Maryanto’s On the ground under the trees (2020) features a piece of ground under some trees - painted across a hand-stitched tent. A pair of tableaux, each rendered on one half of the expanse of moss-green tarpaulin, depicts a dense rainforest canopy and a patch of stone-strewn terrain, both limned in dots made from white acrylic marker in a pictorial style resembling Pointilism. The paintings are based on photographs of actual landscapes around Indonesia, taken by the artist on his frequent camping and hiking trips: the forest from that which surrounds Lake Tamblingan in Bali, and the rocky ground from when he visited the Dieng Plateau region in Java. These trips represent a way of life and leisure that intensified during the long months of the pandemic and its resultant restrictions. Yogyakarta-based Maryanto took to ever more frequent expeditions into the outdoors when the virus hit, in a bid to avoid large urban hordes and the threat of infection they now suggested. The choice of tarpaulin as canvas here reflects, of course, this accentuated turn towards the ecological that was necessitated by the crisis, but also recalled, for him, other not-too-distant disasters that witnessed widespread homelessness and the housing of large swathes of the local population in tents - the cataclysmic earthquake in Yogyakarta in 2006, and the eruption of Mt. Merapi in 2010. The motif of the tent, then, simultaneously signifies the almost uncanny return of the natural environment as a riposte to the havoc wreaked by human civilization, and also the dystopian realities of fraught survival that have been engendered by recent catastrophes, as if doomsday scenarios from science fiction or eco-horror had materialized to haunt a culture run amok. That the painted tableaux are only legible together as a single, comprehensible landscape when the tent is displayed in the manner of a canvas, splayed open like Rembrandt’s slaughtered ox, and completely stripped of its utility and primary purpose, to provide shelter, perhaps simply reinforces the dire straits that the artist now sees mankind mired in.