Jompet Kuswidananto


Jompet Kuswidananto (Yogyakarta, 1976) is a visual artist. After the regime of Suharto fell in 1998, he joined Teater Garasi, which focuses on contemporary theatre. Kuswidananto's work is rooted in culture, history and traditional customs, and reflects on topics such as politics, power and mass movements. Music and video play a major role in his artwork. He exhibits his work within Indonesia as well as further afield. His work has, for example, been exhibited in the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam.

He is mainly known for his mechanical music systems, in which instruments are played automatically. In Java's Machine: Phantasmagoria, pairs of shoes are lined up. Above them, pieces of military uniform and drums are suspended. In the installation After Voices, a long line of shoes represents participants at protest demonstrations who have either disappeared or died. In an interview with the Asian online magazine ART iT, Kuswidananto says, 'The history of Indonesia is incredibly complex. It has undergone many transitions, from Hinduism to Islam, from colonial to post-colonial, traditional to modern, dictatorship to democracy. Our cultural identity is unstable and constantly changing. The idea for the hollow figures came from this view of man trying to develop a strategy for negotiating the competing tensions that affect Indonesia.' In 2013, Kuswidananto won the Prins Claus Award with Teater Garasi.