FX Harsono


FX Harsono, a major figure in the Indonesian art scene, has long addressed the region’s troubling sociopolitical issues with bracing candor. In 1975, he helped found the New Art Movement, dedicated to the use of everyday materials for experimental and socially conscious ends. For years thereafter, the primary target of his paintings, drawings, installations, and performances was President Suharto’s authoritarian regime (1967-98). The current show, “The Chronicles of Resilience,” steps back farther in time to address the widespread killing of Chinese residents during civil strife in East Java from 1947 to 1949. Prompted by his father’s photographs (some on display) documenting the disinterment of bones from mass graves, the artist—with curatorial aid from Asia Contemporary Art Week director Leeza Ahmady—presents such poignant works as a wall of figurative images drawn on the text of a vintage government report on the atrocities, an old radio recycling news items from the era, an installation of dangling electrical votive candles, and recent Google Map images of the collective gravesites.—Richard Vine


Pictured: FX Harsono: Memorandum of Inhumane Acts, 2016, pigment-based digital print on acid free paper, graphite, charcoal, watercolor, 33 pieces, 13½ by 15¾ inches each, 41 by 174¾ inches overall. Courtesy Tyler Rollins Fine Art, New York.