Kepala Hati shows a raw bust appearing as if it were in the process of being made, revealing new progressions in Handiwirman Saputra’s dynamic sculptural practice. Known for their paradoxical depictions of the ordinary and abject, Saputra’s past sculptures would often depict discarded objects inflated to monumental sizes, imploring viewers to contemplate them beyond their functions—to see poetry and absurdity in the everyday.
In this recent sculpture, however, Saputra turns his gaze towards the more monumental rather than mundane, as the sculpture’s shape recalls iconic busts in western art history, long associated with Greek and Roman statues of powerful figures. Yet, Saputra moves us to view such iconographies in a new light as he strips his subject of any distinctive colours or definitive features: its face is loosely and roughly carved, revealing only a faint formation of eyes, nose, and lips.
Inverted upside down, its head similarly appears displaced, as if it did not belong to the torso in which it was placed, or the pedestal in which it stands. Without recognisable details, the sculpture radically makes a monument of no specific authority—but rather, the more ordinary, anonymous man.