J. Ariadhitya Pramuhendra (b.1984, Indonesia)

J. Ariadhitya Pramuhendra is quickly making a name for himself as a rising contemporary artist in Indonesia. He graduated from Bandung Institute of Technology, majoring in Printmaking in 2007. He has participated in a number of group exhibitions presenting emerging Indonesian artists over the past couple of years and has caught audience attention with his dramatic self-portraits in charcoal on canvas.

Remarkable for his realistic black and white charcoal paintings, he creates uncanny realistic portraits and theatrical figurative scenes that evoke Christian iconography, surreal science, and the empowering of self. His works question the spiritual validity of authoritative organisational structures such as organised religions and the medical corps in their search for truth and the divine in man.

Pramuhendra investigates the question of one’s core identity, expanding from his own traditional catholic upbringing within the context of practicing Christianity in a Muslim country – the largest Muslim country in the world in fact – visually expressing his search through monochrome aesthetics that draw from figural representation, personal and cultural symbolism, tradition, renaissance, and pop art – in opposition to Islamic religious art aniconism.

Pramuhendra’s work defy elitism, in art and in culture, his youthful approach is grave – to nearly comical extends at times due to an extreme staged dramatisation of his characters – and bold: he stages himself as pope, or stages his relatives in surrendering postures, such as when the females in his family are represented partially nude, crucified yet strong.There are no simple and quick ways to interpret meanings in Pramuhendra’s works, and there should not be since they are the result of a visceral response to the human condition that the artist interprets through images that contain multiple associations. He gives himself entirely to the canvas, devotedly, using a disarmingly simple and potent visual language that evolved from his research into his own spirituality, literally diving within the notion of identity – but really creating a world for itself, staging the artist as a seer, as a surgeon into the soul, researching the unknown, surrendering to his own power.

Pramuhendra, J. Ariadhitya b.1984

related artists / Indonesia / South Asia