Dadang Christanto

1957 | Indonesia/Australia

Born in central Java in 1957, Dadang Christanto has spent his career honouring the countless victims of political violence and crimes against humanity. His large scale paintings, which are mostly spare renderings on raw linen using the human head as a recurring motif, express the suffering of victims and lay bare the anguish and grief that is endured in silence. The sincerity and rawness of emotion in his work is due in part to the circumstances of his own father’s disappearance when Christanto was a boy, yet the artist continues to produce art which pleads for compassion regardless of differing faiths and political beliefs.

Christanto was the first Indonesian artist to represent his native country at the Venice
in 2003. He has been curated into many other major art events worldwide including the Sydney Biennale (2010), the Yogyakarta Biennial, Indonesia (2003), Kwangju Biennale, South Korea (2000), the Bienal de Sao Paulo, Brazil (1998) and the first and third Asia-Pacific Triennials of Contemporary Art, Brisbane (1993 & 1999).

Christanto currently divides his time between the central coast of New South Wales and Central Java.


Collapsible content


Dadang Christanto

Born 1957, Tegal, Central Java, Indonesia, arrived Australia 1991

Solo Exhibitions

2018    ARCHIVE, Gallerysmith,
Melbourne2015    1965-1966 Genocide, Gallerysmith,

2014    Once Upon a Time, Gallerysmith, Melbourne

2014    Survivor, Lumpur Lapindo Sidoarto, Indonesia

2013    Dadang Christanto, painting and sculpture,
Sydney Contemporary 13, Sydney

2013    Lost and Found, Jan Manton Art, Brisbane

2012    Remembering Silence, Yuz Museum, Jakarta,

2012    Seeing Java, Sangkring Art Space, Yogyakarta

2012    Hidden, Gallerysmith, Melbourne

2011    Lost Horizon, Jan Manton Art, Brisbane

2010    Dadang Christanto: Wounds in our Heart, Drill
Hall Gallery, ANU, Canberra

2010    Behind the Veil, Gallerysmith, Melbourne

2010    The Rivers, Jan Manton Art, Brisbane

2008    Batik has been Burned, Jan Manton Art, Brisbane

2007    Work of Body, Jan Manton Art, Brisbane

2006    Pilgrim Project, Gaya Fusion Gallery, Ubud, Bali,

2005    Testimonies of the Trees, CP Art Space, Jakarta,

2005    Heads and Trees, Sherman Gallery, Sydney

2004    Head from the North, Marsh Pond, Sculpture
Garden, NGA, Canberra

2003    Count Project, Northern Territory University
Gallery, Darwin, NT

2003    They Give Evidence, Asian Gallery, Art
Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney

2002    Unspeakable Horror, Bentara Budaya Jakarta,
Jakarta, Indonesia

2001    The Dark Century, Raft Art Space, Darwin, NT

2000    Beginning of the Dark Age, Centre de Reflexion
sur I’Image et ses, Sierre, Switzerland

2000    Reconciliation, 24 Hour Art Gallery, Darwin
and Watch This Space, Alice Springs, NT

1998    Cannibalism or Memoir, Guarrant Gallery, Canberra
School of Art, ACT

1998    Switchback Gallery, Faculty of Art and Design,
Gippsland, Vic

1997    About the Heads and Hearts, LIP Gallery,
Yogyakarta, Indonesia

1996    1001 Earth Humans, Marina Beach-Ancol, Jakarta,

1995    Terracotta or The Case Land, Bentara Budaya,
Yogyakarta, Indonesia

1991    Contemporary Indonesian Artist, University of
South Australia, Adelaide, SA and VCA, Melbourne, Vic 

Selected Group Exhibitions

2017    Political Acts: Pioneers of Performance Art in
Southeast Asia
, Art Centre, Melbourne

2012    Controversy, Mornington Peninsula Regional
Gallery, Melbourne

2010    Setouchi International Art Festival, Kagawa,

2010    In the Balance: Art for a Changing World,
Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney

2009    Temperature 2, Museum of Brisbane, Brisbane

2009    Niigata Water and Land Art Festival,
Niigata, Japan

2008    Recovering Lives, Drill Hall Gallery, Australian
National University, ACT

2008    Handle with Care, Adelaide Biennial of
Australian Art, AGSA

2007    Three Ways : Contemporary Sculpture from the
, Queensland Art Gallery

2006    Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial III, Niigata, Japan

2006    Artery-Inaugural Exhibition, Singapore
Management University, Singapore

2005    Echoes of Home, Museum Brisbane, Brisbane

2005-06 Open Letter, touring exhibition, Sydney, Bangkok, Manila
and Kuala Lumpur

2005    Future Tense: Security and Human Right, Dell
Gallery, Griffith University, Brisbane

2004    Contact pre Text Me, Sherman Galleries, Sydney,

2004    Contemporary Territory, Museum and Art
Gallery Northern Territory, NT

2003    They Give Evidence, opening exhibition for
contemporary Asian space, Art Gallery of NSW

2003    Country-bution, Yogyakarta Biennial,
Yogyakarta, Indonesia

2003    Interpellation, CP Open Biennial, Jakarta,

2003    Witnessing to Silence: Art and Human Rights,
School of Art Gallery, ANU

2003    Mourning Lost Paradise, Indonesian Pavilion,
50th Venice Biennale, Italy

2003    Austral-Asia Zero Three, Sherman Galleries,
Sydney, NSW

2000    Kwangju Biennale 2000, Kwangju, South Korea

2000    From Asian Forests, Yokohama open-air art
exhibition, Japan

1999    From Asian Forests, Kanazu Forest of Creation,
Fukui, Japan

1998    The Third Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary
Art 1999
, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane

1998    XXIV Bienal de São Paulo, Brazil

1998    Begegnung 3:3 in Yogya, Taman Budaya,
Yogyakarta, Indonesia

1998    Plastic (or Other Waste), Center of
Resources, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand

1998    Bangkok Art Project, Bangkok, Thailand

1997    Art in Southeast Asia 1997: Glimpses into the Future,
MCA Tokyo, Hiroshima CMCA, Japan

1997    Befragung Der Raume, Magdeburg Museum,
Magdeburg, Germany

1997    Yokohama International Open Air Art Exhibition’97,
Yokohama, Japan

1996    Tradition/Tension: Contemporary Arts in Asia,
Asia Society Gallery, New York, Vancouver and Perth

1996    Linkage and Leakage, The Tanks, Cairns, Qld

1996    Mata Perupa, Pagelaran Kraton Yogyakarta,
Yogyakarta, Indonesia

1995    Realism as an Attitude 4th Asian Art Show,
Fukuoka Art Museum, travelling exhibition

1995    Asian Peace Art, War and Art 1995, Osaka
International Peace Centre, Osaka, Japan

1995    Osaka Triennial 1995: Sculpture, Dome
exhibition Hall, Osaka, Japan

1994    Quinta Bienale de la Habana, Nasional Museum,
Havana, Cuba

1994    Nur Gora Rupa, Taman Budaya Surakarta, Solo,

1993    The First Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art,
Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Qld

1993    The 9th Jakarta Art Biennial, Taman Ismail
Marzuki, Jakarta, Indonesia

1992    Binal, Senisono Art Gallery, Yogakarta, Indonesia

1992    New Art from Southeast Asia II, Tokyo
Metropolitan Art Apace

1992    Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Kirin
Plaza, Osaka, Japan

1992    Mobile, Museum City Project, Fukuoka, Japan 


2015    Nineteen Sixty Five, QUT Art Museum,

2015    For Those Who Have Been Lost, 4A Centre for
Contemporary Asian Art as part of 48HR Incident

2015    Nineteen Sixty Five, Australian Experimental
Art Foundation as part of Art After Dark

2012    Survivor, Gallery 4A, Sydney (touring to
regional Qld, NSW)

2010    Survivor, Museum of Contemporary Art
forecourt, Sydney

2007    For those: Who are poor, Who are suffer(ing), Who are
oppressed, Who are voiceless,Who are powerless, Who are burdened, Who are
Victims of violence, Who are Victims of a dupe, Who are Victims of injustice
Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Qld

2005    Searching Displaced Bones, Old Canberra House,
Australian University, Canberra

2005    Litsus, Griffith University, Brisbane

2004    Family Portrait, Old Canberra House, Australian
National University, Canberra, ACT

2004    For Those Who Have Been Killed, National
Gallery of Australia, Canberra, ACT

2003    Litsus, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra,

2000    Reconciliation, 24 Hour Art Gallery, Darwin and
Watch This Space, Alice Springs, NT

1999    Api di Bulan Mei, The Third Asia-Pacific
Triennial of Contemporary Art 1999, QueenslandArt Gallery, Brisbane

1998    Violence, Art Gallery of Western Australia,
Perth, WA

1998    For Those Who Have Been Killed, Switchback
Gallery, Gippsland, Vic

1997    Violence, Western Front, Vancouver, Canada;
Magdeburg Museum, Magdeburg, Germany

1997    For Those Who Have Been Killed, Dock 11,
Berlin, Germany

1996    Earth Man in Jakarta, Marina Beach-Ancol,
Jakarta, Indonesia

1996    Violence, Cairns Regional Gallery, Cairns,

1996    Violence, Z Gallery, New York

1995    Man in Surabaya, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

1994    Earth Man in Solo, Solo City, Indonesia

1993    For Those Who Have Been Killed, Queensland Art
Gallery, Brisbane, Qld

1993    Museum Affandi, Yogyakarta and UNS, Solo, Indonesia

1992    I’m Human Being, Daimaru Shopping Center,
Fukuoka, Japan

1992    Earth Man in Tenjin, Tenjin Area, Fukuoka,


2007    School of Visual Arts, Manukau, Auckland, New Zealand

2004    School of Art, Australian National University

2003    School of Art, Australian National University

1999    Ecole Cantonale d’ Art du Valais (ECAV), Switzerland

1998    Australian National University, Canberra, ACT

1998    Monash University, Gippsland Campus, Vic

1997    Western Front, Vancouver, Canada

1997    Magdeburg and Berlin, Germany

1991    University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA

Education / Teaching appointments

2004      Lecturer, College of Fine Arts, University of
New South Wales, Sydney

1999–03 Lecturer, School of Art and Design, Northern Territory University,

1980–86 Studied painting, Indonesia Institute of Arts (ISI), Yogyakarta,

1975–79 Studied painting, Sekolah Menengah Seni Rupa (SMSR), Yogyakarta,

1975–77 Studied painting, Pawiyatan Sanggarbambu, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

 Grants and Awards

2004    Australia Council grant

1997    The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, New York


Courtney Kidd, ‘Voice for Freedom’, Profile, Art Collector,
July-September issue, 2013

Agung Hujatnikajennong, ‘Mengingat Senyap (Remembering Silence)’,
ex. cat. 2012

Caroline Turner & Nancy Sever (eds), Wounds in our Heart, ex.
cat. ANU Press, 2011

Alison Kubler, ‘Temperature 2: New Queensland Art’ (Review)
ARTWORLD Issue #8, APR-MAY 2009, pp. 162-163

Wolfe, Ross., ‘Visual Arts in Adelaide’, Eyeline Magazine, Number
66 2008, p. 41

Anne Kirker, ‘Dadang Christanto’ , ARTWORLD Issue 4, Aug / Sep
2008, pp. 180 – 183

Felicity Fenner, ‘HANDLE WITH CARE’ Adelaide Biennial of Australian
Art, 2008

‘50 Most Collectable Artists’, Australian Art Collector, Issue 43,
Jan – Mar 2008, p. 122

Sally Butler, ‘Dadang Christanto’, Art and Australia, Volume 45. Spring
2007, p. 132

Louise Martin-Chew, ‘Works of nature’s betrayal honour life’s
, The Australian, May 2007

Andrea Stretton, ‘Reading; Dadang Christanto’, Art & Australia,
Volume 42, No. 2, summer 2004, pp. 271-273 


Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney

Australian National University, Canberra

Fukuoka Museum of Modern Art, Fukuoka, Japan

Kanazu Forest of Creation, Fukui, Japan

Magdeburg Museum, Magdeburg, Germany

Murdoch University Art Collection, Perth

Museum and Art Gallery Northern Territory (MAGNT), Darwin

Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan

National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

Oie Hong Djien Museum, Magelang

Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane

Singapore Art Museum, Singapore

University of Queensland Art Museum, Brisbane

Wesfarmers Collection, Perth

Yuz Museum, Jakarta, Indonesia

Private collections national and international