The 110 painted portraits in acrylic and charcoal on canvas in mock aged-photography sepia-tones at Wei-Ling Gallery are poignant reminders of the 1965 Indonesian genocide – one of the most savage in recent history.
Some half a million to three million people were estimated to have been killed by the military and their marauding death squads, purportedly to purge communist or leftist-inclined elements in the wake of an abortive coup. Members and sympathisers of the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI), including Lekra, its artist component; those classified under the euphemism, Keterpengaruhan (state of being influenced); founding president Sukarno’s loyalists; remnants of royalists… the victims were mostly Chinese.
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