There are many social concerns intended in Lucia Hartini's work, such as "Spying Eyes" and "Srikandi".
Lucia Hartini is a female Indonesian, who is greatly subjected to the pressure of the society and is expected to do housework and take care of her husband and children like any other Indonesian women. Lucia Hartini has to deal with both domestic abuse and society's disapproval of her (in what ways?), causing her to have immense amount of stress and pressure.
Lucia Hartini expresses her views towards sexism and discrimination through her painting "Spying Eyes". She depicts herself as a female figure wrapped and curled up sleeping while disembodied eyes are staring and gazing at her. She might be trying to symbolize that there are still people judging and scrutinizing her every move, even when she is at her most vulnerable and innocent, even when she is sleeping. the female figure seems to be very uncomfortable in her sleep, trying to hide and avoid the spying eyes. Lucia Hartini tryis to show her discomfort with people criticizing and judging her being a full-time artist and a single mother.
Lucia Hartini painted brick walls surrounding the female figure, which zig zags into the background. The brick walls seem to confine and constrict the female figure, as if it is confining Lucia Hartini, not allowing her to do what she wants or express her views. The brick walls zig zag into the background, seems like it is never ending, represents a hard-paved journey that never seems to end. Lucia Hartini portrays her pessimism by trying to show that her torture and pressure from her family and the society will go on forever.
However, Lucia Hartini shows personal development and breakthrough in the sequel to "Spying Eyes", "Srikandi.
Lucia Hartini portrays herself as a female character from Javanese Shadow Theatre, Srikandi. She painted herself with her head held, wide stance, open gaze and muscular arms, depicted herself as a confident and powerful warrior. The female figure in "Srikandi", stares back openly at the disembodied eyes in front of her, representing her ability to fight the criticism and disapproving glances from the people around her.
The brick walls in the background also comes to a stop at a flat wall, which leads to a doorway. This symbolizes that Lucia Hartini has found a way through and is able to walk away from the criticism and judging of the society. She is able to "defeat" the stress and pressure she once felt and go through life with optimism.
Lucia Hartini also shows that has overcomed her fears by portraying a sunrise in the background. This contrasts greatly with the night sky in "Spying Eyes". She shows positively in life and triumph against the people who disapprove of her dislike (?) to being like any other Indonesian women. Also, this would represent that she is able to paint openly in the day as she always had to paint only after her children go to bed, which could be the reason for her painting the night sky in many of her paintings. (??)
Lucia Hartini shows the unfair social norms in the Indonesian society where sexual (gender) discrimination is obviously dominant through symbols in her painting.
The above was what I wrote for my Secondary 4 AEP Block Test 1 paper about Lucia Hartini. The whole thing was not corrected or edited and it completely, totally the same as what I wrote in my paper (except the parts where the computer auto-corrects my horrendous spelling mistakes). So as you can probably tell, some parts made no sense or had many grammatical mistakes ): The red parts are comments that my teacher gave to my writing.
While typing it out, I was reading the entire writing and was doing some editing in my head and I realized how much my writing skills have improved, even though my paper was only on April 6 this year. Also, I thought that I could be clearer in explaining the social concerns through the symbols in the painting, instead of just mention the symbols but not clearly explaining the link to the question.