Aris Prabawa



    Artist Bio

    (b. 1974, Solo, Java, Indonesia)

    Aris Prabawa hails from Solo in Central Java, Indonesia—a place rich with local traditions, myths, and Islamic religion. He grew up in a tight, communal community of immediate and extended family built on sharing and helping one another. The society within which they lived was controlled by an oppressive, violent, sexist, and unjust military dictatorship.

    Prabawa moved to Yogyakarta in 1994, and the following year began his Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Indonesian Institute of Art, majoring in print-making. In 1996, he formed a punk band called Black Boots. Through protest songs and posters, he spoke against the injustices of Indonesia’s military dictatorship. In 1998, Prabawa helped establish the art collective Taring Padi (fang of the rice plant), which was composed of artists and activists who explored and critiqued the world around them. They used art as a tool for social change and as a way to share and explore political ideas, communicate with others, and build new and creative ways of living.

    In 2002, Prabawa migrated to Australia, where he delved deeper into his art to understand the culture and environment around him. He continues to be interested in socio-political issues within the context of place. His art-making process involves deep research into a place, its inhabitants, and how they understand and survive the world around them. The process of making art allows him to explore and deepen his understanding of different cultures and ways in which people live. He now lives between Yogyakarta and Lismore.

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