Heri Dono

October 26th, 2014 New York City

In his lecture Yogyakarta-based Heri Dono (b.1960 in Jarkata), one of the most prominent contemporary artist and thinker working in South-East Asia tackled failures of interpreting contemporary art though East-West perspectives, and attributed such misgivings to tainted intellectual filters that lack in-depth philosophical specificities. Furthermore, Heri contextualized his multi-media practice, which notably includes wayang kulit, or shadow Puppet Theater, as well as drawing upon mythologies of the Ramayana and Mahabharata and other folkloric traditions to create works of social critique.

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Heri Dono (Yogyakarta / Berlin)
Heri Dono (b. 1960, Indonesia) is unquestionably one of Indonesia’s best known contemporary artists. Since graduating in the late 1980s his international profile has increased through a series of exhibitions and artist in residences around the world. Heri Dono is perhaps best known through his installations which are heavily influenced by, and the result of experimenting with, the most popular Javanese folk theatre: wayang. Wayang performances combine a number of artistic and extra-artistic elements – visual arts, singing, music, story-telling, along with a mythological story-based philosophy of life, social criticisms, and humor. Dono combines these elements to form multimedia performances which often use the physical space of the performance as well as interacting with the audience, in the process revitalizing the traditional art so profoundly rooted in Indonesia. References to waywang are also integral to his paintings: from out of wild deformations and free fantasies emerge characters from the traditional wayang stories which are mixed together with his profound knowledge of children’s cartoons, animation films and comics. The resulting canvases are populated by astonishing characters and strange juxtapositions, the fantastic and absurd joined by the everyday to create new and vibrant stories in which the artist will insert his own critical remarks on socio-political issues both in Indonesia and abroad.

(Source: https://www.rossirossi.com/contemporary/artists/heri-dono/biography)

Heri Dono’s participation in FIELD MEETING was supported by Tyler Rollins Fine Art

Heri Dono, “Badman (Superheros Serial)” (detail), 2002. Acrylic and collage on canvas, 60 x 50 in. (150 x 125 cm).
Courtesy of Tyler Rollins Fine Art.