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Book source: Soeki Irodikromo, Sylvia M. Gooswit, OSO, jaargang 9, nummer 2, Dec 1990. ISSN 0167-4099 Een centinuum tussen traditie en vrijheid, Sylvia M. Gooswit, OSO, jaargang 16, nummer 1, Apr 1997. ISSN 0167-4099

Subject: [Arts] Soekidjan Irodikromo

While in Suriname, I took some batik lessons from the batik painter Soeki. Thus, it gives me always great pleasure to talk about him. Soekidjan Irodikrom was born on June 20, 1945 on the polder Pieterszorg on the rightbank of the Commewijne of Javanese parents. Soon after birth the family moved to the plantation Johannesburg. While his father worked at the plantation, his mother augmented his dad's wages with planting rice, raising chickens and cows. Soeki was the eldest child of 15 children. He had 9 brothers and 5 sisters. From 1961-1966, Soeki lived with his grandmom and near his uncle in Paramaribo where he attended the art school from Nola Hatterman. Then when the late President Lyndon B. Johnson visited Suriname in the 60s, one of Soekis paintings was prsented to the president. When Soeki received a STICUSA scholarship, he departed for Rotterdam to attend the fine arts academy from 1961-1966. After he completes the required drawing and painting courses, he studies ceramics. Upon his return to Suriname, he find it difficult to sell his paintings and he becomes an art teacher. Soeki received then a scholarship from the Indonesian embassy to study batik in Indonesia. Thus from 1978-1979 he attends classes in Yogyakarta. Upon his return from Java, Soeki introduces the art of batik in Suriname. He offered batik courses which were primarily attended by foreigners to his disappointment. The colors of Soeki's artwork reflect often his mood. In the beginning his subject were about wayang dolls and performances. Then he painted animals, plants and people. Still, you could recognize his Yogyakarta style and experience in his works. He often had to improvise as batik cotton and dyes became scarce in Suriname. This forced him to do more oil paintings. Be it batik or oil, Soeki has now become more influenced by his Suriname environment. --------

Met dank aan Albert Buys

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