HARIS CHANDRA AND HIS TRANSCENDENTAL CONNECTION TOWARD INDONESIAN FINE ARTS.
"Art is the highest thing for humans, and it can be said that art crosses at everything, from culture, ethnicity, to political views. That's why art is the answer for us if we want to improve ourselves. "
This is the first time we meet Haris Chandra face-to-face during the pre-exhibition of Lugas Syllabus’s viewing room in Linda Gallery, Jakarta. Haris, who is known for his role as a vice-president of the Indonesian-Chinese Association (INTI), lately started to take an interest in collecting fine art, especially sculptures of Nyoman Nuarta, one of the famous Indonesian Artists based in Bandung. It is his first time buying collectible art as he assumed that he is a new collector. His interests attracted us to know more about him. Right at the moment, we tried to ask his permission to do some interviews. We sat face to face between the Nyoman Nuarta’s Moksha- A sculpture that Haris Bought for the first time from the Linda Gallery – with Lugas Syllabus’s painting hanging in the background. Once the camera turned on, the interview started to begin.
Q: What makes you interested in collecting fine art?
Haris: Actually, this story came since I was younger whether I do not know if I have art DNA in my blood, but one thing that I can assure, I like something beautiful. I like to buy paintings since I was young, but that (paintings) are not categorized as collectible items. One day I was attending an art fair in China. I’m a little bit confused “how come this one art fair can be so crowded.” Then I saw one of the Chinese national flowers (painting) there. I succeeded in bringing that painting home, and after I put it in my house, I feel tranquil toward it, and my love for art is getting bigger every day for every painting, which I think is good.
Q: What is the story behind your first-bought painting?
Haris: That (peony flowers) is actually a modest painting that symbolizes prosperity. With that kind of theme, we as a Chinese descendant must be understood toward the positive meaning behind this painting that obviously pleased me personally.
Q: Can you share with us your dream as an Art Collector?
Haris: Back in the crisis time in Indonesia in 1998, where the monetary crisis impacts all business sectors, I attended an art auction that was surprisingly crowded. I’m not a potential buyer, but I’m very enjoy looking at the people who are bidding on each other. Later I learn little by little (about bidding and auction), and one my, with my capability, I will follow the trace of the senior collectors and bid together with them in the future.
Q: Has any relatable connection between the paintings that you bought with yourself?
Haris: …... My friend urged me (to start collecting art), and I feel day by day, I can communicate with the art that I bought. That makes me craving more to collect since I bought my first painting. Every time I went abroad for a business trip, the first thing I like is visiting museums, second, to galleries, it can be roadside galleries or famous galleries. I have a target, which is to bring 1 painting home. Currently, there are several collections of at least one painting from every country that I visit in my house.
Q: Can you advise people who are started to take an interest in collecting art?
Haris: Art is the highest thing for humans, and it can be said that art crosses at everything, from culture, ethnicity, to political views. That's why art is the answer for us if we want to improve ourselves. By looking at the person who understands art, we can understand the level of that person, and art is not limited to painting, but music and literature too.