A Visit With Wedhar Riyadi

A work by Wedhar Riyadi that will appear in the Asia Pacific Triennial later this year

Leg of Lamb recently visited the home of one of Jogja’s leading younger artists, Wedhar Riyadi.  Born in the early 1980s, Riyadi lived through the political and social upheaval that eventually led to the post-Suharto transition to democracy in Indonesia.  It’s no surprise then that his work carries within it a strong sense of social critique.  Anthropomorphised piles of sticks and stones with beady eyes appear regularly, and he uses these quirky symbols to comment on the historical undercurrent of violence in Indonesian culture, where these seemingly innocuous objects are sometimes used as weapons.

Sketch for a new work by Wedhar Riyadi

Riyadi’s currently working on three paintings that will appear in the forthcoming Asia Pacific Triennial at GOMA in Brisbane this December.  The works combine a photo-realist background (using old family photographs found at a local market as a starting point) with the artist’s signature troupe of googly eyed entities.  The sketches for the works – like the one above – convey the artist’s mastery of technique.  These mock-ups are in themselves gripping; something about their small scale and the delicate rendering of their facial obstructions makes them all the more odd and strangely intimate.

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