Past Exhibition

Eko Nugroho

b.1977- Indonesia

Born in 1977, Eko Nugroho is one of the most active Indonesian artists on the contemporary art scene. His work was first exhibited in 2008 at the National Museum of Singapore and has since been shown in prestigious international institutions and events in solo and group exhibitions.
The artist was 20 years old when in 1998, the autocratic regime of President Suharto, in place for 32 years, fell, overthrown by student demonstrations during violent riots. Eko Nugroho is part of the generation of artists who made their debut during this period of democratic transition and tried various practices in a context of brutal liberation of speech.
His work follows a multidisciplinary approach from the start: drawings, paintings, sculptures, installations, interventions in public space. In doing so, he revisits many Indonesian artistic traditions (batik, embroidery, shadow theater) while introducing other modes of creation, those of the contemporary counterculture: comics, fanzine, street art, animation.
A cast of hybrid aliens and UFOs have thus populated Eko Nugroho's imagery since the early years of his career. These symbolic figures, part-man, part-machine, part-animal, give him the opportunity to explore the often absurd condition of humans in contemporary societies and to trigger further questions with far greater implications than is immediately apparent.
Like most Yogyakarta artists, his work is heavily imbued with socio-political content. Whether democracy, religion, urbanism or ecology, his works are at the same time very critical and full of humor and exuberance, as can be seen in the titles given by the artist to his works: Happy To Be Alienated, Yes We Concern About Nothing, or We Are Complaining About a Future That Doesn't Exist.
In this universe, there are no easy answers, no grand narratives, good and evil, right or wrong. Eko Nugroho's work holds up a mirror to us all, encouraging us to contemplate the gray areas we face in our daily lives, the limits of our understanding (and misunderstanding) of the world and ourselves.
If the playful and colorful images are easy to access, inviting us to take an imaginary leap into the artist's strange world, the layers of ambiguity and absurdity they present give them a dimension that is both singular and universal, and open up an infinite number of levels of reading. "Where we expected exoticism, we are confronted with our own pluri-identity. What moves Eko is not the modernist or postmodernist dynamics of contemporary art, but the need to create an enchanted link in a fragmented world" (Sébastien Gokalp, curator of the exhibition Hybrid Witness, Musée d'art moderne, Paris, 2012) Eko Nugroho was born in 1977 in Indonesia. He graduated from the Indonesian Art Institute in Yogyakarta in 2006 and exhibited at the National Museum of Singapore in 2008. His work has been shown internationally in group and solo exhibitions: Contemporary Arts Centre in New Orleans (2008), Lyon Biennale (2009), MOCA Shanghai (2010), ZKM Karlsruhe (2011), National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne (2011), Musée d'art moderne in Paris (2012), Venice Biennale (2013), Kunstverein in Frankfurt (2015) and M+ in Hong Kong (2018). His works are present in numerous public and private collections in Asia, Europe, America and Oceania. He lives and works in Yogyakarta.