We welcome Tumbuh Widjaya into Sawidji. A man that challenges creative and physical boundaries. Most of all a man who challenges himself.

'Tumbuh' <em>a definition</em>
‘Tumbuh’ a definition

Grow – (of a living thing) undergo natural development by increasing in size and changing, progressing to maturity.
Other meanings of ‘Tumbuh’:  to increase, to plant, to become, to nurture

Tumbuh is an unusual name. We have heard names like River, Leaf and Apple, but in English the name ‘Grow’ would still be quite uncommon. Similarly, in Indonesian too, the name Tumbuh is not common. It is not asurprise then that when the three of us sat down, Krisna and I with with Tumbuh Widjaya, our conversation started off discussing his feelings towards such an unusual name.


It is the name my parents gave me. So what can you do? Just go with it. Of course it was a funny name. As a child, I did not like it. As time went by, I came to understand that a name brings you fortune too. Once I turned seventeen, around that time, I started to feel that my name brought me luck.

Tumbuh Wijaya

Tumbuh Widjaya, is impressive. His stature, his solidity, his experience and focus. As a young man he travelled to Bali from Java with the intention to study art. Once he embarked on those studies he found that he was not suited to succeed as a painter. So he started working in different workshops to make a living. Until he built his own business. Learning everything by experience and application.


Tumbuh Widjaya builds things. Anything. Everything he can build, with the conviction of his own ability and strength. If he does not yet know how, he will learn how and try and try again. He is a force, a creative force. Although he has built many businesses, they do have a connecting thread. That thread goes back to his love for art and design.

It is no surprise that his wood workshop where he designs pieces for interiors inevitably starts to harbour artistic pieces as well. Sculptural giants that combine the tangible workmanship he has mastered with his huge well of creative energy.

Ketut Sukerta, Mas Siswanto, Tumbuh Widjaya, R.M. Adhi Purnama, Wayan Konco and Dewa Made Merta Buana seated under Tumbuh’s Central Sculpture in his garden. This photograph only captures the sculpture just a little bit above the halfway point.

He opened a metalwork workshop, and what do you end up having there,.. pieces of gorgeous designs using different combinations of glass and metal. Modern pieces that would grace hotel lobbies as well as galleries.

He purchased property, and not being one to sit idle, even during this economic standstill, he gardens. His property has turned into a bonsai paradise with hundreds of bonsai trees amongst many other rare pieces. Whatever Tumbuh Widjaya does he does not do it at a small scale. I learned this early on in our friendship.

Creativity and Willpower

Everything that he dives into he dives into it with the full force of his personality. It is rather a ‘Do or Die’ principle. If you try and don’t succeed then try and try again.’ One you do not come across often today. What is intriguing is the sheer force of his willpower is tempered by a deeper longing for artistic expression. It is this yearning for creative action, that channels this raw energy into something incredible.

He himself is a creator, who doesn’t differentiate between materials. Using anything from recycled wood, to glass and metals to create installation pieces of various scales. This assembly walll sculpture which he himself created is made of a wall of old computer PCBs.


My view is art is a free expression. Whatever it is that I face, whether it is used or new,.. it can be used for creativity. In general.. Whether it is wood, steel, recycled products,.. it depends on what we see and what we can create. It can be used to be made into something beautiful… We can use it to make something that can also be attractive and enjoyable and beautiful.. that is art. It is always growing and evolving. For me that is art.

Tumbuh Widjaya

Tumbuh Antiques and Artefacts

There are many sides to Tumbuh Wijaya and we have time ahead to introduce in more depth his art, his designs and his gardens. Today, the first thing we would like to introduce is his antique art collection. Perhaps because the rarity of such items is an even reflection of the rarity of his own personality. The rarity of the pieces in his antique collection harbours stories and secrets from our rich and sacred history.

Tumbuh Antiques Collection is for the first time open to the public by means of online viewing. Some pieces will also be up for auction. The collection includes rare archaeological finds, ceremonial and funerary masks, medieval statues and gold from the Pre-Majapahit Era.

When asked why he started his antique collection approximately 10 years ago, his answer is pragmatic..

I had extra money. I enjoy learning new things. These artefacts are art,.. also investment,.. from the spiritual worldthere is knowledge here. Also religious and ritual significance.There is a lot of knowledge that I derived..so others should be able to learn from these objects also..

Tumbuh Widjaya

Art’s Value through Growth

He is a firm believer that the value of art is in its growth. By growth, by its shared experience. If one was to enjoy ones art by oneself, it would defeat the purpose of creating beauty to be enjoyed and shared. The same with archaeological discoveries and historical antiques and artifacts. They share with us their beauty, impart to us knowledge and wisdom and it is in this sharing that everything grows.

What’s in a Name?

Perhaps there is more to a name than just a name. For some, it brings with it an identifiable truth. Perhaps a life path that you might call fate or fortune. Tumbuh Widjaya’s name translates to ‘Grow Victory’. Whether the man led the name or name led the man, either way he keeps growing and in so doing is a form of victory in itself.

Our first showing is of Tumbuh Antiques and Artefacts is of the Mask Collection. With a truly special unveiling of rare Javanese Gold Funerary Masks from the Majapahit Era.

Gold Funerary Mask

Ancient Gold Funerary Masks

Tumbuh Collection

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