Bre Redana

  • Kom­pas Sun­day Edi­tor, Jakarta, Indonesia


Imet Alain Godon at Jais Dargawijaya’s home in Sanur, Bali. She had spo­ken to me about him as her friend, a French artist, vis­it­ing and stay­ing with her. When I arrived from Jakarta, Godon wasn’t there. The maid pointed out the bun­ga­low where he was stay­ing and con­firmed that he had gone out. The accom­mo­da­tion con­sists of sev­eral bun­ga­lows, two swim­ming pools and a ‘balai daja’ where the host and guests linger and chat over food and drink. The house is cozy and com­fort­able and some even say that if Ubud has its Aman­dari, then Sanur has its Amanjais.

Later that after­noon it poured with rain. We were all invited for din­ner at the home of Astari and Pin­tor Sir­ait, Indone­sian artists also liv­ing in the Sanur area. All of us, that is to say Jais, my wife and I, were ready to leave but were wait­ing for Godon who hadn’t turned up.
While the host­ess was retouch­ing her make-​up in her room, I saw a shadow approach­ing the glass door. I got up to open the door to a man with shoul­der length hair soaked by the rain. He had no clothes on, prac­ti­cally naked, in only his under­pants. Hi, I am Godon,” he said. “Oh, so this is Godon,” I thought, “he looks like Tarzan.“
Ishook his warm hand. My first impres­sion was warm, spon­ta­neous, friendly and funny. I wasn’t wrong at all because when I got to know him bet­ter, I saw some of his paint­ings which totally reflect his char­ac­ter. In Godon’s paint­ings, we see the child­like telling of a story that is spon­ta­neous, hon­est and strewn with hilar­i­ous ironies.
The next after­noon, I saw him try­ing to com­mu­ni­cate with Jais’s maid. Appar­ently, he was look­ing for his clothes, which prob­a­bly after wash­ing hadn’t found their way back to their owner or had per­haps ended up in the wrong bun­ga­low. “If those clothes aren’t found before I go back to France, then I’ll have to go the air­port like this…” he said, point­ing at his under­pants.
From that moment, my first impres­sion of Godon was fixed firmly in my mem­ory; Godon is like Tarzan!