An exhibition of a selection of the works of Indonesian painter, the late Semsar Siahaan, is currently on in the Cemara gallery in Jakarta. Anhybody in jakarta, should take the opportuinity to see these works. They include some of Semsar's black and white drawings as well as later works, painted in colour. It is also includes his "G8 Pizza" work - a work depicting the ugly inhumanity of capitalism.
Semsar, who also studied Marxist ideas while in Australia in the early 1990s, was an integral part of the anti-dictatorship and pro-people movement of the 1990s, often the victim of direct violence. He was a personality sensitive to the ugliness of capitalism and the pain suffered by the people. His paintings are infused with pain and they invert the ugliness and shattered ugliness of capitalist reality into a seering, moving kind of beauty. He absorbed that pain into himself too which shows through into his self-portratits, I think. See the example below.
Below is one of Semsar's later paintings where he moves to floral colours. Still the pain shows.
Below is an example of one of Semsar's earlier black and white works entitled, "Head", taken from Edi Cahyono's Semsar Gallery website.
For some more examples of Semsar's earlier black and white work see the example's on Edi Cahyono's Semsar Gallery site, such as burjuisi or buruh bangunan("construction worker)" or Perkawinan (Marriage)