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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


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



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


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

2019-2022 artistic direction [ruangrupa], documentafifteen, Kassel, Germany          

Guest Professorship

2023 UniArts, Helsinki, Finland

2022/23 HFBK Hamburg, Germany

2022 Kunsthochschule Kassel, Germany


Selected Collections

Museum Akili, Jakarta

Amsterdam Museum, Amsterdam

Singapore Art Museum, Singapore









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