Hometown: West Sumatra
Based in: Yogyakarta
Handiwirman Saputra uses regular everyday materials including cotton, human hair, plastic wrap, wood etc., which he then repositions in a manner contrary to convention in his works. He studies the relationship between the extraordinary and the mundane, and more specifically, how the power of perception can seize imagination and alter one's impression of the ordinary. Perception gives forms their meaning and meaning is always open to interpretation.
He works in both paintings and sculptures and they mysteriously evoke a faint recognition of something that had been seen before but is essentially unidentifiable. This unusual reading of materials is perhaps indicative of his likewise unique work method. He thinks more in pictures rather than in words, using this mental visual to map out the meaning of his work. His titles too are meant to challenge the viewer's perception of the work, often misleading rather than leading the viewer's interpretation of the work.
In Handiwirman’s showcase at the Singapore Biennale 2006, he created a series of 5 paintings, measuring 180 x 180 cm each. Titled Salon #2, the work is hung at the City Hall venue in the biennale. Rifky Effendy aptly sums up the significance of the artist for the Indonesian contemporary art scene "In the map of contemporary art development in Indonesia, his works have contributed a different shade of colour, especially in the post-reformasi era, when most artwork is tightly connected to the social and political discourse. The artworks depict a symptom of tradition, caught between the collective value of a society - which has lost its belief in such value - and the individual belief in fighting for such values. By poeticizing the everyday, he reflects a constantly shifting world."
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