Dadang Christanto

About the Artist

Born in central Java and based in Australia since 1999, Dadang Christanto (b. 1957) uses his practice to honour the victims of political violence and crimes against humanity. His large scale paintings, which are mostly spare renderings on raw linen, use the human head as a recurring motif to express the suffering of victims and the silent grief they endure. The emotion in Christanto’s work is due in part to his own father’s disappearance and presumed death when he was a young boy, yet he continues to create art that calls for compassion regardless of faiths and political beliefs. An artist of significant international standing, his oeuvre includes painting, drawing, performance, sculpture and installation.

Christanto was the first Indonesian artist to represent his country at the Venice Biennale in 2003. He has been included in major exhibitions worldwide including ‘Nineteen Sixty-Five’, QUT Art Museum (2016); Sydney Biennale (2010); Setouchi International Art Festival, Kagawa, Japan (2010); ‘In the Balance: Art for a Changing World’, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2010); Adelaide Biennale, Art Gallery of South Australia (2008); ‘They Give Evidence’, Art Gallery of NSW (2005); Yogyakarta Biennial, Indonesia (2003); Kwangju Biennale, South Korea (2000); the Bienal de Sao Paulo, Brazil (1998); and the first and third Asia-Pacific Triennials of Contemporary Art, QAG|GOMA (1993 & 1999). His work is held by the National Gallery of Australia, all Australian state galleries, and major collections in Singapore, Japan, Indonesia and Europe.

About the Artwork

The series ‘Capture, Torture, Kill, Throw’ consists of graphic, imagined portraits of victims tortured during the mass killings in Indonesia between 1965 and 1966. These atrocities are of immense personal trauma for Christanto as his father, who was both a communist sympathiser and ethnic Chinese— two targeted groups in this genocide— was kidnapped and likely murdered during this period.

A consistent subject in his work, Christanto continues to depict the violent atrocities as both an act of remembrance to the victims of such political violence and to record the history of an event that has never been formally recognised by the Government of Indonesia. In his continuous search for documents recording the murders of victims, especially his father, Christanto has searched for photographs rumoured to exist. However, Christanto has been unable to discover these, and as such these portraits are imagined from the accounts of survivors.

Ciduk, Siska, Bunuh, Buang IV
2019
Acrylic and charcoal on canvas
170 x 145cm
Courtesy of Jan Manton Art
41A Vulture St West End Q 4101
This artwork is valued at $22,000.
No bids yet
Venue Snapshot

Ralph’s Garage is a family owned automotive workshop for keeping your new or not-so-new car in great condition.

Originally Mitchell’s Auto Engineers (Mechanics) shop. It’s been a mechanics and auto shop unbroken since it was built. It is currently owned by Ray Darwin who previously traded as Darwin Motors. From the other side of the road you will see the small apartment which Ray built on top of the shop as his residence. An unusual feature.


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