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ASEI, SENTANI 2010, 22″X33″

Sentani Arts

We have a two-fold mission. The first is to promote the beautiful indigenous art of the Lake Sentani region. Secondly, the regeneration of communities through the rich potential of a revived art form.

The Kombouw tree bark painting art form is a traditional art form of Sentani, home to the Sentani tribe of West Papua, Indonesia. This unique form of art originating from the beautiful Lake Sentani region has been passed down to generations but is rare to find outside due to its geographical inaccessibility. For the first time in Singapore, we have these beautiful works of art, each one hand-painted on bark cloth with motifs reflecting the life and culture of the Sentani tribe by master artisan Agustinus Ongge.

Agustinus Ongge or Agus as he is fondly known is a renowned bark cloth painter whose work has been exhibited worldwide. A deeply passionate man, he is also the Executive Director of LSM ISMOP, a local Foundation in Papua that strives to preserve and protect the art and culture of the Sentani region. Part of the proceeds from the sale of his works goes towards the Foundation where Agus is training a younger generation of bark-cloth artists.

It is hoped that a return to artists and their craft will build up a core of next generation artists who will preserve and revitalise this unique art form unique to them, a precious heritage to be treasured.

Rare bark art paintings

Sentani Arts is proud to have collaborated with Asian Culture Enterprise Singapore (ACES) in presenting “Rebirthing Traditions,” a solo exhibition by Agustinus Ongge aimed at regenerating communities through the arts. The exhibition was held as part of the “Generating Ideas—Generating Communities” theme for Asia on the Edge 2011.
“Rebirthing Traditions” featured signature pieces of Kombou tree bark paintings created between 2010 and 2011. 
Sentani Arts in partnership with the Sentani community through the LSM ISMOP Foundation is committed to revive this indigenous art form, which forms the backbone of their economy where three-quarters of the population practices Kombouw bark art painting.
A percentage from the sales of the works by Agus is pledged to the Foundation to ensure the continuity of art and cultural practices of the Asei Island community of Lake Sentani. To know that society and culture can be regenerated through the arts brings a sense of hope and future to Agus and his community.

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