EddiE haRA

YOU SAY ART! | 2008 | 16 x 23 cm | work on envelope

EddiE haRA is just one among Indonesian contemporary artists that keep on moving to follow "the problems of human beings and the world" in their own individual ways. Those problems include issues in the "history" of contemporary art. To be involved in discussions with EddiE haRA on the works and concepts of contemporary artists from Europe, USA, Latin America, India, and others, covering painting, photography, performance, installation, and various kinds of experimental works, also on rock music from the 1969 Woodstock generation through metal and punk of the 1980s, can be exciting. And of course he is is attentive to the problems faced by the world today: war, terrorism, energy and environment, sexuality, gender, violence and criminanlity in urban setting.

Achtung Vogel | 2008 | 16 x 23 cm | work on envelope

Such actual problems are almost always present in the works by EddiE haRA, whether they stand as the main subjects or else additional subjects in works that focus on personal issues. In EddiE haRA's works, all of them are present in characteristic visual configurations, which lend the atmosphere of some cohesive sub-cultural spirit. It's been a long time since he began to borrow and work visual idoms from subcultures that he adopts as reference in his attempt to enrich the visual vocabulary of his work. Attitudes, viewpoints, as well as various artistic patterns from the sub-cultural realm find coherence in EddiE haRA's works because all of them are not just artificial additions but, instead, the reflections of EddiE's personality as an artist, a father, a husband, and a human being in his daily life.

FUCK ART! | 2008 | 16 x 23 cm | 16 x 23 cm | work on envelope

For illustration, during his student years, as the artist himself admitted, he decided to make himself appear like a punk. "The first punk in ASRI", he said. He cut clean one half of his head while letting the other half have long hair. He wore a big earring on his left ear. His three-quarter loose pants make him look like a skater. These attributes of his daily appearance have remained until today. The membranes of his ears still survive the heavy metal noise whith its so many variants that have kept increasing since his student years in the 1980s. In his own way, he maintains his concern for various issues regarding "the safety of humankind and the world". For instance, he and his family, now living in Basel, Switzerland, decide to have local, not imported products, for their daily consumption. They also persistently consume organic-goods, with no pesticides in the farming process, nor genetically engineered.

I walk on my wildside | 2008 | 16 x 23 cm | work on envelope

The attitudes of "sub-cultural" persons differ from those who are conterculture proponents. The last mentioned always assume there are some "official" enenmies centering around the mainstreams of culture and society, and counterculture proponents want to systematically fight against or overthrow such establishment. Activism and radicalism almost always inhere in counterculture groups. As for persons that live and grow in sub-cultures, while adhering to different views and living out alternative attitudes and values, do not necessarily regard radical activism as a necessity. Subculture spirit often prevails in the personal space, loosely interconnected within an open community. However, there is sincerity and seriosness in their attitude even if they often wrap it with appearances, language styles, modes of dressing, and musical preferences that might suggest carelessness and playfulness - a paradoxical illustration of an "unseriously serious" lifestyle.

EL MUNDO | 2008 | 16 x 23 cm | work on envelope

Such remarks also hold true for works by EddiE haRA that often appear cherrful, rich with colors, featuring fanciful figures of peculiar, funny or absurd appearances, yet often contain serious messages. And that has been part of the nature of the artist's works for quite some time. Since the 1990s, there has been a significant number of EddiE's that explicity deal with environmental issues. Among them is "Adam and Eve and the Acid Rain"now belonging to the Singapore Art Museum collection.

She did eat my eggs | 2008 | 16 x 23 cm | work on envelope

Having subculture spirit to live his daily life, it is not surprising that EddiE haRA easily applies the same approach to art. He never confines himself to painting just on canvas. Once he claimed that painting is to him a self-therapy. The act of painting, drawing, channeling out imaginations and gnawing thoughts, is more important than thinking about the limitation of the media adopted. He retains his enthusiasm for wall painting. He keeps working on this "Postcards from the Alps" series: the drawings he makes on teens of used envelopes of the various letters he has received at his Basel home. He pastes collages on those envelopes and then let his imagination ramble on those used envelopes, adding words or phrases along with several characters that are typically EddiE haRA's.

Enin Supriyanto
in catalogue "Global Warming, Cool Art!" from Eddie haRA at Nadi Gallery, Jakarta

Hello from Kuwait | 2007 | 16 x 23 cm | work on envelope

EddiE haRA
born 1957 in Indonesia
1980 - 1989 Indonesian Institute of Arts, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
1989 - 1990 Akademie voor Beeldende Kunst Enschede, The Netherlands
currently lives and works in Basel, Switzerland

One person exhibitions (selection)
2007 Global Warning, Cool Art! | Nadi Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia
2005 Captain Fuck & Co | Canna Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia
2004 We Are Not Alone-Lost Heroes and Sensible Weirdoes", Jendela Art Space, Esplanade, Singapore
2004 Blues to Mimmo (Part II) | Danes Art Veranda, Denpasar, Indonesia
2003 Blues to Mimmo (Part I) | Eulenspiegel Galerie Basel
2003 The Beasts in Me | Chouinard Gallery, Hongkong
2002 Sweat Beasts | Semarang Gallery, Semarang, Indonesia
2001 Carnival of the Fools | Ost - West Gallery, Riehen, Switzerland
2001 Postcards from the Alps | Oeffentliche Fachbibliothek Schule für Gestaltung, Basel

Group exhibitions (selection)
2007 YOU SAY ART! WE SAY YEAH! | Gallery Daeppen, Basel
2005 Invasion of Punks | Espace Courant d'Art, Chevenz, Switzerland (with Christophe Lambert)
2002 Art Zürich and Art Cologne with Asian Fine Arts Pruess and Ochs Gallery, Berlin
1999 - 2002 "Awas ! Recent Art from Indonesia | Tour Exhibition in Indonesia, Australia, Japan, The Netherlands, Germany and Indonesia

SUNNY MONDAY | 2008 | 16 x 23 cm | work on envelope

HUNGRY GRO HOT LOVE AND COLD BEER | 2008 | 16 x 23 cm | work on envelope

2 IX 2008 | 2008 | 16 x 23 cm | work on envelope