IN COMMEMORATION of World Mental Health Day, ARTOTEL Suites Mangkuluhur Jakarta is holding a painting exhibition entitled ‘Tombo Ati’ which take place from 10 October 2023 to January 2024. This exhibition displays paintings by Rosita Rose, KaNA Fuddy Prakoso, and Sari Koeswoyo, and is curated by Diaz Ramadhansyah and this event was opened by Dr. Yuniar Sp.KJ, MMRS President Director RSJ Radjiman.

According to Dr. Yuniar said at the press conference of the opening exhibition on Tuesday (10/10) said that every October 10, the world celebrates World Mental Health Day, an event that has been going on for more than two decades.

“The Indonesian Ministry of Health describes mental health in two important concepts: ‘Mental health issues,’ covering various aspects that can increase the risk of mental disorders, which involve abnormal conditions in thoughts, behavior, and emotions, causing suffering and obstacles in fulfilling human roles. It is important to note that having mental health problems is not always the same as having a mental disorder,” she said.

Dr. Yuniar explained, therefore, efforts to increase awareness about the importance of maintaining mental health have become a priority that requires serious attention and action. One way to achieve this is through organizing art exhibitions.

In the Western world, visual arts have long been used as a tool for mental health recovery since the early 20th century. The concept of ‘Art Therapy’ emerged in the 1940s by Adrian Hill and Margaret Naumburg and gained formal recognition through the American Art Therapy Association (AATA) in 1969. Art exhibitions also provide a platform for artists to express their feelings and thoughts about mental health .

Meanwhile, when asked in this context of this exhibition chose ‘Tombo Ati’ as its theme, Diaz Ramadhansyah then answered ‘Tombo Ati’ literally translates as ‘inner vision,’ signifying wisdom and understanding that emerges from the depths of the heart to see, feel, reflect, and interpret.

“The works of art on display do not only function as visual expressions, but also manifest and reflect each artist’s interpretation of the chosen theme. Through the universal language of art, it opens doors to deeper worlds, bridging hearts and minds, and enabling a more refined understanding of the diversity of human experience,” Diaz said.

But remember the little singer Sari Yok Koeswoyo in the 1970s. The woman whose full name is Louisa Herning Hapsari is identical to Koes Plus. Yok Koeswoyo’s eldest daughter was once known as a child singer. But now, at the age of 55, Sari has transformed herself into the art of painting with a wayang theme.

Over the past year, Sari has completed five paintings inspired by what if Sari were a wayang? Sari often describes herself as a wayang. After that, when I saw people, I wondered what kind of puppet they would be. Sometimes I can’t sleep, then the puppets come to me to depict.

“Well, in one of the paintings entitled Bukan Wani Ditata or (not a woman arranged) or Woman, Sari depicts the face of a white woman with a smile. I prefer to say women rather than lady,” said the friendly Sari.

Viewing their works serves as a gateway to exploring realms we have never experienced before, reminding us of the power of art in forging strong connections between humans and themselves, as well as humans and the universe. Visual art is not only a visual expression, but also a means for introspection and understanding of ourselves and the world around us. []