Professor Abu Ridho

A former Central National Museum – Jakarta – Indonesia

We are in deepest condolences on the passing of Professor Abu Ridho, a former Curator of National Museum – Indonesia and the worldwide Museums consultant. He was a dynamic, visionary, & great Chinese art patron and a trusted expert. Our condolences are to his family and to the people of Indonesia.

Born in Banjarsari, Dagangan Madiun town, Indonesia, Professor Abu Ridho, a former curator of National Museum – Jakarta – Indonesia, was as truly a Maestro. He passed away several years ago, and now Professor Abu Ridho is recorded as the worldwide magnate in archaeology and ancient Chinese and Indonesia art. This prediction is harmonious with the phenomenon of his next generation; there are only a few who start from early age to take formal study in ancient Southeast Asian, Japan and Chinese ceramic art.

Based on records revealed that, merely in 1967-es, Abu Ridho had to fly through thirteen countries to carry out seventeen services to identify and research archaeological and art items preserving in the numerous international museums. Unfortunately, however, the role of Professor Abu Ridho in contributing his services did not lead him to obtain a Letter of Formal Acknowledgement from the museums concerned. It was obviously not separated from his sense of idealism during that time.

The importance of such a research invitation was not that the figure of Professor Abu Ridho, who was solely as a curator of Jakarta Central Museum. Since in the year 1984 he was  retired from an official curator. It must be his successor in the National Museum Jakarta who was invited and had the authority, or at least other ceramic experts to handle that task. Such invitation and trust from State Agencies and Auction House with international reputation represent recognition for his scientific reputation and experience. Furthermore, it can also be concluded that the figure of Abu Ridho was still required to take care of antiques, especially Asian arts and antiques, in this fatherland to prevent illegal actions taking place outside  of Indonesia. However, such antiques, whether in the most of the museums or private collections, are treasury which must be preserved in this fatherland  – whatever degree of their correlation – it remains presenting a noble image for Indonesia and its civilization.

As a curator and archeological expert in the Central National Museum Jakarta, Professor Abu Ridho was still directly assigned with a responsibility by the Government through Central National Museum and Center for National Archeological Research to investigate and evaluate ceramics and archeological objects preserved in all Indonesian Museums. Visits and researches have been conducted for ceramics and archeological objects preserved in numerous museums in archipelago. Those are the tasks of identification and research performed by Professor Abu Ridho only within the period 1960-1983.

Reputation of scientific mastery and experience of Abu Ridho led the domestic or international public reliance in this Professor of ceramic specialist who is probably the only one – at relatively the same age or generation – still alive and healthy in this world.  This encouraged a logical consequence, namely, being dedicated to spend his time and energy to attend any invitations, whether for seminar activities, symposium, lectures, or  other technical necessities.

Thanks to his high and real devotion, recently in 2003 the Central National Archaeological Research in Jakarta selected archaeologists considered to have the most experience in appraising, evaluating, and identifying ancient ceramics and archaeological objects. The event of appreciation reward for Professor Abu Ridho within Outdhedkundig Dienst of Central National Archaeological Research in Jakarta selected Professor to be an archaeologist, who have helped evaluating and identifying all ancient ceramics and another archaeological objects and art preserved in the Indonesia and international museums for his life. This appreciation award from Indonesian Government to Professor was officially given in the celebration of the 90th anniversary of Central National Archaeological Research of Indonesia.

In the mid of the noise of Chinese ceramic issue, during Abu Ridho’s restless period in his career and integrity due to the lack of attention by the government, the presence of Aminuddin, as his personal assistant and a great collector of ancient Chinese and Indonesia fine art in Indonesia, pumped up his life spirit and aspiration. Abu Ridho willfully supports Amin’s efforts and goal. Further, this Professor personally and specially transferred his entire knowledge key to Amin. Indeed, within a relatively long period, Amin was eventually trusted and appointed as a Professor Assistant for archeological and art researches. These two figures were then becoming two children of man upholding the same idealism and intent to preserve Archeological and Artistic objects in Indonesia.

Finally, the worldwide contributions and expertise of Professor Abu Ridho to ancient and modern Chinese art ceramics have attracted many countries to appreciate him. On Thursday, July 24, 2003, the People’s Republic of China and Republic of Indonesia Governments awarded and inaugurated as “The great connoisseur of Chinese ceramic connoisseur from the great country.”