This very large painting, measuring 4 metres x 10.85 metres (and this is one of the largest paintings in the world), consists of three rather curved panels and is located at the top of the wall facing the entrance foyer Bali Room of Hotel Indonesia Kempinski Jakarta. The painting, which depicts the rich flora and fauna in Indonesia, has been completely restored, with the restoration, begun in July 2019, having taken up to one year by Michaela Anselmini – Art Restoration Studio Sarasvati Art in which she presented and shared her great experience of the restoration of Lee Man Fong’s paintings from the Hotel Indonesia Kempinski, then followed by Jim Supangkat – Independent Curator in which he explained the aesthetic field, changes in social cultural values and historical awareness.
The Hotel Indonesia was first opened and inaugurated by President Soekarno on 5 August 1962, has been designed as a modern hotel that reflects the beauty of the archipelago’s charm and cultural diversity in Indonesia. This is reflected in one of the hotel walls, which is still displaying a number of works of Indonesian artists, including the panel paintings “Margasatwa dan Puspita Indonesia” by Lee Man Fong (1913–1988). When Hotel Indonesia was built, Bung Karno asked Lee to make this painting and hoped that it would become the largest painting in Indonesia. A commissioned work made at the request of President Soekarno was done by Lee Man Fong (LMF) while four assistants, namely Lim Wa Sim, Tjio Soen Djie, Siauw Swie Ching and Lee Rern, assisted in the process until the work was completed in 1962. The publication of this work was also included in one of the Presidential Palace’s collection books, at a time when LMF worked as a palace painter and professional painter in the universe of Indonesian painting. His attitude and artistry are undoubtedly amazing considering that a lot of his works were produced in the face of the historical, social and economic problems that resulted from the impact that industrialisation had in the fine arts field.
This restoration project as one of these masterpieces in Indonesia requires a synergy in the painting restoration process that cannot be separated from the involvement of various institutions and scientific disciplines. To encourage awareness and appreciation towards these Indonesian masterpieces, the Hotel Indonesia Kempinski is also taking plans to reorganize a heritage tour for guests.
For more information, please call +21 2358 3800 or visit kempinski.com/jakarta