In 2008, Indonesian visual artist Oceu Apristawijaya undertook a three-month residency at Rimbun Dahan, accompanied by his wife Fadilla, who was volunteering at the international development organisation Third World Network.
In February 2012, returned to Malaysia and completed a mural at Hotel Penaga, created during his arts residency in George Town, Penang, under Rimbun Dahan and Hotel Penaga’s cultural program.
Under Protection presents treasures that need to be protected. “Our environment changes, as our culture does,” says the artist, “In this art work, both of them are in one unity that cannot be separated. Our culture gives us knowledge as our environment gives us life. By giving them space and time, we will always have reflection.”
The enormous mural stretches along an outside wall of Hotel Penaga beside a laneway between Lebuh Transfer and Lebuh Clarke, and is freely visible to the general public.
Oceu Apristawijaya started working in fine arts when he entered the Fine Arts Faculty of the Jakarta Institute, and was a member of Garajas Studio in Jakarta from 1993 to 1995. In 2002 he received a Bachelor degree in Fine Art with a focus on painting from Jakarta National University. He also studied graphic arts at SUDARFAST-Kraan Graphic Studio in Pondok Gede.
Oceu also volunteers for the non-profit organisation Sokola as an alternative education teacher for marginalized communities. He has taught literacy and alternative art methods for indigenous communities in Jambi and Bulukumba and for poor fishing villages in Flores and Makassar.
Oceu’s works centre around the theme of nature, and man’s relationships with it. He is hoping that his stay at Rimbun Dahan will help him develop the natural mood of his work and explore the diversity of nature, whether in Indonesia or in Malaysia.