Dadang Christanto is a leading Indonesian artist who was living in Darwin in 2006. He was a lecturer at the School of Art and Design, Northern Territory University (1999-2003), completing a residency at the Canberra School of Art before moving to Sydney to lecture at the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales (2004).

Dadang has shown widely in major international biennales and exhibitions, including the Biennale of Venice (2003); Yogyakarta Biennial and CP Open Biennial, Jakarta, Indonesia (both 2003); Kwangju Biennale, South Korea (2000); The First and Third Asia-Pacific Triennials of Contemporary Art, Brisbane (1993, 1999); Kanazu Forest of Creation, Fukui, Japan (1999); and the Bienal de São Paulo, Brazil (1998). In 1997, he was a recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant.

Dadang’s professional creative life remains firmly rooted in – and yet resolutely transcends – his home experience and locality, to encompass the deepest levels of human experience. The series of heads exhibited in 'austral-asia zero three’ (Sherman Galleries, 2003) and shown previously at the Alliance Française Gallery in Yogyakarta, refer to the relentless cruelty of humankind among those of different faiths or political systems. The disappearance of multitudes of Indonesian political dissidents during the mid-1960s purges, when Dadang’s father was lost without trace, is a recurring theme in the artist’s oeuvre.

Performance, installation, sculpture, video, painting and works on paper cover the range of Dadang’s art. His installations include They Give Evidence (1996-97); Cannibalism: The Memory of Jakarta – Solo 13, 14, 15 May 1998 (1998); and Red Rain (2000), all highly poeticised reminders of past horrors and present dangers. In 2004, his permanent artwork, Heads from the North , was installed in Marsh Pond, Sculpture Garden, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. They Give Evidence , the 2003 inaugural exhibition at the contemporary Asian Gallery, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, was re-presented for exhibition there in February 2005.

Murray-Cree, Laura
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