Following uproar on social media on Friday, a painting entitled #The Indonesia Idea (.ID) by Galam Zulkifli at the new Terminal 3 of Soekarno-Hatta International Airport has been taken down by operator Angkasa Pura II because of its apparent inclusion of the face of late Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) leader D. N. Aidit.
Before being taken down, the painting was wrapped in white cloth to conceal it.
Netizens engaged in fierce debate about whether Aidit’s face was among the hundreds of national figures’ faces featured in the painting.
AP II corporate secretary and legal head Agus Haryadi responded to the discussion on Friday about 3 p.m., saying that he was not sure it was Aidit, but might rather be Sutan Sjahrir, the first prime minister of Indonesia and the founder of the Indonesian Socialist Party (PSI).
“We have been trying to contact Galam since this morning but he hasn’t answered. We want to confirm whether it is indeed Aidit, because it looks like Sutan Sjahrir,” Agus said as quoted by kompas.com.
Hours later, AP II decided to take the artwork down.
“We have taken it down because it has attracted debate on social media. We’re waiting for the curator’s explanation about the painting,” AP II acting president director Djoko Murjatmodjo told kompas.com.
The painting features hundreds of faces, including those of former presidents Abdurrahman Wahid and Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and historical leftist figures such as the PKI’s Musso and leftist Tan Malaka.
The painting’s brief description says, “As a stage, Indonesia is an enduring offering about the search for truth through debate. Ideas meet to find the formula, not only about the state, but also how to blend diversity from different languages to become one soul: national unity.”
Source: Jakarta Post, August 13 2016