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ISWANTO HARTONO [born1972], Indonesia


Iswanto Hartono is one of the few contemporary Indonesian artists with a background in architecture. Known as an artist with a conceptual base, Iswanto has been exhibiting his works since the late nineties, showing works with a strong social and political content. Iswanto’s works betray his interest in history/memory, globalization, and geopolitical powers, post-colonial, in race/identity. He admits that as an artist who was born and grew up in Indonesia, social and political issues are inextricably linked to his process of works.

Iswanto’s works, however-mostly in the form of painting, digital print, text/poems, video, multimedia, architecture, and site-specific works – really state critical opinions in explicit and stereotypical manner. Iswanto likes to revisit history to unveil narratives that people have largely ignored. He tends to muse on the latest issues of both international politics-such as conflict among nations, wars, and transfer of power-that are our daily fare, and also on Indonesian history and socio-political issues,  he conveys the issues with a highly personal perspective.

Most of his works deliberately steer away from explosive and responsive artistic expressions and presenting unpredictable idioms.


Hartono is particularly interested in Indonesian traditions and parts of that country’s history that have consciously been forgotten. Previous projects revolved around colonisation and post-colonial debates and the battle of identity in contemporary Indonesia.


A member of ARTLAB, ruangrupa, Jakarta.









Solo Show

2021                   OTA [Oei Tiong An], Hofke van Chantrain, Belgium

2017                   ISWANTO HARTONO, Oudekerk, Amsterdam, Europalia Indonesia 

2010                   MUSEUM OF INNOCENCE, Galeri Canna, Grand Indonesia, Lower Ground, Jakarta Indonesia

2009                    MOOD INDIGO, Gasatelier Landeshaupstadt, Dusseldorf, Germany

2008                    VOID, Maruki Museum, Saitama, Japan

2007                    MELLOW, Gallery K, Tokyo

2007                    BLUE, Galeri Soemardja, ITB, Bandung

2006                    OIL INCORPORATED, Cemara6 Galeri, jakarta

2005                    GAME IS NOT [YET] OVER, with AK-47, Galeri Lawang, Jakarta

2004                    OIL INCORPORATED : works in engine oil, RED MILL GALLERY, VERMONT STUDIO CENTER, USA.

2002                     Nest and Solitude, Lembaga Indonesia Perancis [Indonesia France Institute], Yogyakarta


Selected Group Show

2020                 The World After, Oudekerk, Amsterdam

2018                 Jateng Biennale 2018, Semarang, Indonesia

2018                 Beyond Wonder: Perspective of Utopia, Nagoya, Japan

2018                 DAK’ART 2018, Dakar Biennale 2018, Dakar, Senegal

2018                 Ranah Se Rantau, Bintaro Xchange, Bintaro, Jawa Barat, Indonesia

2017                 COSMOPOLIS #1 [ with ruangrupa], Centre Pompidou, Paris

2016                  Sonsbeek 2016 TRANSACTION, Arnhem, The Netherlands

2016                  Aichi Triennale 2016: Rainbow Caravan [with ruangrupa], Nagoya, Japan

2014                  31st SAO PAULO BIENNAL 2014 [with ruangRupa], Sao Paulo, Brazil

2014                  IRELAND BIENNAL EVA INTERNATIONAL #AGITATIONISM 2014, Limerick City, Ireland

2014                  THE WALL/STRUCTURE/CONSTRUCTION, ARK GALERIE, Yogyakarta

2013                   JAKARTA BIENNALE 2013: SIASAT [with ARTLAB, ruangrupa], Jakarta

2013                   4th SINGAPORE BIENNALE 2013: IF THE WORLD CHANGE, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore

2013                    VERTICAL VILLAGE [with Artlab ruangrupa], 4A Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney

2013                    DOBRAK! [with Aryo Danusiri], Cemeti Art House, Jogjakarta, Indonesia

2013                   Market Forces: Friction of The Opposites, Osage Gallery, Hongkong

2012                   ASIA PACIFIC TRIENALLE 7 [with ruangrupa], Brisbane, Australia

2012                   ARTJOG 2012, Jogjakarta, Indonesia

2012                  Bandung Pavilion, INTER-CITY PAVILION, 9 SHANGHAI BIENALLE 2012 [with Raqs Media Collective], Shanghai, China

2012                   ARTDUBAI 2012, Dubai

2011                  JAKARTA BIENNALE 2011: MAXIMUM CITY, Galeri Nasional Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia

2011                  JOGJA BIENNALE 2011: EQUATOR #1, Taman Budaya Yogyakarta, Jogjakarta, Indonesia

2011                  CITYNET ASIA 2011, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, South Korea

2011                  EKSPANSI, Pameran Besar Patung Indonesia, National Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia

2011                  INDONESIAN EYE, Saatchi Gallery/Ciputra Marketing Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia

2011                  SIM CITY, National Gallery, Jakarta Indonesia

2011                  ASIA TRIENALLE MANCHESTER 2011 [with ruangrupa], Manchester, UK

2011                  NEXT TWS 10 YEARS!, Tokyo Wonder Site, Tokyo, Japan

2011                  SINGAPORE BIENALLE 2011: OPEN HOUSE [with ruangrupa], Singapore

2011                   BEASTLY, Rumah Seni Cemeti, Jogjakarta, Indonesia/Salihara, Jakarta, Indonesia

2011                   1001 PINTU, Ciputra Marketing Galeri, Jakarta, Indonesia

2011                   MENTAL ARCHIVE, Rumah Seni Cemeti, Jogjakarta, Indonesia

2011                  HANYA MEMBERI TAK HARAP KEMBALI, Ruangrupa 10th, Galeri Soemardja, Bandung – Kedai Kebun Forum, Jogjakarta

2010                  Article 8, Tokyo, Japan

2010                  MANIFESTO OF THE NEW AESTHETICS: 7 ARTIST FROM INDONESIA, Institute of Contemporary Art, Lasalle College,                                        Singapore

2010                  ECCE HOMO, Galeri Semarang, Indonesia

2009                  Next Nature, Vanessa ArtlLink/National Gallery of Indonesia, Jakarta

2009                  PARCOURS INTERDIT, Malkasten Park, Dusseldorf, Germany

2009                  ARENA: JAKARTA BIENNALE XIII 2009 . FLUID ZONE, National Gallery of Indonesia, Jakarta

2008                 What Game Shall We Play Today? Tokyo Wonder Site, Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan

2008                  Labyrinth, with Hamad Khalaf, Gaya Fusion Gallery, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

2007                  KUOTA INBOX 2008, Galeri Nasional Indonesia, Jakarta

2007                  Demi Massa, National Gallery of Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia

2006                  Voices from the Forest, Kanagawa, Japan

2005                  CP Biennale 2005, with AK-47,  Museum BI, Jakarta

2005                   abstrak[dicoret], galeri cemara 6, Jakarta

2005                  TRANSINDONESIA: Scoping Culture In Contemporary Indonesian Art, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Playmouth, New                            Zealand                 

2004                  Mapping Indonesian Art, ISCP Open Studio, New York

2004                  Small Works, Kahn Barn, VERMONT STUDIO CENTER, USA.

2003                  Geumgang International Nature Art Exhibition 2003, Gong-ju, Korea

2002                  The Exhibition of Geumgang Nature Art Project 2002, Gong-Ju Cultural Center, Korea



Residency Programs

2009                             Kulturamt Landeshaupstadt, Dusseldorf, Germany

2008                             TOKYO WONDER SITE, Tokyo, Japan

2004                             VERMONT STUDIO CENTER, Johnson, USA

Grant and Fellowship

2009                            Kulturamt Landeshaupstadt, Dusseldorf, Germany

2003-2004                  Freeman Asian Award Full Fellowship 2003/2004, Freeman Foundation,  USA

2000-2002                  General Cultural Scholarship Scheme, Indian Council for Cultural Relationship, New Delhi,India



2008-present              ARTLAB ruangrupa, Jakarta Indonesia

2018                             Gudskul, Jakarta Indonesia

Guest Professorship

2022                            Kunsthochschule Kassel, Germany

2022/23                      HFBK Hamburg, Germany


Selected Collections

Museum Akili, Jakarta

Amsterdam Museum, Amsterdam

Singapore Art Museum, Singapore









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