back to homepage

Indonesia Pavilion / Biennale di Venezia 2013

Sri Astari (b. 1953) studied painting at the University of Minnesota in the United States and at the Royal College of Art, London, but went on to expand her painterly skills to sculptural representations and installation art. Astari is concerned with the re-reading of Javanese traditions, its symbolism and values. Inspired by social and political issues as well as consumerism and life style she continues to challenge stereotypes and cultural construction, albeit with a tinge of humor, paying special attention to the position of a woman within her cultural traditions. She does so with the spirit of today. As a result, her works give new meaning to symbolism in the Javanese tradition. Recurrent themes have been the kebaya and its accessories, which have been regarded as both repressive and protective, as well as branded bags as a metaphor for modern fetishism. But lately she has given the kebaya new meaning in her work, calling it ‘armor for the soul.’ Meanwhile recent works show a more philosophical tendency, highlighting the need to reconcile the self with nature and the universe.