Dedy Sufriadi

Bio & Art Activity

was born in Palembang on 20th May 1976, second of 6 children, in a family of trader. He made his first acquaintance with painting in his child hood and formally took education and seriously learn painting when he enrolled in Palembang SMRS (Sekolah Menengah Seni Rupa – Secondary School of Arts) majoring in Painting. He then continued with his formal education in ISI (Institute Seni Indonesia – Indonesia Arts Institute) in Yogyakarta, enrolling in 1995, and finishing his degree in 2004. post-graduate degree in ISI Yogya in 2013.

The political turmoil in the 90’s has brought significant impact to the thems of paintings. It would be fair to say that this period marked the shift of abstract paintings from ’Balinese expressionism’ to ’social realism’. Almost every Indonesian young painter at that time chose to present the social political conditions of the time, including Dedy Sufriadi, Politics have become a never-exhausting source. Like a spring that never runs out of its water, the chaotic political condition in Indonesia is a never-ending inspiration. For Dedy, long journey in painting social realism themes are not without hindrance. It was obvious that a dilemma was always surfacing the moment I started to paint, as I realized that the topic I was about to paint did not come from within. The topic was something that was in fashion at the time. he believed that this theme only bring us to social critics that did not have any real impact in life. His disappointment was exacerbated when he was confronted with the reality. Social realism has become a hollow rhetoric. Artists who presented the social realism theme have taken to live in a very individualist way and were oblivious to the real world. This has created a conflict for dedy. Dedy worked for more than four years with my big theme of existentialism. He found it to be like a link of chains; the longer I go with it, the more I found new things in them. To dedy, existentialism has given me a new perspective in looking at an issue, especially issues in the art of paintings.

At this period, the text emerged. At first, text was present only as a complement: to give a brief description of the story behind the painting. The presence of text in the period of existentialism was as an alternative to solve the visual problem. As in graphic stories, some scenes would be understood more easily when we insert some text in them. But along the way, text has become a review in dedy’s paintings; text has taken a more important place, no longer merely serving as a complement. Text has now functioned both as an artistic (visual) or aesthetic element. As an artistic element, text has replaced the line element that was so dominant in my previous works. What was once represented by lines in my painting, now are represented by strings of texts on the canvas. The alphabets used daily can have different and unique characters that define them from one another. Outside the domain of their ‘meaning’, Roman, Chinese, Arabic, and other alphabets are pliable enough to be formed into impressive abstract elements. Text does not converse only the artistic matter. Text is now present as an equal to the other artistic elements. Text can even surpass the depiction of paintings in conveying and translating my obsessions and my opinion on myriads of matters. The exploration begins with the presentation of the element of text, the letters, as a painting in two-dimension. Text will then become the visual element of the painting, where it is presented by texts that are readable and text that are no longer readable. Like a computer monitor with various links and hypertexts, text will be present in other paintings. Various experimentations in the creative process were undertaken; be it exploration of forms or exploration of discourse. This means that I would be presenting a variety of themes in my paintings. The texts may be offered in the form of direct quotations cuts from books, or quotes of writings written onto the canvas. Though personally see the impact of those paintings are not yet satisfactory, I believe that they have given a meaning and valuable input to the next artistic process.

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Dedy Sufriadi