1977: Was born in Jakarta
1997: Painting Department, Indonesian Art institute, Yogyakarta
Eko Nugroho is one of the most acclaimed members of the young generation of Indonesian contemporary artists. He is part of the generation that came to maturity during the period of upheaval and reform that occurred in the wake of the 1997 Asian financial crisis, the subsequent fall of the Suharto regime and the transition to democracy in Indonesia. He is deeply engaged with the culture of his time and is committed to making socio-political commentary in his work.
Nugroho grew up in Java and resides in one of the island’s major art centres, Yogyakarta. His works are grounded in both local traditions and global popular culture. In particular, he has cited the influence of traditional batik and embroidery styles. There is of course also a powerful inspiration from contemporary street art, graffiti and comics. In 2000, Nugroho founded Daging Tumbuh, a collaborative zine that invites participation from non-artists. In addition to drawings and painting, he works in a variety of other media, including murals, sculpture, animation, and tapestry.
“The central topic of my work since 2008 has been modern life in urban areas – My work is very much informed by my background in street art and I have always worked a lot in public space and with the local community. Many of the figures in my work, for instance, are masked in some way. In Java, the mask is a very symbolic part of traditional culture, and the tradition of shadow theatre has been an important influence for me. By changing the heads of the figures I convey my interpretation; this is the picture I end up with.”