Heri Dono Madman Butterfly

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Heri Dono Madman Butterfly - Rossi & Rossi

Heri Dono

Madman Butterfly





Madman Butterfly

Sacha Craddock

previous pages:

The Scapegoat Republic



acrylic on canvas

150 x 200 cm (59 x 79 in)

Heri Dono’s work might come with layers of meaning,

expectation, message and irony, but he wants to

keep things simple. He works in a range of media—

installation, painting, theatre and sculpture—as

well as sculpture on wheels, what he calls ‘vehicle

art’, and exhibits his work for local and international

audiences. At one level, at least, he is among the

first internationally celebrated Indonesian artists

to emphasise, even indulge in or play on ‘the local’:

instead of using what used to be called ‘the international

language of art’, the language of magazine

and market, Dono draws from within the body of his

native Indonesian society to question its structure

and methods. He says that as an artist he has to

be quick and clever. So in simple ways, he fashions

creatures that straddle the line between the serious

and the souvenir, with no interest in the notion of

the avant-garde.

Indonesia is such a mixture of peoples and its society

is constructed in such a way that Dono automatically

functions within a pool of cultural complexity. Born

in Jakarta in 1960, he has maintained a steady and

constant body of work and completed numerous

residencies all over the world, in Australia, Canada,

Germany, the United States and elsewhere. When

he first showed his work abroad in the mid-1990s,

it was perhaps likely to have been appreciated for

being ‘exotic’ as much as anything else. However,

over the past three and a half decades, an increase

in travel during the postcolonial era and the rise of

the Internet have meant that his work can now be

viewed as art in its own right at a global level.

Based in Yogyakarta, the heart of Javanese culture

as well as the centre of Indonesian contemporary art,

Dono studied art at the Indonesian Institute of the Arts,

and then learned the craft of wayang kulit, traditional

shadow puppetry. It is an interesting trajectory, to

go from a more contemporary art education to a

craft of which the first performance was recorded

more than a thousand years ago. However, he has

pointed out that his government invests in the past

and encourages the practice of traditional modes of

artistic expression as means of countering new ones.

This trajectory has therefore allowed him to pursue

a substantial career in opposing, undermining or at

least underlining the methods of the State.

In 1996, Dono’s first solo show in Britain, Blooming

in Arms at the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford,

brought a fantastic but disturbing set of apparently

half-man, half-tree figures on fine, false

prosthetic legs parading with guns—incorporating

the false legs as a reference to landmines. The

figures all maintain a built theatricality that is

closely associated with his work. Here he made

the point that while the Indonesian government

was launching a campaign to encourage people to

plant trees in a quasi-Green initiative, it was also

systematically deforesting Sumatra, Kalimantan

and Irian Jaya.

In his ‘theatrical work’, Dono assumes a given

relationship to the protagonist, a fixed expectation that

devolves from the role of the character in the puppet

theatre that itself originated in Java as well as India

and elsewhere. Through his use of ‘folk’ media,

such as puppetry, which is more about tradition

than either high or low art, he makes a sideways

approach to the obvious. This approach is a long

way away from the ‘Cool Britannia’ of the 1990s

when Young British Artists seemed in total accord

with the desires of the New Labour government.

Dono has long played the fool, the pleaser and the

provider of popular experience. Appearing to be

neither complex nor contrary, he uses a robust artistic

stance to bypass formal concern. This well-worn

theatrical device, however, also has a sinister and

tawdry aspect. For Nobody’s Land at Galeri Nasional

Indonesia in Jakarta in 2008, a whole series of angels

with smooth, wood heads and heightened blush

on their cheeks hovered to become perfectly staged

images of freedom. Each—with an open panel at its

chest and beatific smile—appeared to fly. They could

flap their wings yet went nowhere, trapped, as they

were, in their own autonomous world.

All of his three-dimensional works play with

imperfection, insisting that the means for escape

and enchantment is purely theatrical. Flying Golek

(2011) is a veritable chorus line of angels suspended

by wires from the ceiling like puppets. He repeats

figures and images to fill and suit an individual

space, to make a crowd. Each angel, made from a

range of materials, uses the painter’s trick where

the paint not only describes but literally mimics what

it describes. Here, the angels’ heads are actual wayang

golek wooden puppet heads, while the bodies are

made of fibreglass and the wings from papiermâché.

The rounded fibreglass surface protects a

heartlike ‘organ’ crafted from electrical scraps, which

according to Dono allude to our ability to mend

and make do. They also remind us of the childhood

disappointment of discovering the trap door for the

battery under the skirt of a talking or crying doll. This

dismantling, or partial disclosure, allows him to point

out the limitation of romantic faith in the possibility

of art. A toy, sculpture or machine can be close

to us technologically, and yet almost, nearly, not working.

The artist’s use of low-tech, low-level wiring recalls

6 7

the early days of stumbling, ambling fallibility, rather

than a smoothly remote-controlled creature that walks

across the stage.

A series of long-nosed automatons in Fermentation

of Nose (2011) sits at numbered desks, staring into

space with somewhat inward-looking, dead eyes.

The mechanised creatures nod in unison and seem

to agree, yet at the same time, the following questions

arise: Who is in charge? Who is listening? Where is

the process of learning directed? Is this a schoolroom?

Who is teaching what, to whom? Is there a

militaristic undertone once again? This use of easy,

visible mechanisation is important to Dono; it shows

that the inevitable harnessing of scientific intelligence

by the State can cause trouble.

“I mix animation with animism”, he says. “Both are

based on the belief that everything has a soul. From

this point, I make sociopolitical commentary using

humour”. The mechanisation suggests something

that stumbles, something that can be overpowered,

broken down and usurped. It is perfect. Yet instead

of formal questioning, this artist starts with a projection

into each of his characters, whether painted, sculpted,

mechanised or performed. There is definitely a truth,

a reality, to each character. The faith put into a puppet is

like that of a toy: a child knows that the toy is ‘real’

and, in formal terms, it is.

Rather than expressionism—a bearing of the soul—

for Dono, humour is key. He uses the tactics of

animated film, the familiarity of cartoons, where

legs spin for hours over the side of a cliff before the

character eventually drops. With a deep knowledge

of and love for children’s cartoons, animation and

comics, he incorporates the theatrical structure of

pretence, action, narrative and change into his work.

He is inspired by historical sources—from Romanesque

manuscripts to Javan painted scrolls, and from

the Beano to Dan Dare to Manga comics—in which

artists have drawn narration across the page as a

simple device to show the passage of time; where

the narrative scans through squares in the same

way that film runs through the gate of a projector.

It is always difficult for an artist to compete with

the narrative created by mechanisation and film.

The inanimate object can be distressing for an art

student: “This thing just does not do enough”. Yet

Dono successfully harnesses the history of theatre

through repetitive movement and the circularity of

narrative tale-telling, and manages, in his painting,

sculpture, installation and performance, to thwart

the emptiness that can surround the contemporary

art object.

Dono not only indulges in ‘the local’, but also creates in

a very localised context; the desire to appeal internationally

has never really entered his work. It is

important, though, to consider the aforementioned

changes that have taken place over the time he has

been working, and their impact on the emergence

of an ‘international’ language and the role of artists

to represent exactly the opposite. This is not to say

that there is such an extreme polarisation between

the local and the international. But for this artist, the

use of traditional methods means a deliberate desire

to immerse himself in exactly the most obvious

place—in tradition—in order to undermine or look

properly at the State in which he lives. Indonesia has

a Muslim population of more than two hundred

million, larger than any other country in the world,

yet Hinduism, Christianity and Buddhism are also

Salto Mortale (Terjun Bebas)


acrylic on canvas

200 x 300 cm (79 x 118 in)

not included in the exhibition

represented there. Indonesia is so large, its population so

culturally varied, that a recent news report suggested

a ban on noisy children who parade the streets at

3:00 a.m. to wake Muslims to eat during Ramadan in

order to respect the rights of non-Muslims to a good

night’s sleep.

It could be said that Dono not only quotes from and

uses the traditional art form of wayang, with its use

of outline, extreme distortion and comic storytelling, but

that he is reviving it, making it actual, real and active

today. Puppetry is encouraged as part of a so-called

‘Javanisation’ of Indonesia. There is also the tendency

to use more popular art forms to reinvestigate

practice. In Indonesia, art is a very powerful medium

that has, especially through decades of theatre, carried

the tradition not only of criticism of the State but

also of subversion (through underground news and

notices). Puppetry, a distinct ‘world within a world’,

has the contained confines of the State that are ideal

for make-believe, just as the European characters

Punch and Judy carried the news of the day; insights

into the relationship between a husband, wife and

baby; a string of sausages and sometimes even

the obligatory crocodile. But such fixed images and

rules, used over and over, can become formulaic, and

therefore invisible.

When it comes to painting, Dono has a consistent yet

questioning relationship. At one point, he even said

that he was not very interested in making paintings

because they had become so much of a commodity. He

did, however, train as a painter, and admires painting

as a traditional art form. So he uses the medium, he

says, as a ‘diary of life’, as a way of bringing together

layers of historical understanding. The characters in

his Salto Mortale (Terjun Bebas) (2011), for instance,

contain these layers, and at the same time, use

action: little creatures leap from two typical Dono

vehicles, painted representations of his ‘vehicle art’,

8 9

flying like suicidal swifts to jump up and down

and then out into a perilously full toilet bowl. He

achieves a real rush with this work. His subjects,

part historical, part cartoon, do what they would in

character, acting out, over and over again. Although

it is generally accepted than an artist is free to paint

whatever he or she wants, for this artist the continual

reinvestment in a repertoire of characters is

key. Instead of reinventing the alphabet, he looks

to comedic TV cartoons in works such as Going

Away from the Television Life (2008), which also has

an affinity with Liberty Leading the People (1830) by

Delacroix. A true artist of the world, Dono studied

the work of Klee, Miró, Picasso and Kandinsky at

art school. While he expertly uses the characters of

puppetry, the Javanese wayang scroll stories and

lukisan kaca (the anonymous art of reverse-painting

on glass from northwest Java), he is fascinated

by merging himself and his work with Western

concepts as well as with ideas of the retention and

denial of authorship.

The perhaps oversimplified distinction between

colonial and postcolonial painting in Indonesia, the

‘East versus West’ dichotomy, is represented by more

traditional painting styles, such as work by mainly

Dutch artists visiting the colonies. But it is also seen

in work by Indonesian artists, which similarly makes

for lovely landscape painting with little reference to

a real, live context. Just after Indonesia’s four-year

war of independence from the Dutch, and the handover

of sovereignty in 1949, a group of artists called

for a ‘new and nationalistic art form’, and decided

they would reject the old colonial view, exemplified

by the Mooi Indie, or ‘beautiful Indies’, representation

of landscape.

From Mexico to Indonesia, mountains have always

provided special sources of power and inspiration

for artists. The mountain is symbolic in Indonesian

culture; it designates a ‘spiritually charged’ site

where discussion between gods and mortals can

take place, and from which gods can descend to the

Earth. In Indonesia, artists are traditionally seen as

mediators between the mystical and the real. Dono’s

painting, The Sadness Spirit of Mount Merapi (2010),

shows a sickness within the mountain: the figure of

the spirit in the mountain lies ill within the outline

of the projecting landmass. It has long been said

that when Merapi erupts, great political change will

touch the world. Since Merapi erupted in November

2010—an eruption so powerful that a nearby

river dried up and steam rose from the ground for

months afterwards—it is believed that there really

has been a seismic shift in the world.

His recent paintings are lavish with imagery and

incorporate rich colours. In The Escape King of

Thief (2011), for instance, each character carries

the same telltale tongues, along with wheels and

mechanised potholes inside his or her chest. Other

works show us the range of Dono’s invention: wine

falls out of holes in various bodies and fills the

surface of the canvas; there are nails, many eyes,

bicycle people, automatons, bad greedy animals and

animated creatures celebrating the bounty. Pinocchio

is lying; he has a very long nose and eyes like little

snouts; there are extended antennae, two eyes, three

eyes, two nostrils and high colour. In The King of

Peace ‘Jaja Perdamaian’ (2011), a hybrid character—

a conglomerate of a current politician and a mythological

figure—is automated, multidirectional, with

holes or stigmata on his hands, crumpled arched

arms and tongues of fire with wine falling out of

the bottom of his mechanical bodywork into a very

small glass. Berebut Pepesan Kosang (2009) depicts

snapping, pushy Ninja-type characters with split,

serpent-like tongues and small sexual organs facing

each other over a running stream. Each wears red

boots and sports a miner’s lamp on his head. There is

a strong sense of pace and movement as they push

forward across the water, which works its way back

to the far corner, creating an illusionary space.

Dono treats the subjects of his paintings in very

much the same way as he treats the three-dimensional

‘pupils’ at their desks. Yet with these almost perfunctory

paintings, he really clowns around. After all, as Dono

so brilliantly shows, the painting is the ‘trying-out’

place where relationships can be invented, and

characters can jump and spin and stand on each

other without repercussion.

Sacha Craddock lives and works in London. She is the

Chair of Bloomberg New Contemporaries, Chair of

Braziers International Artists Workshop, Co-founder of

ArtSchool Palestine, Public Art Advisor for the Royal

Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and, currently, Director

of Programme at Max Wigram Gallery. From 2003 to

2011, she was Curator at Bloomberg SPACE and Postgraduate

Tutor at the Royal College of Art and Royal

Academy Schools.

following pages:

Two Clown Heads with Angels



acrylic on canvas

150 x 200 cm (59 x 79 in)





Flying to the Angels’ Freedom


acrylic on canvas

150 x 200 cm (59 x 79 in)


previous pages:

Merdeka atau Belum


acrylic on canvas

150 x 200 cm (59 x 79 in)


Garuda Extraterrestrial


acrylic on canvas

150 x 200 cm (59 x 79 in)



Olympia Released the Bad Spirit


acrylic on canvas

150 x 200 cm (59 x 79 in)


Mati Ketawa ala USA


acrylic on canvas

200 x 150 cm (79 x 59 in)

following pages:

The King Frog


acrylic on canvas

150 x 200 cm (59 x 79 in)




previous pages:

The Big Brother


acrylic on canvas

150 x 200 cm (59 x 79 in)


The Scapegoat Republic


acrylic on canvas

150 x 200 cm (59 x 79 in)



Three Presidential Candidates


acrylic on canvas

150 x 200 cm (59 x 79 in)


Two Presidential Candidates


acrylic on canvas

150 x 200 cm (59 x 79 in)


Two Clown Heads with Angels


acrylic on canvas

150 x 200 cm (59 x 79 in)


War Culture


acrylic on canvas

200 x 150 cm (79 x 59 in)


Born in Jakarta, 12 June 1960

Currently resides in Yogyakarta

Heri Dono is unquestionably one of Indonesia’s foremost

contemporary artists. Best known for his installations that are

inspired by experiments with wayang, the popular Javanese folk

theatre, he has participated in exhibitions and workshops in

Asia, Australia, Europe and the United States.

In wayang, a number of elements—visual arts, singing, music,

storytelling, mythology, promotion of a philosophy of life, social

criticism and humour—merge to create a coherent performance.

These elements are coupled with wayang’s unique

setting, which provides space for social interaction with the

audience. Through his complex multimedia installations and

performances, Dono creatively revitalises this traditional art

practice and harnesses the power of performance and interactivity.

As a result, his works engage in intense dialogues with

their audiences.

Dono’s paintings depict wild deformations and free fantasies,

out of which emerge characters of wayang stories. His profound

knowledge of children’s cartoons, animated films and comics is

also reflected in his canvases, which are filled with the highly

astonishing characters of intertwined fantastic and absurd

stories. Into many of these works, Dono inserts his own critical

remarks on sociopolitical issues in Indonesia and abroad.



Studied Wayang KuIit with Sukasman in Yogyakarta, Indonesia


Indonesia Institute of the Arts, Yogyakarta, Indonesia



Workshop, Flinders Medical Centre, Flinders University, Adelaide,



Artist in Residence, Ernst Busch University, Berlin, Germany

Artist in Residence, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia


Artist in Residence, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany


Artist in Residence, Australian Print Workshop, Melbourne,


The International Jury of the Xl Triennial India, New Delhi, India

Artist in Residence, United Sardine Factory, Bergen, Norway

Artist in Residence, Australia Indonesia Arts Alliance, Byron Bay,



Workshop with DIDA Escola de Música, São Salvador de Bahia, Brazil

Sound Art Seminar, Kunstakademiet Bergen, Bergen, Norway

Fellowship for Curatorial Work, IFA Institute, Stuttgart, Germany,

in Ethnologisches Museum, Berlin, Germany


Artist in Residence, Australian Print Workshop, Melbourne, Australia

Contemporary Asian Art Forum, Links, Platforms, Networks, Asian

Art Archive, Hong Kong


Artist in Residence, Western Front Society, Vancouver, Canada

Artist in Residence, Queensland College of Art, South Bank, Australia,

and Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia

Artist in Residence, National Institute of Education, Singapore


Artist in Residence, Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, USA


Cyfuniad International Artists’ Workshop, Wales, UK

Artist in Residence, Queensland College of Art, Brisbane, Australia

Artist in Residence, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand


Artist in Residence, Townsville, North Queensland, Australia


Artist in Residence, Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, UK, with

Institute of International Visual Arts, London, UK


International Artists Exchange Program, Christoph Merian Stiftung,

Basel, Switzerland

Selected Solo Exhibitions/Projects:


Pinocchio Syndrome, Hong Kong International Art Fair, Hong

Kong, organised by Edwin’s Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia

Hommage an Raden Saleh, Schloss Maxen, Dresden, Germany

The Lost Magician, Alexander Ochs Galleries, Berlin, Germany,

and Beijing, China


Comedy of Error, Jan Manton Art, Brisbane, Australia

The Dono Code, Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Heridonology, Jogja Gallery, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Shadow of Trojan Horse, Galeri Tondi, Medan, North Sumatera,



Post-Ethnology Museum, Gaya Art Space, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Nobody’s Land, Galeri Nasional Indonesia, organised by Edwin’s

Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia

Ose Tara Lia—I see nothing, Oz Asia Festival, Artspace, Adelaide

Festival Centre, Adelaide, Australia

Heri Dono: Pleasures of Chaos, Walsh Gallery, Chicago, USA

The Dying King & I, Nadi Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia


Angels: Bang! Bang!, Sherman Galleries, Sydney, Australia

The Dream Republic, South Australian School of Art Gallery, University

of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia


Heri WAR Dono, Soemardja Gallery, Bandung, Indonesia

Civilization Oddness, Walsh Gallery, Chicago, USA


Free-D.O.M., Stiftelsen 3,14, Bergen, Norway


Who’s Afraid of Donosaurus?, Galeri Nasional Indonesia, Jakarta,

Indonesia, organised by Nadi Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia


Upside Down Mind, Circle Point Art Space, Washington, D.C., USA

Heri Dono, Australian Print Workshop, Melbourne, Australia

Heri Dono: A Spiritual Journey, Semarang Gallery, Semarang,



Interrogation, Center A, Vancouver, Canada

Heri Provokes Heri, Nadi Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia

Free-D.O.M., Bentara Budaya, Jakarta, Indonesia

Reworking Tradition I & II, Singapore Art Museum, Glass Hall,

Nanyang Playhouse, National Institute of Education, Singapore


The Trap’s Outer Rim, Cemeti Art House, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Fortress of the Heart by Heri Dono, Gajah Gallery, Singapore


Heri Dono: Dancing Demons and Drunken Deities, Japan Foundation

Forum, Tokyo, Japan

Humor and Rumor in Republic of Cartoon, Nadi Gallery, Jakarta,



Mythical Monsters in Contemporary Society by Heri Dono, Gajah

Gallery, Singapore

Virtual Reality, Erasmus Huis, Jakarta, Indonesia

Tirtara, French Cultural Center, Yogyakarta, Indonesia


Tanah dari Merapi, French Cultural Center, Yogyakarta, Indonesia


Blooming in Arms, Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, UK


The Chair, Canberra Contemporary Art Space, Canberra, Australia


Unknown Dimensions, Museum der Kulturen, Basel, Switzerland


Cemeti Contemporary Art Gallery, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Mitra Budaya Indonesia Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia

Bentara Budaya, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Selected Group Exhibitions/Projects:


Negotiating Home, History and Nation: Two Decades of

Contemporary Art in Southeast Asia 1991–2011, Singapore Art

Museum, Singapore

Art I Jog I 11, Taman Budaya Jogjakarta, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Pameran Besar Patung Kontemporer Indonesia: Ekspansi, Galeri

Nasional Indonesia, Jakarta, organised by SIGIarts, Jakarta, Indonesia

Jakarta Berlin Arts Festival, foyer art performance, Admiralspalast,

Berlin, Germany

Trans-Figurations: Mythologies Indonésiennes, Espace Culturel

Louis Vuitton, Paris, France

Indonesian Eye: Fantasies & Realities, Ciputra World Marketing

Gallery, Jakarta, organised by Parallel Contemporary Art, London, UK

Opera Jawa, collaboration performance with Garin Nugroho,

Musée du Quai Branly, Paris, France

Art Stage Singapore, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, organised by

Vanessa Art Link, Jakarta, Indonesia

Do It, Kunsthalle Faust, Hannover, Germany

1001 Doors: Reinterpreting Traditions, Ciputra World Marketing

42 43

Gallery, Jakarta, organised by ArtSociates Lawangwangi, Bandung,


Castlemaine Visual Arts Biennial, Castlemaine State Festival,

Victoria, Australia

Public project, IRISAN, Grand Indonesia, Jakarta, organised by

Andi’s Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia

E(art)H Project: Green Sustainable, Galeri Nasional Indonesia,

Jakarta, Indonesia

Art Motoring I: ‘Motion & Reflection’, Galeri Nasional Indonesia,

Jakarta, Indonesia


Made in Indonesia, Galerie Christian Hosp, Berlin, Germany

Utopia, Dystopia, Disturbia, Woodford Folk Festival, Queensland,


Art Paris + Guests, Grand Palais, Paris, France

Ciptura Artpreneurship, Ciputra World Marketing Gallery, Jakarta,


Pameran Besar Seni Rupa Indonesia 2010 Manifesto, Galeri

Nasional Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia, organised by Vanessa Art

Link, Jakarta, Indonesia

Green Festival: Sustainable Artainability, The Ritz-Carlton, Jakarta,

Pacific Place, Indonesia

Jogjakarta Art Festival, Taman Budaya Yogyakarta, Yogyakarta,


Crossing & Blurring the Boundaries: Medium in Indonesian Contemporary

Art, Galeri Nasional Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia

Opera Jawa, collaboration performance with Garin Nugroho,

Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Reinterpreting S. Soedjojono, Galeri Canna, Jakarta, Indonesia

Ethnicity Now, Galeri Nasional Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia


Utopia, Dystopia, Disturbia, Woodford Folk Festival, Queensland,


The Simple Art Parodi, Taipei Museum of Contemporary Art,

Taipei, Taiwan

Expo sign, 25th Anniversary of Institut Seni Indonesia, Yogyakarta,

Jogja Expo Center, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Tsunami, shadow play, Lustgarten, Berlin, Germany

T-shirt, Walsh Gallery, Chicago, USA

Kado, Anniversary of Nadi Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia


Refleksi Ruang dan Waktu, V-Art Gallery, Bentara Budaya, Yogyakarta,


Self-Portrait, Jogja Gallery, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

A Decade of Dedication: Ten Years Revisited, Selasar Sunaryo Art

Space, Bandung, Indonesia

Christmas, Valentine Willie Fine Art, Manila, The Philippines

Salon Jogja, CG Art Space, Jakarta, Indonesia

Dari Penjara ke Pigura, Galeri Salihara, Jakarta, Indonesia

After Forty, Sangkring Art Space, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Expose #1: A Presentation of Indonesian Contemporary Art by

Deutsche Bank & Nadi Gallery, Four Seasons Hotel, Jakarta, Indonesia

Manifesto, Galeri Nasional Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia

A New Force of South East Asia: Group Exhibitions of Indonesian

Contemporary Artists, Asia Art Centre, Beijing, China, collaboration

with Edwin’s Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia

China International Gallery Exposition 2008, Beijing, China, Nadi

Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia


Wind from the East, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art,

Helsinki, Finland

Indonesian Contemporary Art Now, Nadi Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia

Conscience Celebrate—September Art Events, fine art exhibition,

organised by Edwin’s Gallery, Gandaria City, Jakarta, Indonesia

Imagined Affandi, Gedung Arsip Nasional, Jakarta, Indonesia

IVAA BOOKAID vol. 01/07, Nadi Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia

Soft Power: Asian Attitude, Zendai Museum of Modern Art,

Shanghai, China

Re-Kreasi 80, Class of 1980 ASRI, STSRI ASRI, ISI Reunion, Jogja

National Museum, Yogyakarta, Indonesia


The Inoyama Donation: A Tale of Two Artists, Singapore Art Museum,



Exhibition of Indoor Collections, Kirishima Open-Air Museum,

Kagoshima, Japan

About Beauty, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Germany

Eksodus Barang, Nadi Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia

BETA. 20, Post-Electronic Art Performances, Theatre Garasijn,

Bergen, Norway

Festival Inspirasi, Dewaruci, performance, Byron Bay, Australia

Floating Legacies, Selasar Sunaryo Art Space, Bandung, Indonesia

21st and Beyond: Reception, Edwin’s Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia

Licking the Ozone, performance, Melbourne Fringe Festival,

Lithuanian Club, Melbourne, Australia

Equatorial Heat, Edwin’s Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia, supported by

Coutts Bank


The 2nd Enku Grand Award Exhibition, The Museum of Fine Arts,

Gifu, Japan

Land Under the Rainbow, Cultural Olympiad, Benaki Contemporary

Art Museum, Athens, Greece

4th Art Summit Indonesia 2004, Performing and Visual Arts,

Galeri Nasional, Jakarta, Indonesia

Transindonesia: Scooping Culture in Contemporary Indonesian Art,

Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth, New Zealand

On the Edge: Indonesia and China Avant-garde, The Pakubuwono

Residence, Jakarta, Indonesia

Reformasi, Sculpture Square, Singapore

Olympics, The Pakubuwono Residence, Jakarta, Indonesia, organised

by Nadi Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia

Artists Are Making a House, Nijo-machi Prefecture, Museum City

Project, Fukuoka, Japan

The Angel Garden, Esplanade—Theatres on the Bay, Singapore

Equatorial Heat, Sichuan Museum, Chengdu, Sichuan, China,

organised by Edwin’s Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia

Z.O.U., Zone of Urgency, Reggio Calabria (Villa Zerbi), Italy

Frankenstein versus Gatotkaca, performance, Stiftung Preussischer

Kulturbesitz, Ethnologisches Museum, Berlin, Germany

The Nature Machine: Contemporary Art, Nature and Technology,

Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia


Summer Spectacular Kids’ APT, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane,


Budaya Bumi Berbudaya, Museum Benteng Vredeburg, Yogyakarta,


Epic, Gajah Gallery, Singapore

Imagining Prometheus, Palazzo della Ragione Loggia dei Mercanti,

Milan, Italy

Crossing Boundaries, Bali: A Window to Twentieth-Century

Indonesian Art, travelling exhibition, Asia Society AustralAsia

Centre, Melbourne, Australia

Happiness: A Survival Guide for Art and Life, Mori Art Museum,

Roppongi, Tokyo, Japan

Public art project, Muza Concert Hall, Kawasaki, Japan

Running Puppet, performance, The Survival and Innovation of

Crafts, Royal Palace, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Zaman Edan, Bentara Budaya Yogyakarta, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Kado, Nadi Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia


Eye, Nadi Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia

Interrogation, shadow play, Western Front Society, Vancouver, Canada

The Wild of Imagination, Langgeng Gallery, Magelang, Indonesia

Zwischen Tradition und Moderne: Junge Künstler aus Indonesien,

Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Museen Dahlem, Ethnologisches

Museum, Berlin, Museum für Völkerkunde der Stadt Köln,

Cologne, Germany

AWAS! Recent Art from Indonesia, Prüss & Ochs Gallery, Asian

Fine Arts, Berlin, Germany

Asian Vibe, EAAC, Valencia, Spain

EV+A 2002: Heroes + Holies, Limerick City Gallery of Art, Limerick, Ireland

International Contemporary Art Fair, Madrid, Spain


Floating Chimeras, Edsvik von Culture, Sollentuna, Sweden

Between Sound and Vision, Gallery 400, University of Illinois,

Chicago, USA

Artists Commission, Asia Society, New York, USA

Membaca Frida Kahlo, Nadi Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia

The Opening of New Art Center Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Unpacking Europe, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam,

The Netherlands

AWAS! Recent Art from Indonesia, W139, Amsterdam, The Netherlands;

travelled to Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst, Aachen

and Cologne, Germany

Pink Project, Nadi Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia


Sonic Boom, Hayward Gallery, London, UK

12 Asian Artists, National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Humanism in Art, Volkenkundig Museum Nusantara, Delft,

The Netherlands

Fuori Uso, Pescara, Italy

AWAS! Recent Work from Indonesia, Museums in Hokkaido, Osaka

and Fukuoka, Japan


Media dalam Media, Galeri Nasional Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia

Cities on the Move: Urban Chaos and Change, Louisiana Museum

of Moderne Kunst, Humlebæk, Denmark; travelled to Hayward

Gallery, London, UK; Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki,

Finland and Siam Centre, Bangkok, Thailand

Knalpot, fine art exhibition, Cemeti Art House, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Sound Culture, Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand

Makassar Arts Forum ’99, Ujung Pandang, South Sulawesi, Indonesia

AWAS! Recent Work from Indonesia, Museum Benteng Vredeburg,

Yogyakarta, Indonesia; travelled to CCA, Melbourne and

Canberra, Australia

Tachikawa International Arts Festival, Tokyo Prefecture, Tokyo, Japan


Resurrection of Topos 3, collaboration between artists and

architects, Toyama Shimin Plaza, Toyama, Japan

Images of Power: Expressions of Cultural and Social Awareness in

Southeast Asia, Jakarta International School, Jakarta, Indonesia

Tradition/Tension, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth Cultural

Center, Perth, Australia; travelled to Taipei Museum of Contemporary

Art, Taipei, Taiwan

50th Anniversary of Human Rights, Museum Boijmans Van

Beuningen, Rotterdam, The Netherlands


Sounding Sphere, Harima Science Garden City Opening, Hyogo

Prefecture, Japan

Innenseite, Projektgruppe Stoffwechsel, Kassel, Germany

Biennial Yogyakarta V, Taman Budaya, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Wayang Gepuk Wayang Alternatif, Bentara Budaya, Jakarta, Indonesia

44 45

Exploring the Future of the Imagination, The Intercommunication

Center, Tokyo, Japan

Asian Contemporary Art, Base Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

Cities on the Move, Secession, Vienna, Austria

A Gift for India, New Delhi, India


Modernity and Beyond, National Museum of Modern Art,


Orientation, Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal, Leiden, The Netherlands

The Huid van De Witte Dame, Arctic Foundation, Eindhoven,

The Netherlands

Drawing, Institute of International Visual Arts, London, UK

Traditions/Tensions, Contemporary Art in Asia, Asia Society, New

York, USA

The Spiritual and The Social: Nine Artists from Thailand, Indonesia

and The Philippines, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia


Vision of Happiness, The Japan Foundation Art Forum, ASEAN

Culture Center, Akasaka and Tokyo, Japan

Unity in Diversity: Contemporary Art of the Non-Aligned Countries,

Galeri Nasional Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia

Kurbis, Museum für Völkerkunde, Basel, Switzerland

Unity in Diversity: Contemporary Art of the Non-Aligned Countries,

Galeri Utama, Taman Ismail Marzuki, Jakarta, Indonesia


‘Adelaide Installations’, Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art,

Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia

Kuda Binal, performance, 24HR Art Gallery, Northern Territory

Centre for Contemporary Art, Darwin, Australia

The Jakarta International Art Exhibition 1994, The Indonesian

Fine Arts Foundation (catalogue), Indonesia

9th Asian International Art Exhibition, National Museum of History,

Taipei, Taiwan

‘Realism as an Attitude’, 4th Asian Art Show Fukuoka, Fukuoka

Art Museum, Fukuoka, Japan

Super Suburb, Museum City Tenjin ’94, Fukuoka, Japan


Indonesian Modern Art: Indonesian Painting Since 1945, Gate

Foundation, De Oude Kerk, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

International Festival of Puppetry in the World, Taman Budaya,

Yogyakarta, Indonesia


Sanggar Dewata: Indonesian Art Exhibition, Museum Nyoman

Gunarsa, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

7th Asian International Art Exhibition, Gedung Merdeka,

Bandung, Indonesia

Kuda Binal, performance, Alun-Alun Utara, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

New Art from Southeast Asia 1992, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Space;

travelled to Fukuoka, Hiroshima and Osaka, Japan


Sama-Sama, Centrum Beeldende Kunst Oosterpoort, Groningen,

The Netherlands; travelled to Tilburg, The Netherlands, and

Yogyakarta and Jakarta, Indonesia

Wayang: From Gods to Bart Simpson, University of British

Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

Man and Human Expression, Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam,

The Netherlands

Wayang Top, performance, International Culture Camp Desa

Apuan, Tabanan, Bali, Indonesia

Destructive Images, performance, Seni Sono Gallery and Malioboro,

Yogyakarta, Indonesia


Modern Indonesian Art: Three Generations of Tradition and

Change, 1945–1990, Festival of Indonesia 1990, Sewall Gallery,

Rice University, Houston, USA; travelled to San Diego, Oakland,

Seattle and Honolulu, USA


Wayang Imaginative, performance, Mendut Temple, Indonesia

Competitive Exhibition of Young Indonesian Artists, Institute of

Technology Bandung, Bandung, Indonesia


Wayang Legenda, shadow play, Seni Sono Gallery, Yogyakarta,


Hedendaagse Indonesische Kunst, Volkenkundig Museum Nusantara,

DeIft, The Netherlands


Sandiwa, Kulay-Diwa Art Galleries/Cultural Center of the Philippines,

Manila, The Philippines

Three Indonesian Artists, De Schone Kunsten, Heemstede,

The Netherlands


Experimental Music and Visual Art, Seni Sono Gallery, Yogyakarta,



3rd ASEAN Youth Artists Exhibition, Indonesia Institute of the Arts,

Yogyakarta, Indonesia


Art on the Environment, Parangtritis Beach, Yogyakarta, Indonesia



‘Neo-Nation’, 9th Biennial Jogja, Jogja National Museum,

Yogyakarta, Indonesia


Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju, South Korea


‘Belonging’, Sharjah International Biennial, Sharjah, UAE

‘Urban/Culture’, CP Biennale, Museum of Bank Indonesia, Jakarta,


Biennale Internazionale dell’Arte Contemporanea, Fortezza da

Basso, Florence, Italy


‘Do You Believe in Reality?’, 2004 Taipei Biennial, Taipei Fine Arts

Museum, Taipei, Taiwan

‘Free Territory’, 26th São Paulo Biennial, São Paulo, Brazil


‘Zone of Urgency’, Venice Biennale, Italy

2nd Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial, Niigata, Japan

‘Country-bution’, Yogyakarta Biennale, Taman Budaya, Yogyakarta,


‘Interpellation’, CP Open Biennale, Galeri Nasional Indonesia,

Jakarta, Indonesia


4th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Queensland Art

Gallery, Brisbane, Australia


Yokohama Triennale, Yokohama, Japan


Havana Biennial, Cuba Pavilion, Havana, Cuba

Shanghai Biennale, Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai, China


‘Jurassic Technologies Revenant’, 10th Biennial of Sydney, Art Gallery

of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

‘Universalis’, 23rd São Paulo Biennial, São Paulo, Brazil


‘Beyond the Borders’, 1st Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju, South Korea


Yogyakarta Biennale, Purna Budaya, Yogyakarta, Indonesia


1st Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Queensland Art

Gallery, Brisbane, Australia

9th Jakarta Art Biennial, Taman Ismail Marzuki, Jakarta, Indonesia


5th Biennial of Indonesian Young Artists, Taman Ismail Marzuki,

Jakarta, Indonesia


4th Biennial of Indonesian Young Artists, Taman Ismail Marzuki,

Jakarta, Indonesia

Honours and Awards:


Visual Art Award 2011, for Dedication, Contribution and

Achievement in Visual Art Fields from 2000 to 2010

Indonesia Art Motoring Award, Indonesia Classic Car Owners

Club, Jakarta, Indonesia


AMICA Art Award, Male Favorite Artist, Jakarta, Indonesia


Academic Art Award, Professional Artist, Program A-2, FSR ISI,

Yogyakarta & Jogja Gallery, Yogyakarta, Indonesia


2nd Annual Enku Grand Award, Gifu Prefectural Government,


Yogyakarta Art Prize, Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X, Yogyakarta,



UNESCO Prize for the International Art Biennial, Shanghai, China


Prince Claus Award, in Recognition of Exceptional Initiatives and

Activities in the Field of Art and Development, Prince Claus Fund

for Culture and Development, The Netherlands


I. Gusti Nyoman Lempad Prize, Sanggar Dewata Indonesia,

Yogyakarta, Indonesia


Young Indonesian Artists, Alliance Française and Bandung

Institute of Technology, Bandung, Indonesia


The Best Painting Awards, Indonesia Institute of the Arts,

Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Public Collections:

OHD Museum of Modern & Contemporary Indonesian Art,

Magelang, Indonesia

Deutsche Guggenheim (Deutsche Bank), Frankfurt, Germany

Artoteek Den Haag, The Hague, The Netherlands

Edwin’s Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia

Cemeti Contemporary Art Gallery, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Fukuoka Art Museum, Fukuoka, Japan

Indonesia Institute of the Arts, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Kirishima Open-Air Museum, Kagoshima, Japan

Museum der Kulturen, Basel, Switzerland

Australian Print Workshop, Melbourne, Australia

Nadi Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia

CP Foundation, Jakarta, Indonesia

National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Australia

Okinawa Prefectural Museum & Art Museum, Okinawa, Japan

Galeri Nasional Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia

Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia

46 47

Singapore Art Museum, Singapore

Stedelijk Museum de Lakenhal, Leiden, The Netherlands

The Intercommunication Center, Tokyo, Japan

Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Selected Bibliography:


Aguslia Hidayah, ‘Bidadari dalam Kepompong’, Koran Tempo, 18 August

Bambang Bujono, ‘Dongeng Masa Kini Heri Dono’, Tempo, 17 August

Aminudin TH Siregar, ‘Belajarlah ke Negeri Heri Dono’, Kompas,

10 August

Pamela Zeplin, ‘The Artist-in-Residence: A New Paradigm for

Teaching and Learning in University Art Education’, Journal of the

World Universities Forum, Vol. 1, Common Ground Publishing


Judith Collins, Sculpture Today, Phaidon Press

Pamela Zeplin, ‘Collaboration on the Wing’, Broadsheet: Contemporary

Visual Arts+Culture, Vol. 36, No. 3, September


Prince Claus Fund Journal # 10a, Prince Claus Fund, The Hague,



Efix Mulyadi, ‘Renungan Merdeka Heri Dono’, Kompas, 16 August

Arif, ‘Saya Lebih Suka Kaya Waktu’, Koran Tempo, 7 July

Julie Ewington, The Multiple Matters of Modern Life, in Asia

Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art


Martinus Dwi Marianto, Surealisme Yogyakarta, Rumah Penerbitan

Merapi, Yogyakarta

Salah Hassan and Iftikhar Dadi (eds.), Unpacking Europe: Towards

a Critical Reading, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen and NAi

Publishers, Rotterdam

Jim Supangkat, ‘Breaking Through Twisted Logic: Heri Dono’s

Critical Eye’, ArtAsiaPacific, Issue 32

Sindhunata, ‘Rire d’homme entre deux Toiles’, Courrier International,

4–10 January


Efix Mulyadi and Bre Redana, ‘Lebih Jauh dengan Heri Dono’,

Kompas, 8 October

Sindhunata, ‘Hidup untuk Tertawa’, Basis, September–October

Hans-Ulrich Obrist, ‘Heri Dono: The Ever-increasing Colonialization

of Time’, Flash Art, Vol. XXXlll, No. 213

Outlet, Cemeti Art Foundation, Yogyakarta


Margaret Walsh, Michelle Watts and Craig Malyon (eds.), A.R.T.:

Art, Research, Theory, Oxford University Press, Victoria

Hendro Wiyanto, ‘Keedanan dan Kelucuan Heri Dono’, Kompas, 25 June


Carol Lutfy, ‘Low-Tech Magician’, ARTNews, October

Heri Dono, Wayang Legenda: Si Tungkot Tunggal Panaluan, Wayang

Gepuk Wayang Alternatif, Bentara Budaya, Jakarta


David Elliott and Gilane Tawadros, Blooming in Oxford, Blooming

in Arms (ex. cat.), Iniva, London

Julie Ewington, ‘Between the Cracks: Art and Method in Southeast

Asia’, ArtAsiaPacific, Vol.3, No. 4

Orientation, Gate Foundation, Amsterdam, and Cemeti Art

Foundation, Yogyakarta

Apinan Poshyananda, ‘Roaring Tigers, Desperate Dragons in Transition’,

in Contemporary Art in Asia: Traditions, Tensions


Toshio Shimizu, Visions of Happiness: Ten Asian Contemporary

Artists, Japan Foundation, Tokyo


Masahiro Ushiroshoji, 4th Asian Art Show Fukuoka: Realism as an

Attitude (ex. cat.), Fukuoka Art Museum, Fukuoka

Astri Wright, Soul, Spirit, and Mountain: Preoccupations of Contemporary

Indonesian Painters, Oxford University Press, New York


Jim Supangkat, ‘The Framing of Indonesian Contemporary Art’,

Artlink, Vol. 13, November–March


Jenny McFarlene, ‘Heri Dono’s The Chair’, Muse, November

Jim Supangkat, ‘Wajah Seni Rupa Asia Pasifik’, Tempo, 16 October

Jim Supangkat, ‘Seni Rupa Bawah’, Tempo, 16 October

Helen Musa, ‘Veiled Political Performance’, The Canberra Times,

Canberra, 15 October

Linda Geh, ‘The Last of the Asian Shamans’, Sunday Star, 10 October

Martinus Dwi Marianto, ‘The Experimental Artist Heri Dono

from Yogyakarta and His “Visual Art” Religion’, Art Monthly

Australia, October

Ann Virgo, Heri Dono: The Chair, in Canberra Contemporary Art

Space, Canberra, October

‘Alternative Approaches for Artistic Expression’, Brisbane Review

Asia-Pacific Liftout, 16 September

Jim Supangkat, ‘Indonesia Report: A Different Modern Art’,

ArtAsiaPacific, September

Jim Supangkat, ‘Seni Rupa Kontemporer, Sebuah Resiko’, Horison, July

Rupa Wayang dalam Seni Rupa Kontemporer Indonesia, Pameran

dan Sarasehan Seni Rupa Kontemporer Wayang

Jim Supangkat, The First Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary

Art (ex. cat.), Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane

Jim Supangkat, ‘A Brief History of Indonesian Modern Art’, in

Tradition and Change, Contemporary Art of Asia and the Pacific,

University of Queensland Press

Jim Supangkat, Seni Rupa 80, Pengantar untuk Biennale Jakarta IX

Astri Wright, ‘Drinking from the Cup of Tradition: Modern Art

in Yogyakarta’, in Indonesian Painting Since 1945 (ex. cat.), Gate

Foundation, Amsterdam


Goenawan Moehamad, ‘Kritik Sosial dan Kemelimpah-ruahan’,

Tempo, No. 32, Tahun XXII, 10 October

Ugeng T. Daniswara, ‘Kartunal, Lukisan-Lukisan Heri Dono’, Laras

46, October

Fadjri B., ‘Gebu Yogya 1992: Terobosan Kuda Binal’, Tempo, 8 August

Sanento Yuliman, ‘Keluar Dan Status Quo’, Tempo, 9 May

Masahiro Ushiroshoji, ‘The Labyrinthine Search for Self-Identity:

The Art of Southeast Asia from the ’80s to the ’90s’, in New Art

from Southeast Asia 1992 (ex. cat.)


Renata Duerst, ‘Menschenzertreter’, Basler Zeitung, 24 October

Astri Wright, ‘Indonesia in the 1980s’, Art Monthly Australia, No. 14, June

Helena Spanjaard, ‘Sama-Sama’, in Maandbeeld, Centrum Beeldende

Kunst Groningen, No. 5, May

Yuko Sakonakan, New Art from Southeast Asia 1992 (ex. cat.),

Japan Foundation, Tokyo, February

Urs Ramseyer, ‘Heri Dono: Unknown Dimensions’, Die Museen in

Basel, No. 344

Thomas Waldmann, ‘Eine Figurenwelt mit indonesischen Wurzeln’,

Basler Zeitung, 17 January


Astri Wright, ‘Dono Tries to Expand the Use of ‘Wayang’ Puppets’,

The Jakarta Post, 6 October

Astri Wright, ‘Artist Espouses Laughter and Humour’, The Jakarta

Post, 16 June

48 49

First published as part of the exhibition:

Heri Dono

Madman Butterfly

14 October–24 November 2011

previous pages:

Flying to the Angels’ Freedom



acrylic on canvas

150 x 200 cm (59 x 79 in)

following pages:

Three Presidential Candidates



acrylic on canvas

150 x 200 cm (59 x 79 in)

Coordination: Martin Clist

Editor: Eti Bonn-Muller

Assistance: Mauro Ribero, Xiaohan Li and Katherine Tong

Design: Ruth Höflich

© Rossi & Rossi Ltd. 2011

Text copyright © the author. Images courtesy of the artist and Rossi & Rossi, London.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be transmitted in any form or by any means,

electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any storage or retrieval system, without

prior permission from the copyright holders and publishers.

ISBN 978 1 906576 27 1

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.




16 Clifford Street

London W1S 3RG

t +44 20 7734 6487

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