b/ West Sumatra, Indonesia, 1975
Born in Bukittinggi, West Sumatra, Handiwirman Saputra is a co-founder of the Jendala Art Group. Alongside Entang Wiharso, Christine Ay Tjoe, Rudi Mantofani and other colleagues from the Indonesia Art Institute, these Post-Reformist artists adopted mundane materials as a basis for artistic exploration. Often seen as reactionary following the politicised production of artists under the Suharto regime, Jendala artists provoke formalist readings by critics yet have collectively addressed a range of concerns. Saputra himself works between installation and painting. His use of found objects are often suggestive of events, landscapes and images but in themselves resist any connotations of symbolism and metaphor.
The ambiguity of his works is often heightened by a shift in scale, transforming the banal into the monumental. However the artist is reluctant to participate in the ‘grand narratives’ of Yogyakarta art, which has been dominated by figurative and social concerns. Instead Saputra works associatively, imbuing his works with a sense of the absurd and a visual clarity that has become a hallmark of his practice since mid-2000.