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Retrieving the History of Indonesia’s Massacred Chinese Community
Bansie Vasvani, April 6, 2016, Hyperallergic Media

For FX Harsono, art is activism. Over the past four decades, performance, sculpture, and painting have become his means of nonviolent protest against government autocracy and ethnic strife in Indonesia. In his current exhibition The Chronicles of Resilience at the Tyler Rollins Gallery, New York, Harsono pays homage to the massacre of his own Chinese minority community between 1947–49, prior to Indonesian independence from the Dutch colonizers in 1949. From the very first influx of Chinese immigrants in Indonesia to the country’s recent torching of Chinese businesses in 1998, Chinese have been long targeted by native Indonesians. In his work, Harsono revives Chinese identity in the region by reprising lost history, archival records, and suppressed memories.

Article : [link] [pdf]
FX Harsono's "Chronicles of Resilience" Remembers Indonesia's Dark History
Samuel Spencer, February 25, 2016, BlouinArtinfo

Fx Harsono, one of Indonesia’s leading contemporary artists with a career spanning 40 years, is due to present his latest work at Tyler Rollins Fine Art in New York. The exhibition is titled “The Chronicles of Resilience.”

The artist is a central figure in the Indonesian art scene, which he helped establish, and his career has run parallel to the often tumultuous history of the country, which is reflected in his work generally and in much of the work in “Resilience.”

Titled “The Life and The Chaos: Objects, Images and Words”, the exhibition at the Erasmus Huis, Dutch Cultural Center, which runs until Oct. 30, does justice to the lifetime work of the country’s seminal figure in the contemporary art world.

Article : [link] [pdf]
The Eras of Fx Harsono
Tertiani ZB Simanjuntak, October 28, 2015, The Jakarta Post

A charred body lies on a low table while an array of machine guns, pistols, a chainsaw, metal chains and needles of various sizes are placed on the next table – a reminder of the country’s violent history.

Items, the look like the appliances from a house of pain are parts of an art installation of artist FX Harsono, express the people’s anger and frustration with the government-backed abuse of the New Order regime.

Titled “The Life and The Chaos: Objects, Images and Words”, the exhibition at the Erasmus Huis, Dutch Cultural Center, which runs until Oct. 30, does justice to the lifetime work of the country’s seminal figure in the contemporary art world.

Article : [link] [pdf]
FX Harsono Received Prince Clause Award, 2014
December 10, 2014, Netherland

HRH Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands presents the Prince Claus Award to FX Harsono (visual artist, Indonesia), at the Royal Palace Amsterdam.

Bringing to Life a Forgotten Massacre in Words and Pictures
Gita Hastarika, February 1, 2014, The Jakarta Globe

For Indonesian visual artist F.X. Harsono, researching the truth behind several cases of massacres against the Chinese community in Indonesia has become a lifelong obsession, his biggest arts project and one he will likely never stop pursuing.

It all started in 2008 when he discovered a collection of black-and-white photographs taken by his late father, Oh Hok Tjoe, in their hometown of Blitar, East Java, between 1949 and 1951.

Article : [link] [pdf]
F.X. Harsono - Pergumulan Testimoni Identitas (Tokoh Seni Tempo 2013)
January 12, 2014, Tempo

Sepanjang kariernya selama tiga dekade, Harsono bergulat dengan masalah sosial. Ia tak henti-henti melakukan kritik. Pamerannya tahun lalu di Jogja National Museum sampai ke titik yang menarik. Ia bergulat dengan persoalan kekerasan dan identitas.

Jagat seni rupa Indonesia pernah mengenal karya berjudul Paling Top 75 berupa senjata serbu dari bahan plastik yang dikerangkeng di dalam kotak kayu bertutup jalinan kawat. Karya ini dipajang dalam pameran Gerakan Seni Rupa Baru di Taman Ismail Marzuki, Jakarta, bertajuk "Pasaraya Dunia Fantasi", pada 2-7 Agustus 1975, ketika Jakarta masih panas dibakar gerakan protes mahasiswa lewat peristiwa Malari (Malapetaka 15 Januari) 1974.

Article : [pdf]
This is History - FX Harsono, Art Asia Pacific cover issue 85 Sep/Oct 2013
HG Masters, September - October 2013, issue 85, Art Asia Pacific

During the riots that swept Jakarta in May 1998, as the Suharto regime crumbled, FX Harsono was living in an ethnically mixed neighborhood in the southern part of the city. Populist anger had turned the streets into dangerous places for members of the Chinese-Indonesian community-such as Harsono-who were preceived as having benefited from the protection and patronage of the authoritarian government. Amid a flatering economy, anti-Chinese riots had been occuring for the previous two years, and tens of thousands of Chinese, predominantly merchants and business people, had already fled the country. That May, more than 1,100 people were killed in Jakarta, many caught in the blaze when two shopping malls were set on fire; vandals and looters targeted Jakarta's Chinatown and other Chinese-Indonesian businesses while carrying out a mass campaign of rape against Chinese-Indonesian women.

Although Harsono had been given an opportunity ealier that year to travel to Australia on an artist's residency, he had decided not to leave home. He conceded in our recent conversation in Jakarta his conflicted feelings: "I wanted to watch what happened, but I was afraid to go out." Just four days after the riots began, his mother passed away, and so he had to venture to the central train station-a journet that, in conversation, he didn't describe directly.

Article : [pdf]
"Sip!" Three generations of Indonesian Art in Singapore – picture feast
September 20, 2013, Art Radar Asia

“Sip! Indonesian Art Today” features sixteen artists from three generations at ARNDT Singapore.

The travelling exhibition "Sip! Indonesian Art Today", which originated in Berlin and is currently showing at ARNDT Singapore (14 September to 20 October 2013), spans three generations of Indonesia’s artists, mapping the country’s journey from totalitarianism to booming democracy.

Article : [link]
A Hidden History of Injustice
Mia Maria, July 22, 2013, The Jakarta Globe

A regular morning in June with my usual hazelnut latte at a coffee shop suddenly became special as artist FX Harsono began to show me pages and pages of his research on history of massacres of Chinese ndonesians between 1947 and 1949.

Now that doesn't happen every day.

Our encounter happened as Harsono was preparing his solo exhibition at the Yogyakarta (Jogja) National Museum, which ends today.

Article : [pdf]
An Identity Contructed Out of Diversity
FX Harsono, May-June 2013, Pipeline

[By FX Harsono for Pipeline, adapted from his presentation at the 2013 Para Site International Conference in Hong Kong]

I was born in the small town of Blitar in East Java, of Chinese heritage. I came to know Javanese culture from the village where I lived with my grandmother, who was of Javanese descent. I was introduced to aspects of Chinese culture by my parents. I studied at a Chinese school for three years, before I was enrolled in a Catholic school. There, I was exposed to western culture - although not "western" in its purest sense - through a Catholic education and also from the missionaries.

Article : [pdf]
Sip! Indonesian Art Today - 16 artists from 3 generations at ARNDT Berlin
Enin Supriyanto, May 2013, Nafas Art Magazine

[Extract from a curatorial text]

The exhibition "Sip! Indonesian Art Today" presents works by 16 contemporary artists from Indonesia. They belong to a larger community of artists who are actively shaping Indonesia’s dynamic developing contemporary art scene. If we consider their age and career development, the artists here represent 3 generations of contemporary art practice dating back from the late 1970s: beginning first with FX Harsono, one of the proponents of the Indonesian New Art Movement (Gerakan Seni Rupa Baru) founded in 1975 followed by a group of artists who emerged at a time when Indonesia was undergoing major socio-political transformations in its strive towards democracy during the late 1990s ...

Article : [link]
FX Harsono and the art of political protest – Para Site Hong Kong artist talk
CN/KN/HH, April 23, 2013, Art Radar Asia

On 13 April 2013, as part of the Para Site International Conference 2013 in Hong Kong, Indonesian artist FX Harsono looked back on his lifelong artistic engagement with political protest, and his search for personal identity through art.

Article : [link]
What is it to be Chinese? im Grimmuseum
Emmanuel MIR, Stefanie Ippendorf, November 1, 2012, Perisphere

Auf die Frage „Was bedeutet es Chinese zu sein/ Was bedeutet Chinesisch-Sein?“ würden sicherlich
viele Nicht-Chinesen mit einem bunten Potpourri aus Klischees antworten: Chinesen sind klein, essen
Hundefleisch mit Stäbchen, schmatzen, schlürfen und spucken, fälschen Markenartikel, sind eine
wirtschaftliche Großmacht auf der Überholspur, müssen die Ein-Kind-Politik und Zensur der
Kommunistischen Partei erdulden und eifrig für niedrige Löhne arbeiten.

Article : [link] [pdf]
In Memory of a Name: an opportunity for professional development
Helen Fong, September 2012, issue 253, Art Monthly Australia

In a quiet corner of an art gallery a young man stitched a name, explaining why he no longer used this name; a Chinese woman stitched the name of a recently deceased relative. In the next room a tall woman stood, hand outstretched, attempting to gauge the strength of a name by its vibration. A man patiently taught the pronunciation of Indonesian names.

Article : [link] [pdf]
In Memory of a Name podcast series
Campbelltownartscentre, March 12, 2012, Edge of Elsewhere
FX Harsono (right) with Toby Chapman and Macushla Robinson

As one of their outcomes, the In Memory of a Name curatorium presented a series of conversations, presentations and interviews – the In Memory of a Name Mini-Symposium. Held at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art on Saturday 18 February, the event saw a number of participants from the curatorium present aspects of the research that they have undertaken as part of the In Memory of a Name curatorium project. The curatorium was initiated by Indonesian artist, FX Harsono, as part of Edge of Elsewhere. All projects that were part of Edge of Elsewhere in 2012 adopted unique and differing perspectives on what or where a community is, and how an artists can hope to truly engage with these communities.

Beyond the East: A Eurocentric gaze on Indonesian contemporary art
Katerina Valdivia Bruch, January 13 2012, culture360.org

From October 2011 to February 2012, the city of Rome presents an extensive programme of events in the frame of the international cultural biennale Vie della seta (Silk Roads). Organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Italian Ministry of Culture, the biennale is dedicated to Middle and Far Eastern countries which, according to the concept of the festival, “constituted a mystery for Europe before Marco Polo’s travels in the 13th century”.

Article : [link]
Indonesian contemporary art in Italy: A “faraway world” brought closer to Rome
AAN/KN, January 11, 2012, Art Radar Asia

The West has a current craving for what is coming out of the Indonesian creative community, and the Italian art world is no exception, with an exhibition at the MACRO in Rome signaling a significant European breakthrough for artists from the world’s largest archipelago.

Last year, 2011, was a stand-out year for Indonesian contemporary art. Work from the country shone in the Christie’s Hong Kong autumn sales amidst a soberer Asian art performance, and it reportedly accounts for about 68 percent of Christie’s and Sotheby’s turnover. Indonesian artists also filled the walls and floors of exhibition spaces at art institutions and commercial galleries across the world: in Australia, ...

Article : [link]
Happy Holidays on behalf of the Moscow Biennale
December 26, 2011, Moscow Biennale
Me and Roberto Cabot,
artist from Rio De Janeiro, Brasil

Dear FX Harsono,

Please accept sincere gratitude from the curator, the commissioner and all the Moscow Biennale team for your participation in the Fourth Moscow Biennale of contemporary art and for the possibility to present your installation “Rewriting the erased Name” in this show. Only thanks to our collaborative efforts and your invaluable support, the project was realized and has been a great success.

The main project of the biennale, – the exhibition presented at the ARTPLAY design center and TSUM Art Foundation has been visited by more than 70,000 people .....

Critical Reverie
Scott Wark, October 2011, das Superpaper / Issue 21

Projects without products need parameters. In Memory of a Name was convened by the Indonesian artist FX Harsono and took one of his artworks, Rewriting the Erased, as its inspiration. In 1967, under the Suharto regime, Indonesians of Chinese descent had to adopt Indonesian names.
Rewriting shows Harsono copying out his original Chinese name in an ill-practiced script. [page 10-11]

Article : [link] [pdf]
pdf : das Superpaper, issue 21, October 2011
Art without History?
Southeast Asian Artists and Their Communities in the Face of Geography
Nora A. Taylor, October 2011, Art Journal - Summer 2011

Harsono is a descendent of Chinese immigrants who were forced to change the family name upon their arrival in Indonesia. The artist stated that he had forgotten how to write his own name in Chinese characters. During the course of the show, he sat at a desk writing his name. In a review of exhibition, Lenzi wrote that his work "serves to mark the difference of engaged art that takes risks, looks forward, and aims for change." [page 14]

Article : [pdf]
pdf : Art Journal, Summer 2011
FX Harsono
May 20, 2011, report-k.de

Der 1949 geborene Indonesier chinesischer Herkunft wuchs in Ostjava auf, wo schon sein Vater als Photograph tätig war. Schon als Kunststudent rebellierte er gegen verkrustete Strukturen und gründete mit einigen Mitstudenten die „Neue Kunstbewegung“ Gerakan Seni Rupa Baru. Vier Jahrzehnte lang war Harsono eine kritische Stimme gegen politische und soziale Unterdrückung, seit dem Fall von Suharto 1998 beschäftigt sich der Konzeptkünstler mit seinen Installationen und anderen Arbeiten heute mehr mit Fragen der Identität.

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