Iswanto Soerjanto

Iswanto Soerjanto has been working for more than 2 decades as an advertising photographer but is seeking to find other forms of photography. As an experienced photographer he makes high quality photos. His interest in the history of photography and techniques leading him to experiment with the medium, stepping outside the traditional boundary of the modern digital camera.

While other photography artists experimenting with the digital forms of photography, Iswanto Soerjanto goes back to the old camera obscura, antique tintype photography, glass photographic plates eventually omitting the negatives, and using unusual chemicals and different ways of processing the photo-sensitive paper. The majority of his artworks consist of chemigrams and cyanotypes, created with techniques and philosophy rooted in oriental culture.

Chemigram (link to Wikipedia for the definition) is a method to produce work on photo-sensitive paper using all kinds of chemicals with or without light exposure. Due to the absence of physical or digital negatives (or positives) there is no possibility to reproduce or reprint the photos, hence the works are all unique pieces.

Cyanotye is a photographic process that produces a cyan-blue print. While cyanotype method allows reproduction from drawings, other printed media or many sorts of other materials, due to the method of creating the artwork, most of the cyanotype artworks are also unique pieces. Note that all Iswanto Soerjanto’s cyanotype works are unique pieces.


Law School
Brooks Institute of Photography, California, USA

Artworks by Iswanto Soerjanto

Artist Bio

Solo Exhibition

“Painting With Light”, Mizuma Gallery, Singapore

“Re-Definition” – Selasar Sunaryo Art Space, Bandung, Indonesia

Group Exhibition

Direct Contact: Cameraless Photography Now, The Eskenazi Museum of Art at Indiana University USA

Art Jakarta 2022, Mizuma Gallery (Singapore), Jakarta, Indonesia

“Road To Bandung Photo Trienale”, Bandung, Indonesia
“How Are We Doing”, Mizuma Gallery, Singapore

Art Jakarta 2020 (online), Mizuma Gallery (Singapore), Jakarta, Indonesia

“On/Out Of Paper” – Mizuma Gallery, Singapore
KunstRAI Amsterdam – Gallery Lukisan
Affordable Art Fair, Brussels, Belgium
First Art Fair, Amsterdam

“From the Archives”, Mizuma Gallery, Singapore
ART JAKARTA, The Ritz Carlton Jakarta Pacific Place Ballroom

Why are we doing What we r doing? – Mizuma Gallery, Singapore

Mizuma Gallery, Singapore

“Beyond Photography”, Ciputra Artpreneur Center, Jakarta

Garis Art Space, Jakarta

Garis Art Space, Bali

Nine Art Gallery, Yogyakarta

“PHOTOMORGANA” Photography Exhibition held by Professional Photographer Association of Indonesia (APPI)

“INSPIRATION” Photography Exhibition held by Professional Photographer Association of Indonesia (APPI)


Artist’s statement (by Iswanto Soerjanto)

The relationship between what we perceive as visually recognizable and what is considered abstract is fascinating. In our daily life, we encounter many different environments, each of which has its own impact on us. I believe that everything in the world can be broken.down into multiple layers or elements of abstraction and pattern.
I am interested in the history of photography, the beginning we have the ability to capture an image and to preserve it permanently. Photography as a process of chemical reactions that involve light, light-sensitive material, and photographic chemicals. This is what I do to create my works, recording light and convert it into an abstract reality. These photos do not depict something, apart from the photo itself.

Basically, I use almost anything that can be functioned as a resist in order to control the amount of light hitting the photo paper and later dipping the photo paper into the chemical simultaneously and not to follow the ordinary steps. This western print making process is very much similar to javanese batik print making that has been exsisted in Indonesian culture for many generations, but instead of drawing a batik pattern, I initiate the light to draw on their own and let chemical reactions form the image. My control of making the image is minimum.

Chemigram as an alternative photography process was first discovered by a Belgian artist named Pierre Cordier in 1956 and then rolled all over the world.