Arie Smit, born 1916, is an Indonesian citizen from the Netherlands. Arie Smit had a life long goal and dream to achieve complete freedom and he felt that he would be able to obtain this by becoming an artist. At a young age, the painter had begun taking an interest to art. Despite this, he did not reveal to his family and friends his desire to become a painter.
In 1938, Arie Smit came to Indonesia on a military contract, designated to the Topographical Service. He was then transferred to the infantry in East Java in 1942 where he was captured under the Japanese ruling. He spent the next three and a half years in forced labour camps across Singapore Burma and Thailand. In 1945 he was released and returned to the New Republic of Indonesia.
In 1951, Arie Smit became a citizen of Indonesia where he spent the next few years teaching graphics and lithography at the Institut Teknologi Bandung in West Java. He spent his free time leading a group of foreigners known as the Kunstkring or “Art Circle”. It was there where he became known as a painter. In 1953, Arie Smit had his first exhibition in Palembeng. The painter finally visited Bali in 1956. With his love for bright colours, he was captured by the Balinese landscapes and soon decided to stay to depict it in his paintings.
His vibrant art celebrates the beauty of Bali and its people. His paintings are visually complex and elegant, with poetic use of colours. His paintings are in several museum collections particularly the Neka Museum in Bali.
"Bali is rightly proud of having Arie's art as an inseparable part of Bali, and extremely grateful of having the person of Arie, whose life has been and will remain dedicated to the artistic integrity of the Balinese community. Balinese artists will recognise in Arie the relaxed devotion so characteristic of their own creative activities." Dr A.A.M Djelantik (Writer and lecturer on Balinese Culture)
Over the years, many books have been written about the Indonesian Painter. Books such as “Poetic Realism” by Garret Kam, “’Vibrant’ Arie Smit” by Amir Sidarta and many more. Arie Smit has become a painter whom the most numbers of book have been written on.