« Land of Freedom » : Heri Dono’s First Solo Exhibition in Hong Kong by Valencia Tong, 07/07/2017, the Artling
As one of Indonesia’s most celebrated contemporary artists, Heri Dono is known for his satirical political commentary in his paintings and installations. Earlier on, The Artling interviewed the Yogyakarta-based artist back in 2015 during his residency at STPI in Singapore, before his solo installation at the Indonesian Pavillion for the Venice Biennale. Fast-forward to 2017, Heri Dono is showing his works at Tang Contemporary Art in his first solo gallery exhibition in Hong Kong.
The artworks on view seem humorous at first glance, yet they deal with serious sociopolitical issues, such as those in the Brexit and Trump era. To illustrate the complexities of the global political scene, strange-looking mythological creatures are juxtaposed against political caricatures. In Super Trump – Land, US president Donald Trump is depicted as a superhero-like figure with three eyes.
The artist, born in 1960 in Jakarta, Indonesia, is inspired by wayang kulit, a form of traditional shadow puppet play in Indonesia. Symbols of animals, mythological beasts, machines, spaceships and parodies of world leaders are commonly found in his work.