The strength of racial, ethnic, and group identities create a climate of competition among societal groupings that cause the things taught within families to plant inadvertently seeds of hatred toward other groups.

The formulation of hatred within a family unit makes it difficult for a child to understand and feel the difference between good and bad within a social setting. Various studies have found that the perpetrators of violence often believe they have the permission or support of their families to carry out their violent actions. They feel that the group that they hate is a source of evil that they must destroy.

The unstable political situations and difficult economic conditions of the cities result in the increasing frequency of this violence based in hatred. This situation creates a feeling of insecurity and fear that makes people resort to the most basic of survival instincts. Within these conditions hatred becomes a determining force. (Jim Supangkat)

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