Leovir's Exhibition Highlights Vulnerability of EmpressesArt & Culture
24-year-old Indonesian artist Leovir enchants his audience with camouflage artworks that are currently showcased at Alila Hotel Jakarta. His solo exhibition “Heritage of The Orients” is a brilliant combination of photography digital editing andold Chinese-style paintings, delivering a historical perspective about the portrait of empresses in the Dynasty era.
At first glance, his artworks look like oriental watercolour paintings, but after getting closer, one realizes that the “paintings” are actually photographic works embellished with brushstrokes and illustrations. Leovir’s oeuvre is unique as he sees himself as a photographer rather than a painter or an artist.
According to Leovir, he figured out this style of photography by incorporating the images with other elements of design, thus creating his signature style.
When you look at my artwork, you will realize that most of the women have sad and flat expressions. I am interested in Chinese history, and I try to understand more and adapt it into my works. I knew that Chinese empresses are never depicted with a bright or cheerful expression when I did some research from ancient Chinese paintings.
-Leovir, the artist
“I studied graphic design and then came across photography. It took me three years to develop my style. Personally, I love fashion, and that’s why my works are often associated close with fashion campaigns as well as fashion spreads and editorials in magazines,” Leovir explained at the exhibition opening on Monday.
Collaborating with Atreyu Moniaga Project, “Heritage of the Orients” showcases 13 creative photos by Loevir, which mostly feature Asian women in traditional clothing. Covered with a creme colour palette, he photographed Indonesian models and celebrities who posed at his studio, then edited the pictures using digital software, and perfected them with a brush to add the camouflage.
“Orient’s Tetralogy”, a series of four paintings, tells the story of Chinese empresses who led vulnerable and unhappy lives in the ancient kingdoms - an observation the artist made based on his knowledge in historical literature.
“When you look at my artwork, you will realize that most of the women have sad and flat expressions. I am interested in Chinese history, and I try to understand more and adapt it into my works. I knew that Chinese empresses are never depicted with a bright or cheerful expression when I did some research from ancient Chinese paintings,” Leovir said.
To produce the artworks for the exhibition, he worked with art directors and stylists, such as Ajeng Dewi Swastiari “Svastiari”, models as well as other prominent people of the fashion industry. The exhibition itself is curated by young Indonesian designer Rama Dauhan.
The exhibition runs through 15 March at Alila Jakarta.