Iswanto Hartono

b. 1972, Purworejo, Indonesia
Lives and works in Jakarta, Indonesia

Iswanto Hartono is one of the few contemporary Indonesian artists with a background in architecture. Known as an artist with a conceptual base, he has been exhibiting his works since the late nineties, showing works with a strong social and political content. Iswanto’s works betray his interest in history and memory, globalization, and post colonial geopolitical powers in race and identity. He admits that as an artist who was born and grew up in Indonesia, social and political issues are inextricably linked to his process of works.

Iswanto’s works, however mostly in the form of painting, digital print, text/poems, video, multimedia, architecture, and site-specific works, state critical opinions in explicit and stereotypical manner. Iswanto likes to revisit history to unveil narratives that people have largely ignored. He tends to muse on the latest issues of both international politics such as conflict among nations, wars, and transfer of power that are our daily fare, and also on Indonesian history and socio political issues, he conveys the issues with a highly personal perspective. Most of his works deliberately steer away from explosive and responsive artistic expressions and presenting unpredictable idioms.

He is particularly interested in Indonesian traditions and parts of that country’s history that have consciously been forgotten. Previous projects revolved around colonisation and post colonial debates and the battle of identity in contemporary Indonesia.

Iswanto is also a member of Art Lab- ruangrupa, an artist collective based in Jakarta.

Biography information from the artist’s website, June 2022

Country: Malaysia
Additional Information: CV