Collections are often accumulated for decades, and sometimes even centuries. Each of the art work that is added to the collection, contribute in shaping the stories and histories or the personality and/or his/her family. Then comes a time to part with the collection. As touching or sad it may be, perhaps comes with this, is the time to tell and share the stories and histories, not only of the art pieces in the collection, but throught the art, also the personal history of the individual and his/her family.
Born on December 9th, 1933 in Bima, on the island of Sumbawa, in West Nusa Tenggara, Muhammad Zakaria Datuk, Çaka Datuk was the fifth of eight children of Rustam Datuk Sari Maradjo and, Siti Sarah. His father was an employee of the Dutch East Indies colonial government who was stationed in Nusa Tenggara, while his mother was born on Rote island off Timor, in East Nuasa Tenggara. He spent his childhood moving from one town to another around Nusa Tenggara, following his father’s assignments. He attended grade school in Mataloko (Flores Island) and Soe (Timor Island). in 1948, he was sent to live with his eldest brother Abdul Madjid Datuk in Jakarta to enter the Van Lith junior high school on Jl. Gunung Sahari.
Since he was very young, Çaka Datuk had already had great interest in art. His teacher at Van Lith encouraged him to continue to make artworks. He was determined to continue his education at the Art High School (Sekolah Seni Rupa Indonesia/SESRI) in Yogyakarta, and then to the Indonesian Academy of Fine Arts (Akademi Seni Rupa Indonesia/ASRI). At ASRI, he became acquainted with Wardoyo, Abas Alibasyah, Amri Yahya, Sapto Hoedoyo, Bagong Kussudiardjo, and many other artists who later gained recognition. Among the most influential of his teachers were Trubus Sudarsono dan Rudolf Bonnet, who at one point became a visiting professor at the academy. According to Hilly de Roever-Bonnet, the Dutch artist’s niece and biographer, Bonnet considered Çaka Datuk as his protégé.
Along with the exodus of the Dutch residents from Indonesia, Bonnet also returned to the Netherlands in 1957. In 1966, Çaka Datuk continued his studies at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam in 1966. Although his initial interest was in fine art, at the academy his interest shifted to fashion design. Upon his completion of the program, he worked as a fashion designer, with none less than Queen Juliana being one of his clients.
Since the late 1960s Bonnet was living at the Rosa Spier Huis, an elderly home especially for artists in Laren. On weekends he would visit Çaka in Amsterdam, reminiscing about Indonesia. During his visits, Bonnet would occasionally make drawings of Çaka and his nephew Wim Sulaiman “Upu” Datuk.
In 1978, both Rudolf Bonnet and his colleague Tjokorda Gde Agung Sukawati, the Prince of Ubud and founder of the Museum Puri Lukisan passed way in 1978. Bonnet was allowed to be ceremonially cremated as part of the the Tjokorda’s great royal cremation in 1979. Çaka and Hilly de Roever-Bonnet took part in the ceremonies.
Not long thereafter, in 1984, Çaka Datuk returned to Indonesia and lived in Jakarta, working as a fashion designer. His combined interest in fine art and fashion design also led him to design textile, and produced among others contemporary Timor Ikat weavings and Minangkabau gold thread Songket.
After suffering from chronic diabetes, Çaka Datuk passed away in Jakarta, on May 4th, 2014.
Over twenty artworks, mostly consisting of the works of this talented artist, along with art works by other prominent artists with whom he was quite closely acquainted, namely Rudolf Bonnet, Trubus, Abas Alibasyah, Isa Hasanda, and Made Sukada, are featured in this auction.
Link to our auction catalog: