Cast Bronze
82 x 170 x 55 cm

YUNIZAR (b. 1971, Talawi, Indonesia)

Hailing from West Sumatra, YUNIZAR has carved his own path in Indonesia’s art history through his raw, childlike forms rooted in the immediacy of his everyday surroundings and the rich realms of his subconscious. Relying on spontaneity in his process, Yunizar paints expressive canvases that evoke narratives inspired by the oral traditions of the Minangkabau culture. The results are rhythmic, visual melodies on canvas rich in texture, colour, and brushwork. While his ‘naïve’ aesthetic is often associated with the likes of art brut artist Jean Dubuffet, Yunizar stands out for the unique worlds he creates: brimming with wild, fantastic creatures; chaotic yet sophisticated compositions; and enigmatic, enchanting narratives.

Mix media on paper
196 x 11 x 218 cm

Cast bronze
73 x 36 x 100cm

Yunizar cofounded YAL in 2012 together with Gajah Gallery’s director Jasdeep Sandhu, both of whom were determined to provide a space for artists in Southeast Asia to experiment with new materials and processes, with the careful guidance of local craftsmen in Yogyakarta. Apart from owning the space where YAL was built, Yunizar was instrumental in guiding the direction of this ‘laboratory’—which, while initially focused on papermaking and aluminum casting, has since evolved to a world-class foundry specialising in the bronze medium.

I realised that working in YAL was a new process in creating art to me. Previously, my working pattern involved spending time at my private studio at my home. I worked alone since I was just painting and I didn’t need any help from a craftsman or artists.

excerpts from an interview with Yunizar and Nicole Soriano

Mixed media on paper
218 x 196 x 11 cm

Mixed media on paper
196 x 11x 218cm

KUCING (White)
Cast bronze
64 x 20 x 34 cm

Cast bronze
64 x 20 x 34 cm

122 x 35 x 172cm

“In working with three-dimensional art, I (usually) do not limit the selection of the media or material. Generally, I create models with clay, and subsequently, it is moulded with fiberglass resin, brass, alumunium, and bronze . . . As I pursued three-dimensional arts over the past few years, I also observed that sculpture in Southeast Asia is growing.”

Observing that the team at YAL could successfully realise his sculptural visions, Yunizar began producing his commanding cast bronze sculptures of life-size, arresting figures with their large eyes and akimbo stances—a distinct departure from his more pictorial, enigmatic drawings and paintings.