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Article

Agung Hujatnikajennong

(b Bandung, May 21, 1961).

Indonesian installation, video and performance artist and writer. Arahmaiani graduated from the Fine Art Department of Bandung Institute of Technology in 1983 and then continued her studies at the Paddington Art School, Sydney (1985–6) before attending the Akademie voor Beeldende Kunst & Vormgeving (AKI), Enschede (1991–2). During the 1980s she was also part of a rebellious young artists’ movement in Indonesia.

Arahmaiani is known for her specific point of view in responding to the domination of academicism in the Indonesian art world, which became her departure point in developing Happenings and performance art during the early 1980s; a boom era of painting and commercialization that occurred as a result of the economic boosting under the Indonesian New Order regime. One of her most important works, Newspaper Man (1981), in which she wrapped her body in newspaper advertisements and walked through the streets and shopping malls of Bandung, stimulated a more vibrant practice and discourse on the use of human body as an art medium in Indonesian art. ...

Article

Agung Hujatnikajennong

(b Jakarta, June 12, 1960).

Indonesian painter, installation, video and performance artist. Dono studied art at the Indonesian Institute of the Arts (ISI), Yogyakarta (1980–87) while also studying traditional Javanese shadow-puppetry (wayang kulit) under the puppeteer (dalang) Sukasman. He became known for producing works inspired by shadow-puppetry (e.g. the painting The Legend Puppet, 1988); adapting the two-dimensional imagery, the gamelan music and narration of wayang kulit to recreate metaphors of modern civilization. Dono’s work encompassed painting, sculpture, installation and performances, often employing low-tech multimedia and self-assembled electronic devices that generate music, moving images, light projection, producing a low-tech kinetic environment (e.g. Flying Angels, 1996).

Dono’s works create a meticulous connection between traditional puppetry and modern animation, as he viewed both types of moving images as lively worlds of absurdity where narratives often do not make any sense, yet seem enjoyable for people of all ages. Dono’s socio-political background—the repression of artistic freedom during the Indonesian New Order regime—drove him to choose a kind of foolish, impolite, stupid, naive, ridiculous and teasing expression in his works. Metaphors and criticism deeply imbued with jokes were the safest ways to avoid suppression and censorship by the regime. In creating criticism through ...

Article

Peter A. Nagy

(b Patna, Jan 2, 1964).

Indian mixed media artist and sculptor. After studying art in Patna, Gupta travelled with a Hindi-language theatre company, acting and designing sets. Primarily a sculptor, Gupta also painted, created installations, performances, videos and photography. Often the imagery used in one medium is operative in another, creating a symbiotic relationship between works. In 1991 he moved to New Delhi and concentrated on painting, favouring a style of abstract figuration that was prominent in India. His work matured with 54 Mornings (1996), a work comprised of 54 small, generic wooden stools with painted imagery and found objects. The work catalogued the objects of daily ritual use, both sacred and secular, and set the artist on the path to exploring the quotidian and clichéd.

In works such as My Mother and Me (1997) and The Way Home (2001, see Oslo exh. cat., pp. 34–5), Gupta arranges common objects into uncommon ensembles, creating sculptures that take on the grandeur of stage sets. He has also cast such objects as chairs, a Vespa motorbike, bicycles, bamboo sticks or liquor bottles in bronze or aluminium to create rarified monuments from the most humble things ...

Article

David Spalding

(b Ha Tien, Nov 16, 1968).

Vietnamese conceptual artist. Lê was born near the Cambodian border, but fled with his family when his hometown was invaded by the Khmer Rouge in 1979. Lê moved to Los Angeles and studied photography at the University of California, Santa Barbara and received his MFA from the School of Visual Arts, New York in 1992. In 1989, while at the University of California, Lê enrolled in a class on the Vietnam War (1955–75) that emphasized American hardship. This sparked Lê’s earliest public art project, Accountability, a series of posters that Lê put up on his college campus (reproduced in 1992 for Creative Time, New York, Washington, DC, and Los Angeles). These posters juxtaposed American media images of the Vietnam War with explicit pictures of Vietnamese suffering, accompanied by captions detailing the damage done to Vietnam. The desire to intervene in dominant perceptions of the Vietnam War propelled Lê for much of his artistic career....

Article

Pandit Chanrochanakit

(b Chiang Mai, Feb 21, 1971).

Thai installation artist (see fig.). Rawanchaikul studied at Chiang Mai University and received his BA in 1993. He focused on the idea of bringing art to everyday life and gained recognition through his Navin Gallery Bangkok (1995-8; see 1999 exh. cat., pp. 232–65). He turned a cab into a mobile gallery and invited artists to exhibit their works in this private–public space (see fig.). The taxi gallery moved through Bangkok’s traffic thereby bringing art to busy Bangkok and questioning the lack of space for young artists in Thailand. Rawanchaikul also used public transport as a means to bridge a gap between non-art audiences and contemporary art projects. In Another Day In Sydney (1998; see 1999 exh. cat., pp. 219–31), he interviewed taxi drivers and made a comic based on their stories. The comic was then distributed to taxi passengers for free. In Cities on the Move...