R.E. Hartanto graduated from the Bandung Institute of Technology’s Faculty of Fine Art and Design with a degree in painting in 1998. His solo exhibitions include: “Cakrawala” () at Edwin’s Gallery (Jakarta, 2015), “Post-North Korea Nuclear Test” at H2 Art Gallery (Semarang, 2009), and “Unseen Wounds”, at Koong Gallery (Jakarta, 2000). His most recent group exhibitions, “Redraw II: Discovery” (2016) and “Bardo” (2015) were held at Edwin’s Gallery in Jakarta. International group exhibitions Hartanto has taken part in include: “Lost and Found: Retelling the Story of the Silk Road in Indonesia”, at K Space Seoul (2013), “Fountain of Lamneth”, at Gajah Gallery (Singapore, 2012), “Made in Indonesia”, Christian Hosp Gallery (Berlin, 2010), and “Unity: The Return to Art” at Wendt Gallery (New York City, 2010).
Hartanto began using mountaintops as a recurring motif in his artworks in 2007. He began doing so intuitively, but found their true meaning for him when he took part in the “Amor Fati” exhibition (Selasar Sunaryo Art Space, Bandung, 2007), which had existentialism as its curatorial theme. High mountains are contradictory as they are simultaneously beautiful and frightening – reminding us of the feeling of uncertainty. Hartanto intends to portray the inner struggles of Indonesia’s middle class, constantly suffused in uncertainty, shifting between anxiety and hope.