Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Fine Art in Stamps

Tirana Art House and Kitchen
14 April - 6 May 2018

Welcome to the “Assembly” of Nations.

This exhibition is a cultural encounter through small pieces of stamp, the evidence of payment of postage. Although recently the use of postage stamp has significantly decreased in number due to the existence of new technologies that make paperless correspondence possible and make telecommunication be done digitally and virtually, the appeal of stamps do not fade out. From a piece of stamp, people can learn something. Apart from being a romantic past, this exhibition can also be recollection of history of nations, interpretation of aesthetic taste (and politics) of a country through its government or institution publishing the stamps, and discussion about the copy rights of the country’s treasure.   

In particular it presents fine art-themed stamps ever released by 31 countries i.e. the Netherland, Rwanda, Germany, United States of America, United Emirate Arab, China, Singapore, Romania, Yemen, Moçambique, Hungary, some France’s colonies, etc. The fine art refers to the images on the stamps, for example, the portraits of artists and their works. There are stamps with the legendary artist portraits of Rembrandt, Rubens, S. Sudjojono, etc, and stamps with images of masterpiece paintings. More than 150 pieces of stamps have been selected for this exhibition. 

In the field of philately, one of important subjects to be studied is the adoption of works of fine art as themes printed on stamps. These themes can be found on the stamps produced by almost every country in the world. In this exhibition are presented stamps with images of paintings selected from the list of the history of modern fine art, especially the European modern paintings. For that reason, this exhibition uses the term “Fine Art”. Some of the paintings used as the stamps’ images are those from the era of Renaissance (1300-1600), such as Leonardo da Vinci’s _“Monalisa”_ and other works by great names like Raphael, Fragonard, and Diego Velazquez.  There are stamps with paintings of realism (by Gustave Courbet), surrealism (by Dali), cubism (by Picasso), and contemporary ones like the images of Disney cartoon. The rest are of traditional visual art works from Japan and China. Regarding the arts from Indonesia, the stamps feature the works of Raden Saleh, Basoeki Abdullah, Popo Iskandar, Srihadi Soedarsono, etc. 

This agenda wants to make a stamp exhibition to be more modern and dynamic, especially for stamp enthusiasts and philatelists. It is one of the ways to see the convergence of art disciplines that generates different assumptions and opinions. In addition, stamps are also treated as objects of collection that are very highly priced. A stamp becomes the sign of time, evidence of history, and object of art that can be further studied. Accordingly, these stamps need to be presented to public. 

This exhibition presents only some of the collection of Dicti Art Laboratory, Yogyakarta. The stamps currently on display are those published from the 1950s to 2000s. Each stamp is represented by two types; one being the tiny piece of paper that has been used on an envelope, and the other one being which has not been used, printed on papers sized from A6 to A5. The stamps are reproduced to help viewers see the details of them. 

Examining the features of every piece of stamp such as the text of country name, the text of celebration day and the image, these stamps are interestingly unique. In most of them, the concept of demography and territorial border are ignored. For example, a stamp with the image of Raden Saleh’s painting was printed by Singapore, a stamp with Rubens’ painting by Germany and the image of the famous painting _“Monalisa”_ was put on stamps by countries other than France (where the original painting is displayed). It certainly marks the global nature of artwork and at the same time also makes stamp as every country’s means to appreciate world masterpiece works.

Let’s travel around the world through these miniature of the nations.  

Mikke Susanto
(Dicti Art Laboratory)


DICTI ART LABORATORY The cultural partners who engaged in the work of art, mainly as a laboratory of art studies. The vision is to support and mobilize various arts programs as part of social life. Related programs such as research, preservation, curation, art management, filing, and book publishing are part of the agenda. This institute was founded by Mikke Susanto and Rina Kurniyati in 2010 as a form of their concern for the lack of existing art infrastructure in Indonesia.

Tirana Art Management
Tirana Art House and Kitchen
Jl Suryodiningratan 55 Yogyakarta
Open daily 09.00-24.00 WIB
Contact 01-827-7073
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