(b. 1975, Bukittinggi, Indonesia)

Co-founder of the Jendela Art Group, Indonesia-based HANDIWIRMAN SAPUTRA is known for his manipulation of mundane everyday materials into mediums of artistic exploration. Saputra pushes the boundaries of the still-life genre. Vaguely evocative of subjects in reality, his non-objective works are usually either monumental or miniature. This shift in scale further spurs the viewer to reconsider their relationship with the everyday materials involved—allowing others into his perception of the world: a perspective that gives power to the ordinary.

Cast bronze
53 x 29 x 74 cm

I always felt objects and materials represent relics, directly correlated with the usage that people make of them during their lifetime. By bringing these objects into the context of fine arts, “misplacing them,” I can lead viewers into their own memories. The object has the power to spark intense conversation in assessing and interpreting life.

excerpts from interview with Handiwirman Saputra by Cobo Social

In his recent work created in YAL, Saputra appears to turn 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, he moves us to view such iconographies in a new light as he strips his subject of any distinctive colours or definitive features—commemorating no specific authority, but rather, the more ordinary, anonymous man.

Unpolished and veering away from meticulous technique, the sculpture’s unfinished form and craftsmanship likewise evoke not an idealised, ‘master’ artist, but instead, a sculptor in progress—paralleling YAL’s philosophy grounded not in perfection, but in seeing artistry in the messy, unglamorous, and arguably more human aspect of art-making.

The realistic method of painting I chose allowed me to produce works that change time after time along with the objects that catch my attention. I adopted the tradition of natural object painting by combining observations on the surface with observations on materials into the form of objects. That’s why I don’t see a sharp distinction between my painting work and my installation work. For me, two-dimensional and three-dimensional artworks go hand in hand.

excerpts from interview with Handiwirman Saputra by Cobo Social