Rudi Mantofani | Indonesia b.1973 | Nada yang hilang (The lost note) 2008 | Wood, metal, leather and oil | 30 x 122 x 14cm | Image courtesy: The artist and Gajah Gallery Singapore | Photograph: Agung Sukindra
b. 1973 Padang, West Sumatra, Indonesia
Lives and works in Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Rudi Mantofani is a sculptor and painter whose work takes ordinary objects and landscapes and transforms them into strange or absurd ‘visual parables’. With a meticulous technique and a high level of finish, Mantofani’s works are associative and thought-provoking meditations on human experience and behaviour. His electric guitar sculptures, featured in APT6, are inspired by his viewing of a benefit concert in New York. The gap between American philanthropic rhetoric and the harsh effects of its foreign policies in the Muslim world led the artist to create a series of distorted guitars, as a means to express such ethical contradictions. In 1993, Mantofani helped form the Jendela Art Group, a collective of five west Sumatran artists who studied together in Yogyakarta and continue to exhibit together today. The work of these artists is in contrast to the largely figurative and stridently political work of much Indonesian contemporary art that emerged during the 1990s. With a focus on the mundane and everyday, Mantofani and the Jendela artists avoid ideological positions, preferring a more ambivalent and metaphorical approach to art and politics.
Exhibitions (solo): CP Artspace, Jakarta, Indonesia, 2006. Exhibitions (group): Jakarta Biennale, Indonesia, 2009; ‘Jendela: A Play of the Ordinary’, NUS Museum, Singapore, 2009; CP Open Biennale, National Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia, 2003.