Abdi Setiawan

Abdi Setiawan’s work is installation-based, and features half or life-size sculptures of everyday Indonesians in various social settings. A very skillful wood carver, he makes mainly wooden sculptures along with fibre glass hand-painted unique replicas or editions. His rendering of the figures are not only realistic but also infused with humorous satire.

29 Desember 1971, Pariaman, Sumatera Barat, Indonesia

ISI Yogyakarta, Jurusan Seni Kriya, 2003

Abdi Setiawan’s sculptures return to the skill of wood carving while deploying the artist’s entire imagination and perception to depict the Indonesian human figure. The work takes form as a spatial arrangement, which presents the atmosphere of a city corner such as a waiting room, bus terminal or shopping mall; a representation of a fragment of the activities of city dwellers – which wait, come and go – just wryly. The realistic rendering of the figures pokes us with satire so that we smile away our embarrassment in recognising our own behaviour reflected. Today’s life and culture are those of the city – with all its complexity of problems: population explosion, insufficient dwelling space, transportation, excessive consumption, crime and poverty. The advancement of modernity and its related humanitarian problems are becoming obvious in urban life. Direct involvement in attempt to familiarise himself with the atmospheres of certain corners of the city as well as the characters of the people there, almost always prevails in Setiawan’s process of making works. Setiawan understands the emotional experiences that have their shares in shaping the characters of the figures he intends to offer by means of his sculptures. However, in the making and finishing of his works the artist transcends the experiences and observations. He knows he needs to add his personal interpretations and judgments to the various recorded physiognomic data of his figures. He reclaims his humanitarian intention and interest to critically understand what is going on around him. And he has to deal with discovering and defining the various formal aspects in his works so as to contain all his ideas and thoughts. Abdi Setiawan carefully calculates the elements necessary to represent in his sculpture figures. The teak wood he carves roughly so as to produce unlevelled surface. The acrylic colours enforced to mix on the surface of the polyester casts of his wood sculptures are effecting detailed accessories and clothing, and through gestures and poses (arms crossed, gripping a hand phone), facial expressions, gazes and glances – all elements which add to the rich physiognomic images in his works. Tattoos, clothing patterns and brands, graphical T-shirt imprints and other attributes from popular culture make strong references to art history. Not always Setiawan feels the need to give his figures life sizes. He has already arrived at the plane where he gives prominence to rich physiognomic images rather than merely anatomic precisions. – Enin Supriyanto

Artworks by Abdi Setiawan

Artist Bio

Group Exhibition

Group Exhibition DSMHHPP – Gallery Lukisan

KunstRAI, Amsterdam – Gallery Lukisan
Art Jakarta – Gajah Gallery, Singapore

Jogja Joget: Art Jog 2016, June 2016, Yogyakarta with work titled “Mooi Indie”

ArtJOG 13, Taman Budaya Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Indonesian Korea Contemporary Plastic, Galeri Nasional Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia
Art Hongkong, Hongkong
Indonesian Pavilion, Art Stage Singapore, Singapore

A Sign of Absence, Edwin Gallery Jakarta, Indonesia
Pameran Seni Patung Baru, Galeri Salihara Jakarta, Indonesia
Yogyakarta – 5 Artists from Indonesia, Marc Straus Gallery, New York
Lintas, Jakarta Art District with Edwin Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia
Legacy, Esa Sampoerna Art Museum, Surabaya, Indonesia
Group Exhibition, Sin Sin Gallery, Hongkong
Atribute to A Mentor, Magelang, Indonesia

Ekspansi, National Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia
ARTJOG 11, Taman Budaya Yogyakarta, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Beastly, Cemeti Art House, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
ART HK 11, with Nadi Gallery, Hong Kong
Intersection “Indonesian Contemporary Sculpture” East Mall Atrium Grand Indonesia Shopping Town, Jakarta, Indonesia
ARCO Madrid with André Simoens Gallery, Madrid, Spain
Speak of, Jogja National Museum (JNM), Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Tramendum, Philo Art Space, National Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia
Shopping, Nadi Gallery, Jakarta Art District (AD) Jakarta, Indonesia No Direction Home, Edwin’s Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia
Art Amsterdam, RAI, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Space & Image, Ciputra World Marketing Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia MiArt, Milan, Italy
Ecce Homo, Semarang Gallery, Semarang, Indonesia
Bakaba, Sakato Art Community, Jogja National Museum, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
”LOOK!SEE?” Indonesian Contemporary Photograpy Exhibition, Nadi Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia

Jogja Biennalle X: JogjaJamming, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Higher Ground, Metis Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
XYZ, Edwin’s Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia
South Asia Project, Kedai Kebun Forum, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
From 2D to 3D, Summer Exhibition, Sin Sin Fine Arts, Hong Kong
Poli[Chromatic], with V-Art, Bentara Budaya Yogyakarta, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
In Rainbow, Esa Sampoerna Art House, Surabaya, Indonesia
“Grip” Young Contemporary Artists from Indonesia and China, Vanessa Art Link,
798 Art District, Beijing, China
The Spirit of Interaction, Erasmus Huis, Jakarta, Indonesia

Self Portrait, Famous Living Artists of Indonesia, Jogja Gallery, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Lampu Merah, Kelompok Semoet, Bika Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia
Bentuk-Bentuk, Contemporary Indonesian Art in 3D, Melbourne Art Fair, Australia
Contemporary Apaan Tuh?, eART Space, Bali, Indonesia
Res Publicum, Canna Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia
Manifesto, National Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia
Kita, Japanese Artists Meet Indonesia, Organized by Japan Foundation, Centre Culturel Français de Yogyakarta, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
IVAA Book Aid Volume 2, Edwin’s Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia China International Gallery Exposition, Beijing, China
Strategies Towards The Real: S.Soedjojono and Contemporary Indonesian Art, NUS Museum, Singapore

Anti Aging, Gaya Art Space, Bali, Indonesia
“Boeng Ajo Boeng” 100P Tahun Affandi, Taman Budaya Yogyakarta, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Quota, National Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia

Habis Gelap Tak Kunjung Padam, Taman Budaya Yogyakarta, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
”Orde & Order” Archives Exhibition of Yayasan Cemeti Collection, Kedai Kebun Forum, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Beyond The Limits and Its Challenges, Jakarta Biennale, Jakarta, Indonesia Tobacco and Art, Magelang, Indonesia
The First Indonesian Contemporary Art Festival, Langgeng Gallery, Magelang, Indonesia
Jakarta Collectors II, John H. McGlynn, Jakarta, Indonesia 8 Young Contemporaries, Art Forum, Singapore
Icon: Retrospective, Jogja Gallery, Yogyakarta, Indonesia People of Asia, Art Forum, Singapore

Art of Aceh, Societet Militer, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Spirit of Play, Bentara Budaya Yogyakarta, Yogyakarta Indonesia
Omong Kosong #1, Cemeti Art House, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Makan Seni Rupa, Michelle Chin House, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Open View, Biasa Art Space, Bali, Indonesia
Urban/Culture, CP International Biennale 2005, Bank Indonesia Museum, Jakarta, Indonesia
Ayo Ngguyu, Bentara Budaya Yogyakarta, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Kecil Itu Indah VIII, Edwin’s Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia
Yogyakarta Biennale VIII, “Di Sini & Kini”, Taman Budaya Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Barcode, 16PthP Yogyakarta Art Festival, Taman Budaya Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Di Sini Akan Dibangun Mall, Public Art Exhibition, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Environmental Art, Dies Natalis Ke-27 Sasenitala ISI Yogyakarta, Bebeng, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

What’s in Your Pocket?, Purna Budaya Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Reply, 15PthP Yogyakarta Art Festival, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Kata Rupa, Gelaran Budaya, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Sepiring Indonesia, Yogyakarta, Bandung, Bali, Indonesia Gelar Seni Alam Raya, ISI Gallery, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Phillip Morris Indonesian Art Award, National Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia
Kelompok Semoet II, Purna Budaya, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Gelanggang Seni Sakato, Purna Budaya, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Kelompok Semoet I, Purna Budaya, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Seni Budaya Minang, Taman Ismail Marzuki, Jakarta, Indonesia

9PthP Yogyakarta Art Festival, Fort Vredeburg Museum, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

8PthP Yogyakarta Art Festival, Fort Vredeburg Museum, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Dialog Dua Kota I, Cipta Gallery, Taman Ismail Marzuki, Jakarta, Indonesia

Solo Exhibition

Re-PLAY #4 Abdi Setiawan, OFCA International, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

New Sculpture , André Simoens Gallery, Knokke –Zoute, Belgium
New Sculptures, Metis Gallery, Amsterdam

The Flâneur, Nadi Gallery, Jakarta

Gairah Malam Lembaga Indonesia Prancis (Institut Français Indonesia), Yogyakarta


Finalist Phillip Morris Art Award 2001