Performance by Dadang Christanto

Work is a performance in which Dadang made several clay heads which were filled with black paint and mounted on plynths. After painting himself white, Dadang smashed the heads, splattering himself and the floor with the black paint inside.

Dadang came to Vancouver as part of “Traditions and Tensions” – a show of contemporary art from Asia produced by the MOMA in New York and toured to the Vancouver Art Gallery.

The following text is taken from Front Magazine, vol. VIII, no. 4, p. 10, March/April 1997:

Dadang Christanto’s performances and sculpture address the paradigms of oppression that structure violence. The terra-cotta head that are part of his performances are stripped of their dignity and look like lost souls wandering aimlessly. “They symbolized the culture of fear and repression that exists in Indonesia, where the state ideology (panchasila) and the national unification program have transformed the natural cooperation among the people (gotong royong) into the painful sacrifices of voiceless masses” says Apinan Poshyanada, curator of Contemporary Art in Asia: Traditions/Tensions.

Christanto is currently based in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. This performance is being held in conjunction with the Contemporary Art in Asia: Traditions/Tensions exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery from April 26 to June 6, 1997. Christanto will also be participating in a major symposium on Contemporary Art in Asia at the VAG April 26-27.