Albert Yonathan Setyawan
“Spirituality, Ritual and Materiality: Hendrawan Riyanto’s Contemporary Ceramics Practice in Indonesia”
The development of Contemporary Art in Indonesia since 1980 has been a reflection of the country’s economy, social and political changes for over several decades. Set against this, as the background is the diversity in culture and religion, which have influenced and affected all the customs and traditions and have created complexities and layers of problems in the everyday life of Indonesian people. The development of Contemporary Ceramic Art in Indonesia is still very much connected to the wider Contemporary Art Practice. Hendrawan Riyanto is one of the artists who addresses the issues about cultural and religious diversity and also brought Ceramic Art to the domain of Contemporary Art practice. His works address the syncretic nature of Javanese culture. His ceramic works explore spirituality and the ritualistic aspect of Javanese folk religion and mysticism through Ceramic Art practice.
The aims of this study are to put his practice as an important part of the ongoing study of Indonesian Contemporary Art and Contemporary Ceramic Art, and also to analyze the importance of his practice in two main points. The first is his view in using clay as a metaphor of the human body and spiritual transformation. The second is his method in using forms to convey religious symbolism, spirituality and cultural identity.