About the Photographer
Indonesian, b. 1949 Blitar
Known as a seminal figure in Indonesian contemporary art, FX Harsono has been creating video, installation, painting, and performance works since the 1970s. Much of his early work addresses social and political issues in Indonesia, focusing on the artist’s role in uncovering and reimagining political history. Harsono’s more recent work explores issues of identity and the self. Born and raised in Indonesia, Harsono is ethnically Chinese, a minority often in conflict with the Indonesian majority. His complex cultural identity inspired such recent works as “Writing in the Rain,” which is an examination of Harsono’s identity and how he fits into a larger Indonesian society. In the video, Harsono can be seen repeatedly writing his name in Chinese characters on a clear wall. Eventually it begins to pour rain on Harsono and the letters are washed off the wall. Harsono continues to write despite the water making it impossible for the letters to remain. The piece highlights the complexity and delicate nature of identity amid an ever-changing word.
FX Harsono studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts at the College of Indonesian Art in Yogyakarta, Indonesia (1969–1974) and at the Jakarta Art Institute (1987-1991). His work has been included in numerous exhibitions in Indonesia and abroad. Selected solo exhibitions include: National Gallery of Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia (1994, 2003, 2009); Singapore Art Museum, Singapore (2010); Tyler Rollins, New York City, USA (2012); Jogja National Museum, Yogyakarta, Indonesia (2013). Selected group exhibitions include: Japan Foundation, Tokyo, Japan (1995); Singapore Art Museum, Singapore (2006, 2011); Centraal Museum, Utrecht, The Netherlands (2009); Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai, China (2010); 4th Moscow Biennale, Moscow, Russia (2011); Melbourne Institute of Fine Art, Melbourne Australia (2011); Ben Brown Fine Arts London, London, U.K. (2012); Grimmuseum, Berlin, Germany (2012); Bangkok Art and Cultural Center, Bangkok, Thailand (2013).