Lives and works in Indonesia
FX Harsono is a seminal figure in the Indonesian contemporary art scene with a career spanning four decades. He co-founded Indonesia’s Gerakan Seni Rupa Baru (New Art Movement) in 1975, with a group of young artists who believed in engaging with social and political issues, through an emphasis on experimental and conceptual approaches that incorporates everyday materials. Since his student days he has been an active critic of Indonesian politics, society and culture, consistently refining his artistic language to the contemporary social and cultural contexts. Harsono’s own biography and family history are often the basis of his art, pointing at the disconcerting situation of minorities, the socially underprivileged against the backdrop of Indonesia’s own history and political development. This intersection of the personal and the political is particularly evident in his most recent works.
In 2015, Harsono received the first Joseph Balestier Award for the Freedom of Art, awarded by the United States Embassy in Singapore and Art Stage Singapore, following his 2014 Prince Claus Fund Laureate Award. In recognition of his commitment to the freedom of art and expression, citing the artist's "critical installation and performance work that spanned pro-democracy dissent to explorations of the experiences of ethnic minorities." In addition to teaching, Harsono regularly writes about social questions and the development of contemporary art in Indonesia and Southeast Asia.
FX Harsono studied painting at STSRI “ASRI”, Yogyakarta, Indonesia from 1969-74 and at IKJ (Jakarta Art Institute) from 1987-91. Since 2015, he lectures at the Faculty of Art and Design, Pelita Harapan University, Tangerang, West Java, Indonesia. Notable solo exhibitions include Beyond Identity, Nexus Arts, Adelaide, Australia (2015); Testimonies, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore (2010); and The Erased Time, National Gallery of Indonesia, Jakarta (2009). Recent group exhibitions include Sunshower: Contemporary Art from Southeast Asia 1980s to Now, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2017); After Darkness: Southeast Asian Art in the Wake of History, Asia Society Museum, New York (2017); Rosa’s Wound, Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei, Taiwan (2017); and Tell Me My Truth, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney (2016).
Harsono has participated in key local and international biennales including the 20th Biennale of Sydney, Sydney, Australia (2016); Jogja Biennale XII, Yogyakarta, Indonesia (2013); the 4th Moscow Biennale, Moscow, Russia (2011); 3rd Nanjing Triennial, Nanjing, China (2008); 3rd Kwangju Biennale, South Korea (2000); and the Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Brisbane, Australia (1993). Harsono’s works have been acquired in public collections including Singapore Art Museum; National Gallery of Singapore; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Japan; Gallery of Modern Art, Queensland, Australia; National Gallery of Adelaide, Canberra, Australia; and the Ullen Foundation Collection, Beijing, China.