Ivan Sagita was born in Malang and studied at the Indonesian Institute of the Arts (ISI), Yogyakarta 1979-85. Sagita is a prominent figure in Jogja Surrealism, an art movement that originated in Yogyakarta in the 1980s. Works belonging to this movement often use symbolism while taking contemporary social issues as their theme, merging tradition and modernity. Much of Sagita’s work is inspired by rural Javanese life. Sagita’s oil paintings render the surreal figures of villagers in realist style. This tension depicts the harrowing uncertainties of daily life, and the thin line between life and death, as experienced by those who are powerless in the face of poverty and injustice.
Sagita’s awards include awards at the Indonesian Painting Biennale (1987, 1989), a Silver Medal at the Osaka Triennale (1996), and the Mainichi Broadcasting System Prize at the Osaka Sculpture Triennale (1998). His selected solo exhibitions are “They Lay their Heads on a Soft Place” (Equator Art Projects, Singapore, 2014), “Death Containing Life” (CP Artspace, Jakarta, 2005), and “Final Silence” (Pulchri Studio, Den Haag, 2011).