Yavuz Gallery is pleased to present Wedhar Riyadi, one of Indonesia’s leading young talents known for his distinct graffiti-inspired visual style, in his highly anticipated first solo exhibition in Singapore.
Based in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Wedhar Riyadi is part of a generation of artists who came of age in an era of change in Indonesia, which saw the fall of the Suharto regime, the subsequent transition to democracy, and an increasing influx of Japanese and Western popular culture in local entertainment. With their strong lines, bright colours, and graphic pop/pulp imagery, we can see influence of street culture, graffiti, and comic books in Riyadi’s paintings and illustrations, combined with his own Javanese heritage.
Since 2007, Riyadi has been interested in depictions of violence in popular culture, and the effects of violence, domestic and foreign, in Indonesia’s sociopolitical life. He explored these ideas by pitting comic book characters in epic battles against figures from traditional Javanese theatre, or painting over found archival images, distorting and disfiguring faces from Indonesia’s past with influences from the present.
In Bones After Bones: Echo, Riyadi expands on these concerns, examining the representation (or over-representation) of violence in media, not only in comic books and video games, television shows and movies, but also splashed across the newspaper headlines and dominating the evening news. In Riyadi’s new paintings and installation work, he juxtaposes form and content to highlight the unsettling ubiquity of violent imagery in mass media. Human bones and skulls are laid out in repetitive patterns on colourful canvases to resemble traditional wallpaper print, or shaped into everyday objects like houseplants and dining tables. These haunting remnants of violence and conflict are made ornamental and domestic, so ingrained and prevalent that they no longer disturb us.
Wedhar Riyadi (b. 1980) was born in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, where he continues to live and work. He has exhibited widely in Asia, Australia, Europe and USA, and in 2012 participated in the 7th Asia Pacific Triennale in Brisbane, Australia. In addition to numerous private collections worldwide, his works are included in the collection of the Queensland Art Gallery.