Inspired by a gas cylinder blast

Inspired by a gas cylinder blast
Indonesian artist Entang Wiharso and his work, Perfect Mirror which is a reflection of the many things that bind people in everyday life.

Leading Indonesian artist Entang Wiharso's detailed installations often draw on everyday aspects of life. A gas cylinder filled with fake red flowers, for example, is meant to address broader themes such as that of fakes.

His intricate installations are a complex web of human forms and politically charged text.

At first glance, the artworks look very busy, but on closer examination, the viewer is drawn into a moving meditation on the human condition. These, the artist says, are meant to show how society, culture and politics are "tied in an intricate web".

His solo show Trilogy, now on at ARNDT Gallery in Gillman Barracks, is a continuing examination of many of these recurring themes in his art that have gained him international recognition.

Last year, he was one of the artists who represented Indonesia at the prestigious Venice Biennale, the world's leading contemporary art event.

The charming, soft-spoken artist, who divides his time between his homes in Yogyakarta and Rhode Island, tells Life! his art is "a response to major events and happenings in Indonesia".

He says: "Often when people visit Indonesia for the first time, they are struck by the sheer chaos. But in that chaos, there is order. Many cities in Indonesia have lots of people. Which is why in many of my installations you see people portrayed very close to one another. Almost like they cannot be separated."

Indeed, his human forms are often portrayed as being too close for comfort, yet they seem to have a perfect space for themselves.

You can see it in his most recent 220x330cm installation titled Perfect Mirror. The bewitching mixed-media work, which uses oil on mirror, aluminium and thread, has inscriptions, images and human forms which are connected through the use of ornamental vegetation and elements drawn from landscapes.

"It is a reflection of the many things that bind us in everyday life," says the 46-year-old artist, who is married and has two sons aged 11 and nine.

His installations are evocative of temple reliefs while his smaller sculptures are full of textures and colours. Together, they challenge the viewer with their multiple perspectives. They address themes ranging from the challenges of everyday life to living in densely populated cities. The decorative backgrounds are a nod to Indonesia's rich craft traditions, including that of batik.

One work that stands out is a smaller sculpture titled Fake And Real - Live Together Forever.

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