The practice of Arin Dwihartanto Sunaryo (b. 1978, Bandung, Indonesia) is defined by, and elevated through, a process of developing new pigments out of unconventional materials which are then conjoined to resin and transformed into painting, sculpture, photography, and video through a multitude of conceptual explorations. Sunaryo’s foray into resin began with more industrial ready-made pigments in contrasting Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key colors, but slowly he began to realize that there were ways to incorporate more natural mediums as well, and he then began to incorporate volcanic ash from different active volcano sites throughout the archipelago. He then experimented with the utilization of perishable food ingredient into the works, bounded and preserved in points of stasis through the utilization of resin. A certain cycle of energy, process, and thinking in relation to this practice begins to emerge that sensitively considers the most essential of form, a single pigment particle, where it comes from and how it comes to be, and how the possibilities inherently contained may be extended to its fullest potential. There is this certain contemplation, or even a certain choreography that attempts to capture the intersections between the potential, and the kinetic.
For Art Basel OVR: Portals, Sunaryo has been developing a new pigment altogether, derived from charred remnants of palm oil to develop a new body of paintings. Palm oil itself is unique as a material, it is both ubiquitous especially within the context of South East Asia in terms of the role it plays economically, socially, as well as politically on countless strata, as well as in some ways invisible, it is reconstituted in such a wide array of possibilities for human consumption that can be in many ways forgotten. This pigment, the charred palm oil, is then articulated into a number of complex gestural forms in a series of works that together form a cacophonous interwoven dialogue. Sunaryo punctures the surface of the paintings, as well as develops layers of textural nuance on the surface, both for the first time, to both lighten the composition as well establish newfound layers of depth. In some of the compositions, a corporeal sensibility is insinuated by the aesthetic form. In the other works, there is greater contrast in terms of color rendering between the different pigments in the work. One of the paintings are bended, and in terms of its positioning transforms into a hybrid painting/sculpture.
As opposed to presenting the works within the confines of a certain space or structure, Sunaryo felt that this new body of work would be able to convey its aesthetic intention more cohesively when placed in with the natural environment. The paintings have therefore been interspersed throughout forestry on the Bandung hillside. The reflections on the surface of the works take on a different meaning, reflecting the different iterations of the sun through dusk till dawn, the dancing shadows of tree branches through movements of the wind, as well as a cacophony of cicadas. It is as if these paintings attempt to contain, or speak towards, the energies of its surrounding environments, becoming part of the works themselves in the next iteration of its own lifecycle. To capture a more holistic nuance of this presentation, the works have been documented by the utilization of a drone to capture a greater sense of the works in relation to its surroundings.
Born 1978, Bandung, Indonesia
Lives and works in Bandung, Indonesia
Arin Dwihartanto Sunaryo received a Bachelor’s Degree in Painting from the Bandung Institute of Technology (2001) and a Master’s of Fine Art at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London (2005). Sunaryo is interested in the utilization of resin as a medium that captures minerals, pigments, and other particles in various states of flux within a sense of stasis. Working initially with more industrial pigments, he has more recently worked with volcanic ash, perishable food ingredients, as well as crude palm oil and converted them into his own distinctive pigments.
Sunaryo’s work has been featured in numerous exhibitions in Southeast Asia, Europe, the UK, and USA, including No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA (2014). Selected solo exhibitions include Arin Dwihartanto Sunaryo: New Paintings at Art Basel OVR: Portals presentation by ROH Projects (2021); ARGO at Simon Lee Gallery, London, UK (2019); after taste at Sullivan+Strumpf, Sydney, Australia (2017); Silent Salvo at ARNDT Gallery, Berlin, Germany (2015); and group shows include External Entrails at Silverlens New York, New York, USA (2022); IRL at Art Basel OVR: 2020 (2020); Ripples: Continuity in Indonesian Contemporary Art at Taipei Dangdai, Taiwan (2019); These Painter’s Painters at ROH Projects, Jakarta, Indonesia (2018); iris at Silverlens Galleries, Manila, Philippines (2018); ω at Edouard Malingue Gallery, Hong Kong (2017); Biennale Jogja XIV: Age of Hope in Yogyakarta, Indonesia (2017); Constituent Concreteness at Mizuma Gallery, Singapore (2017); Lines of Flight at Gallery Exit, Hong Kong (2017); Lompat Pagar/Crossing Borders at National Gallery of Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia (2015); Marcel Duchamp in Southeast Asia, Equator Art Project, Gillman Barracks, Singapore (2012); and Manifesto, National Gallery of Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia (2008). Sunaryo was nominated as a Finalist for Best Emerging Artist using Painting by the Prudential Eye Awards in 2015; and a Finalist in the Sovereign Asia Art Prize in 2010.
Copyright belongs to The Artist
Photography by Andika Auditya R.
Courtesy of The Artist and ROH