martinus sumbaji

martinus sumbaji

gianyar, bali, Indonesia

About martinus sumbaji

Martinus Sumbaji with the short name Em Sumba was born in 1973 in Lampung, southern Sumatera. He moved to Jakarta in 1994,where he worked for a Japanese animation studio until 1999. While working in this studio he developed his own painting technique. He began painting photo-realistically,then,went through a long process making black and white sketches to find his own style.

For Martinus Sumbaji, the act of painting is a journey of the soul, based on his life experiences. That is why he makes many sketches, a form of picture-writing which is capable of expressing his thoughts or noting his observations. These sketches act as the data base for new paintings, and , he continues to work on then, and allows himself many changes,until he accepts them as the basis for his works.

Many of em sumba's paintings are humorous, some are personal, and others violent. The shapes of the objects he shows may often be distorted, and the subject he chooses depends on what he feels at the time when he starts a new work.It could be symbols, animals, or the human situation in general. Martinus Sumbaji's themes can derive from a wide variety of sources, which can included references to western art history, ideas from popular culture, and inspiration from traditional Indonesia mythology.

As the images in Martinus Sumbaji's paintings depend on his personal situation at the time, his art has the character of a witty, personal, and intimate diary in which he records fragments of his own life, and attempts to make sense of his life and environment.


Work in Animation Studio Japanese Style in Jakarta, 1994-1999.


March 8 - April 30 2019
Group exhibition;
"A Man of Sorrows": Contemporary Portraits of Christ in His Passion,
Upper Arlington Lutheran Church, Mill Run Campus
Hilliard, Ohio, USA



2013 : “BLUR OF ID”, Ganesha Gallery, Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay-Bali
2010 : “MOBILE OF IMAGINATION”, Three Monkeys Cuisine & Art Café Ubud-Bali
2009 : “WHO AM I?”, Adi’s Gallery Ubud-Bali


2019 : "A Man of Sorrows": Contemporary Portraits of Christ in His Passion,
Upper Arlington Lutheran Church, Mill Run Campus
Hilliard, Ohio, USA

2016 : “SMALL WORKS”, Contemporary works under 20”, Limner Gallery, Hudson, New
York, USA
2013 : “RITUAL BENTENG”, Festival Plengkung Gading, Asdrafi Art Space, Jogjakarta
: “BABARAN”, Asdrafi Art Space, Jogjakarta
: “PAINTED in INDONESIA, EXHIBITED in UBUD # 2”, Arma Museum, Ubud-Bali
2012 : “PAINTED in INDONESIA, EXHIBITED in UBUD # 1”, Adi’s Gallery, Ubud-Bali
: “retreART”, Gaya Fusion Art Space, Sayan-Bali
2011 : “ON the WAY TO USA”, Adi’s Gallery, Ubud-Bali
: “BLACK BOX”, Baliwood Resort Art Space, Mansion Sayan-Bali
: “OH FOR DOG’S SAKE!”, Naka Contemporary Art Space Kuta-Bali
: “ADI’S ART FAIR”, Adi’s Gallery ubud-bali
2010 : “INDEPENDENT ART”, Three Monkeys Cuisine & Art Café bersama KSP Ubud-Bali
: “POST MODERN RAMBLING”, Ganesha Gallery Fourseasons Jimbaran Bali
2009 : “REFLECTION ”, Hanna Art Space Ubud-Bali
2008 : “TOGETHERNESS”, Bale Seni Kamandalu ubud-bali
: “NAIVELY BALI”, Kebun Mimpi Gallery, KL- Malaysia
: “BLACK AND WHITE”, Bharata Gallery, ubud-bali
2004 : “AREA TERBUKA “, MBC Park Kuta-bali
2001 : Jambore Seni Rupa Nasional, Ancol – Jakarta
: “TRANSIT”, Ancol Gallery, Jakarta


2010 ; Carpenter, Bruce, A Stroke of Zeitgeist, Hello Bali Magazine
P. 62-63, July-October 2010.