Phantasmagoria of Science & Myth
Written by Suwarno Wisetrotomo
In the Indonesian contemporary art scene, Heri Dono’s name is important to be talked about, because of his journey, determination, and achievements which of course are not just a direct and smooth road. Instead, it's full of twists and turns, bumps, struggles, which require grit and focus on the goal. Almost no one knows about the dramas surrounding his artistic career, not even his close family.
Archival culture in Indonesia to this day still cannot be considered as good news, even if the artist has an awareness of the importance of archives, it is not always followed by the act of storing archives properly and correctly. From such a situation, Heri Dono is one of the few artists who has the opposite awareness and behavior: diligently storing and maintaining archives.
Phantasmagoria of Science and Myth is an exhibition that is based on archive, with the main focus on the long, layered, and (again) repetitive journey of the creative process, in terms of ideas and forms, which are used as important points for Heri Dono's achievements. Of course, it is not easy to determine the “most important point” in the series of the creative process, because each facet has a significant meaning, at least for Heri Dono. However, it remains to be determined that this important facet is the narrative building that animates the archives.
Heri Dono was born in Jakarta in 1960, to a mother and a father, a member of the Army (bodyguard of the Tjakrabirawa Regiment). The dream from a young age to independently work without retirement, has come true by becoming a painter. Through the timeline, equipped with a number of artifacts that emphasize events as well as artistic interests, along with texts of archival material, one can see Heri Dono's creative process.