Panel Discussion

Käthe Kollwitz & the Power of Art

Artwork: Käthe Kollwitz - Nie Wieder Krieg (Never Again War), 1924
© Wikimedia / Cecil Mariani

Thu, 25.11.2021 5:00 PM



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Kementerian Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan Galeri Nasional Indonesia MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum Nationalgalerie Berlin Singapore Art Museum

Panel Discussion

Dolorosa Sinaga, Lim Cheng Tju, and Tisna Sanjaya discuss the significance of Käthe Kollwitz and her artistic practice in a discussion moderated by Anna-Catharina Gebbers.

  • Berlin: 11 am, 25 November
  • Jakarta/Chiang Mai: 5 pm, 25 November
  • Singapore: 6 pm, 25 November

Nie Wieder Krieg (Never Again War) is an iconic work created by Käthe Kollwitz in 1924, personally inspired by the life-changing experience of losing her younger son Peter in World War I. This work represents the artist’s attitude toward “nation” as an element of one’s cultural identity and how the death of her son made her rethink nationalism.

While nation-building provides the background for the four distinctive exhibitions of Collecting Entanglements and Embodied Histories, the discussion puts a spotlight on a more personal take on the issue. The artwork of Käthe Kollwitz is deeply emotive, and in the words of curator Anna-Catharina Gebbers: “…[it] reduces things to the essence. It represents the core of feelings, and through that brings people together.”

Interestingly, Käthe Kollwitz’ artwork is visible to the public outside white cube walls: the enlarged version of her Pietà, entitled Mutter mit totem Sohn (Mother with her Dead Son, 1937-1939) is on view at the Neue Wache, which is the Central Memorial of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Victims of War and Tyranny, Berlin, since 1993. In the same spirit, the panelists of this discussion believe in sharing their works with everyday people, through spontaneous performances in public spaces, public monuments, and through history lessons and comics.


Dolorosa Sinaga is a renowned Indonesian sculptor. She graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts at the Jakarta Art Education Institute (now Jakarta Institute of Arts) in 1977. In 1980, Dolorosa continued her education at St. Martins School of Art, London, and since returning to Indonesia she has taught at Jakarta Institute of Arts. She served as Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts at IKJ from 1992 to 2000. Dolorosa’s works show her concern for social and cultural issues, including religious faith, crises, solidarity, multiculturalism, women’s struggles, and human rights. One of her public artworks is Spirit of 66 Monument on Jalan H.R. Rasuna Said, Kuningan, South Jakarta. Dolorosa founded Somalaing studio in 1987 to support and educate print specialists, sculptor coloring and model experts as well as for anyone interested in learning about sculpture. At home she has participated in numerous major exhibitions, including the Triennale of Sculpture II at Taman Ismail Marzuki (1987) and the art exhibition of The Non-Aligned Countries at Galeri Nasional Indonesia. Internationally she has also exhibited in the UK, the Philippines, Italy, the USA, Bulgaria and India. She is one of the founders of the Indonesian Art Coalition.

Lim Cheng Tju writes about history and popular culture in Singapore. His articles on comic art and political prints have appeared in the Southeast Asian Journal of Social Science, the Journal of Popular Culture, and Print Quarterly. He is the country editor (Singapore) for the International Journal of Comic Art and a co-author of The University Socialist Club and the Contest for Malaya: Tangled Strands of Modernity (Amsterdam University Press/NUS Press).

Tisna Sanjaya was born in 1958 in Bandung, Indonesia. He was an undergraduate student in the Faculty of Fine Arts and Design, Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB, 1979-1986). At the Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig, Germany, Tisna earned a Kunst Diplom (1991-1994) and was a Meisterschüler from 1997 to 1998. From 2008 to 2011 the artist was in the doctorate program at the Indonesian Art Institute, Yogyakarta. Tisna has been a lecturer at ITB’s Faculty of Art and Design since 1989 and is currently Head of the Graphic Art Studio.Using a variety of media in his artwork—from etchings and installations to performances—Tisna’s work is a response to events that occur around him, whether personal, social or political. Among his numerous awards are Best Painter Phillip Morris Indonesia Art Awards 1997 and Indonesian Cultural Award from the Ministry of Education and Culture in 2020. His artwork has been exhibited at the 50th Venice Biennale (2003), the Third Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT3, 1999), the 5th Gwangju Biennale (2004) and elsewhere. His most recent solo exhibition was held at Galeri Nasional Indonesia in 2018 and is entitled Potret Diri Sebagai Kaum Munafik (Self-Portrait as Hypocrites) after one of his performances.


Anna-Catharina Gebbers is a curator of the Nationalgalerie im Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin. There, she has staged solo exhibitions by Anne Imhof and Julian Rosefeldt, as well as group exhibitions, such as ‘Magical Soup.’ Essential to her curatorial practice are international collaborative projects like those seen in the exhibition chapter ‘Making Paradise: Places of Longing from Paul Gauguin to Tita Salina’ (in collaboration with Gede Mahendra Yasa, Grace Samboh, Enin Supriyanto) for ‘Hello World: Revising a Collection’ (2018), 'Micro Era: Ciao Fei, Fang Di, Lu Yang, Zhang Peili (with co-curators Victor Wang, Yang Beichen, Pi Li), or the research and exhibition project ‘Collecting Entanglements and Embodied Histories’ (curated with Gridthiya Gaweewong, Grace Samboh, June Yap, at MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum/Chiang Mai, Galeri Nasional Indonesia/Jakarta, National Gallery Singapore, Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin, 2017–2022). She is a participating researcher of the Cluster of Excellence 2020 “Temporary Communities: Doing Literature in a Global Perspective” at Freie Universität Berlin.  




Kementerian Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan Galeri Nasional Indonesia MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum Nationalgalerie Berlin Singapore Art Museum