“A photo can give you some perspectives, you can find many photographic works that tell you deep and actual issues. For me personally, a work is the result of how I see life in a social and natural environment.Photos (pictures) in my work is like a bridge between me and the public. It channels my idea so that people can really understand what I want to express. Realist photos will complement the abstract parts of the work, join the photos on acrylic, abstract shapes made of resin and acrylic, then etch on brass.Photography can blend with other kind of arts. There are no boundaries. No limit.”

(b. 1987, INDONESIA)


2018, Digital print, Oil Paint, Acrylic Sheet, and Mirror, 100 x 100 cm

Fika Ria Santika comes from West Sumatra, and is profoundly connected to the Minangkabau culture guided by a philosophy of nature. Contemplating the Minang adage Alam Takambang Jadi Guru (nature acts as our teacher), Santika is on a perpetual quest to discover how such a teaching remains relevant to contemporary life, and to a young artist like her who, while embracing her roots and traditions, simultaneously hopes to incorporate in her art the modernity, technology and diversity of cultures she experiences in her everyday life, now living in Yogyakarta. 

2017, Acrylic, Digital Print, and Oil Paint, 60 x 90 cm per panel

Her artistic process thus begins from this raw, affective interaction with nature—exploring the sceneries and landscapes of her childhood; noticing the unique qualities of certain times of the day, such as a majestic morning fog; and witnessing the organic cycles and changes that pervade nature. In creating her work, however, her process evolves to incorporate layers of varied contemporary media, seamlessly marrying natural forms with technology. 

Crucial to her process are taking photographs and videos of these landscapes, either captured herself, by her friend, or sourced through other video documentations, and transforming them into new, manipulated images. Santika then prints the photographs on varied materials, such as an acrylic sheet or brass plate, using an etching technique; and continues to layer her work with other mediums, ranging from oil paint to mirrors. Her long, meticulous process and marrying of varied natural and digital forms often result in sublime abstractions, in which vivid, detailed glimpses of nature emerge out of hazy, dreamlike landscapes. 

As she combines, layers and abstracts images of nature scenes, Santika establishes a unique visual language that reveals a deeper relationship to the natural world. Contrary to the colonial images of complete, picturesque landscapes, Santika portrays nature not as a distant, aloof sight to capture and consume, but as something lodged deeply into her memory and psyche.

2017, Resin, Acrylic, Pigment, and Brass, 71 x 116 cm

In her Tumpuk Lapis Tampak Isi series, she stacks translucent layers of different monochrome images of mountains and forest views, serving as an allegory to the multiple stages of her nature discoveries.Rather than appearing fixed and permanent, the layers of images also create an illusion of a scene perpetually in flux, alluding to the ever-evolving nature of the environment and its relationship to Santika. She paints over some scenes in pale, watery colours of red, yellow and blue, triggering emotional responses to the particular areas of the landscapes.