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b. 1969, Indonesia

Melati Suryodarmo Biography

Performance and body; these are the specific themes throughout Melati Suryodarmo’s working process. Born in Solo, 1969, she was educated in International Studies at Padjajaran University in Bandung in 1994, and then continued her studies in Germany, where she began immersing herself in performance art. Her impressions of performance art come not only from Asia but also from Europe and America.

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In 1994, a chance meeting with an expert in Butoh dance, Professor Anzu Furukawa, became to be one of the turning points in her life. She was then offered further study in this Japanese dance loaded with mystery, and was enticed.

The body is an art medium, and its movements are language. This is what has occupied Melati until now. In her work Melati’s body is not only a body with aspects physiological and psychological, but also political. Here the body lives as an organism with autonomous organs and interactions with its environment. The fullness of the body as a ‘living body’ and a ‘social body’, a body that is related to the environmental ‘system’, gives birth to conflict, no matter what its form. Melati processes conflict, the split, with bodies and her own body, through movement. Her background in dance and various other kinds of acrobatic movement allows her to actively explore the body more fully. Through her body she processes problems of limitations, identification and so on. There she traces a hybridity that originates in her personal experience: 'bodies in between' Java, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam.

Melati Suryodarmo Featured Artworks

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SOMNAMBUL 8 by Melati Suryodarmo contemporary artwork
Melati SuryodarmoSOMNAMBUL 8, 2018Silk, faux fur and collagraph on paper
110 x 171 x 4 cm
STPI - Creative Workshop & Gallery Contact Gallery
SOMNAMBUL 7 by Melati Suryodarmo contemporary artwork
Melati SuryodarmoSOMNAMBUL 7, 2018Silk, faux fur and collagraph on paper
110 x 170 x 7 cm
STPI - Creative Workshop & Gallery Contact Gallery
SOMNAMBUL 6 by Melati Suryodarmo contemporary artwork
Melati SuryodarmoSOMNAMBUL 6, 2018Silk, faux fur and collagraph on paper
110 x 170 x 7 cm
STPI - Creative Workshop & Gallery Contact Gallery
Dancing Under the Black Sky by Melati Suryodarmo contemporary artwork
Melati SuryodarmoDancing Under the Black Sky, 2019Multi-channel digital video
ShanghART Contact Gallery
I Love You 2 by Melati Suryodarmo contemporary artwork
Melati SuryodarmoI Love You 2, 2018Colour inkjet print
120 x 180 cm
ShanghART Contact Gallery
Eins Und Eins by Melati Suryodarmo contemporary artwork
Melati SuryodarmoEins Und Eins, 2016C-Print
66.7 x 100 cm
ShanghART Contact Gallery
Eins Und Eins by Melati Suryodarmo contemporary artwork
Melati SuryodarmoEins Und Eins, 2016Single-channel performance video
ShanghART Contact Gallery

Melati Suryodarmo Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Cache: From B to Z at ShanghART, Shanghai
Closed
12 April–30 August 2020 Group Exhibition Cache: From B to Z ShanghART, Westbund, ShanghaiWestbund, Shanghai
Contemporary art exhibition, Melati Suryodarmo, Memento Mori at STPI - Creative Workshop & Gallery, Singapore
Closed
24 November 2019–24 January 2020 Melati Suryodarmo Memento Mori STPI - Creative Workshop & Gallery, SingaporeSingapore
Contemporary art exhibition, Melati Suryodarmo, I Love You at ShanghART, Beijing
Closed
18 April–14 May 2018 Melati Suryodarmo I Love You ShanghART, BeijingBeijing

Melati Suryodarmo Represented By

ShanghART contemporary art gallery in Singapore ShanghART Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore

Melati Suryodarmo In Ocula Magazine

Emi Eu: ‘We have to look at Southeast Asia as one market’ Ocula Conversation Emi Eu: ‘We have to look at Southeast Asia as one market’ By Stephanie Bailey, Singapore

STPI's Emi Eu reflects on S.E.A. Focus, an STPI project platforming artists and galleries from Southeast Asia, in the wake of Art Stage's decline in 2019 and ahead of the launch of Singapore's new art fair, Art SG, in October 2020.

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Singapore Lowdown: Shows to See Ocula Report Singapore Lowdown: Shows to See By Tessa Moldan, Singapore

Singapore Art Week returns from 11 to 19 January 2020 with a host of island-wide events, at the centre of which is the second edition of S.E.A. Focus (16–19 January 2020) at Gillman Barracks, showcasing the best of contemporary art in Southeast Asia.

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Melati Suryodarmo: Performance Art as Trigger Ocula Conversation Melati Suryodarmo: Performance Art as Trigger By Cristina Sanchez-Kozyreva, Surakarta

In 2012, Melati Suryodarmo opened Studio Plesungan in her native Surakarta, also known as Solo, the historic royal capital of the Mataram Empire of Java in Indonesia. Suryodarmo had returned to Indonesia from Germany, where she studied Butoh and choreography with Butoh dancer and choreographer Anzu Furukawa, time-based media with avantgarde...

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Melati Suryodarmo In Related Press

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Melati Suryodarmo: Timoribus at Shanghart, Singapore Related Press Melati Suryodarmo: Timoribus at Shanghart, Singapore 4 July 2018, ArtReview Asia

Melati Suryodarmo's greatest asset is her Javanese dance- and butoh-trained body, the limits of which she explores in durational performances. The latter range from full-sprint displays of power (as in her best-known work, Exegie - Butter Dance, 2000, in which she dances and skids on blocks of butter), to periods of deep meditative surrender (in...

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I LOVE YOU: MELATI SURYODARMO Related Press I LOVE YOU: MELATI SURYODARMO 4 July 2018, ArtAsiaPacific

For acclaimed Indonesian performance artist Melati Suryodarmo’s first comprehensive solo exhibition in China, hosted at ShanghArt Beijing, she offered a group of works that represent her two-pronged practice, which comprises photography and durational performance art—the latter being her key pursuit, and the main focus of the show. The...

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'Political Acts: Pioneers of Performance Art in Southeast Asia' at the Arts Centre Melbourne Related Press 'Political Acts: Pioneers of Performance Art in Southeast Asia' at the Arts Centre Melbourne 25 April 2017, Art Radar Journal

A new exhibition at the Arts Centre Melbourne gathers together the pioneers of performance art in Southeast Asia. Political Acts: Pioneers of Performance Art in Southeast Asia, part of the Asia TOPA: Asia-Pacific Triennial of Performing Arts events across the city will be on until 21 May 2017.

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'An Atlas of Mirrors,' Singapore Biennale 2016 Related Press 'An Atlas of Mirrors,' Singapore Biennale 2016 22 November 2016, art agenda

Under the artistic direction of Susie Lingham, Director of the Singapore Art Museum, and nine other curators, the fifth edition of the Singapore Biennale, An Atlas of Mirrors, showcases sixty artists and three artist collectives from nineteen countries and territories around South, East, and Southeast Asia. Spanning eight venues in close...

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