Being one of Indonesia's most provocative and engaging artists, Entang Wiharso his paintings and Installations combine personal, Western and Indonesian mythologies and cast a critical eye on International politics, environmental issues and cultural stereotypes and prejudices.
He is indeed drawing on history and mythology from his home culture of Indonesia, while also responding to Western culture and globalization since making his second home in Rhode island. In His personal experiences are embedded with a strong examination of the predominant socio-political conditions of his home country Indonesia. To him, creating work is a way of understanding the human condition, of heightening our ability to perceive, feel and understand human problems like love, hate, fanaticism, religion, and ideology.
Recently, an increasing use of written text has entered his works: slogans, signs, philosophy or common phrases are collected from newspapers, political campaigns, quotes from important or influential people or characters from TV or films. Used directly or altered by i.e. changing the punch line, underlying meanings are exposed and add a further component to the complex artistic language of his work. His work shows ambiguous profiles, similar to the forms of giants in the myths of Java, and combines them with contemporary elements. He puts together “primitivism” with a cartoon’s language of his contemporary life, being able to transport primitivism in his actual reality.
“I depict the condition of humans who are often divided by complex, multilayered political, ethnic, racial, and religious systems: they co-exist yet their communication is limited and indirect. Figures are interconnected by intuitive as well as intellectual linkages, including ornamental vegetation, tongues, tails, intestines, animal skin patterns, fences and detailed landscapes.“ Entang Wiharso, 2011
Stay Focus, 2011 is part of a series of wall-mounted reliefs entitled “Comic Book Series”. These works present a variety of scenarios about the pleasures and pitfalls of power. The eye is a metaphor of awareness - our conscious - always watching, recording and reminding us of flawed choices and their repercussions. Sexuality, possession and desire also play important roles in these works and the fence, which frames the figures, alludes to boundaries which differentiate, exclude and protect.