born 1970 in Purbalingga, Central Java, Indonesia
lives and works in Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Ugo Untoro is one of the artists who have brought contemporary Indonesian art to a new level. He has already been recognized across the archipelago for his strong character and persistence in creating art works that reflect the conditions of existence, both at the level of being an artist as well as a human being, which showcase Indonesian contemporary culture for what it is – turbulent, but also a pure and simple part of everyday reality. Over the past decade, Ugo Untoro’s works have encompassed an elaborate collection of paintings, drawings, poems and writings. In recent years he has also explored intricate installation projects, as can be seen in his work “Poem of Blood”.
When it was installed at the National Gallery in Jakarta in April 2007, prominent members of the Southeast Asian art scene praised the artist for developing his explorations of the life and death cycle among one of mankind’s most valued animals – horses – into a new spatial and artistic context. The exhibition was accompanied by the writing of two of Indonesia’s most prominent curators of contemporary art, Enin Supriyanto and Jim Supangkat. Following the exhibition at the National Gallery, Ugo Untoro’s work drew increasing attention to the market for contemporary Indonesian art, both domestically and across the Asian continent.
Ugo Untoro graduated from the Indonesian Art Institute (ISI) in Yogyakarta and continues to be based in this hub of artists of the South East Asian region. Considered one of Indonesia’s key contemporary artists, Untoro has exhibited widely in Indonesia as well as Malaysia, China Singapore and France. Hailing from a street background and related to the boundless nature of graffiti art, his signature style is more raw and spontaneous rather than pleasant. Wrought full of irony and existential questioning, Untoro’s unpolished canvasses have a tangible connection to aspirations and issues shunted to society’s margins.
Since 1995 he has had more than 10 solo exhibitions in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Yogyakarta, Bali, Jakarta and Surabaya, and has participated in group exhibitions in USA, France, Singapore, Indonesia and Vietnam.
ASIA: LOOKING SOUTH
10 September - 27 October 2011
Group exhibition at ARNDT Berlin