Stones of Life
Sunaryo’s “Wot Batu” is the crowning achievement of a noted artist.
For the past three years, the renowned artist Sunaryo Soetono, 72, has devoted most of his time and energy to gardening. However it’s not a typical garden, as it’s a garden made of stones, from pebbles all the way to rocks weighing up to 13 tonnes. Sunaryo called it “Wot Batu” (wot is Sundanese for bridge, while batu is stone in Indonesian). “Wot Batu” is meant to be a bridge to a fundamental understanding about stones, one that took Sunaryo enormous e ort to build, selecting all the stones and then arranging them himself. “Wot Batu” is located just across from his art space, Selasar Sunaryo, in the hills of Dago, Bandung.
From the hustle bustle of tra c outside one gets a di erent ambience when entering the gar- den. At the entrance, Sunaryo made a narrow alley, which has a huge stone on top of it. Sunaryo did that by intention, to make everyone entering the gardens to be wary. “Consequently, when they are in the garden, they can be more sensitive to everything in the garden,” he explains. Inside is similar to a zen garden with calming scenery with greenery, water ponds, and stones that are beautifully arranged to narrate a story.
Text By Ulisari Eslita and Yessar Rosendar
Photo by Ahmad Zamroni
For ForbesLife Indonesia Magazine
Sunaryo’s “Wot Batu” uses stones to tell a story about humanity and the universe.