Born in 1957 in Tegal, Central Java, Indonesia, Dadang Christanto is a leading Indonesian artist, currently living and working in Darwin as a lecturer at the School of Art and Design, University of the Northern Territory. Christanto has a significant reputation internationally, as well as in his home country, where he has greatly influenced the direction of contemporary Indonesian art. Since graduating from the Indonesian Art College, Yogyakarta in 1978, Christanto has exhibited in major exhibitions, including in Australia, Brazil, Cuba, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, and the United States, and continues to exhibit regularly in Indonesia. For the past decade Christanto's art practice has been concerned with exploring social and political issues in Indonesia and the world, incorporating a range of media such as painting, drawing, performance, sculpture and installation to this end. Best known are his combined installation and performance works, which have employed terracotta heads and papier-mâché figures to explore the themes of human rights, peace and social justice. Indeed Christanto's overall practice is deeply informed by an intense compassion and empathy for human suffering, especially for those victims of political repression and conflict. On the topic of freedom from suffering he has said, 'I want to initiate communication that liberates. Liberation from what? Liberation from the burden of history filled with wastelands of blood and tears. A history that is played out in the homeland of humankind.' Christanto's art is a complex mix of human physicality and spirituality, able to speak to diverse cultural audiences. For this exhibition he will present two installations and undertake a performance at the National Gallery of Australia during the conference.
Canberra: School of Art Gallery, Australian National University