Sunaryo Soetono (b. 1943, Banyumas) works across a variety of media: painting, sculpture, printmaking, installation, as well as urban monuments and several murals in public spaces in Indonesia. Abstract or figurative, his work has always been known for its formal strength and inventiveness, but his work has also always been about social, environmental and spiritual issues, and goals.
Balance and harmony are two very important concepts in all aspects of the artist’s life. From his art to who he is, it is the drive to seek equilibrium in all he does that has defined him to be one of the most eminent contemporary artists in Indonesia today. An accomplished sculptor, painter, printmaker and installation artist, he applies that discipline to tasks at hand which makes the understanding of his “Borderless Universe”, as declared by I. Bambang Sugiharto, to be linked to “elements of balance and surprise”. As explained by the writer and philosopher, balance to Sunaryo is not about symmetry, and it goes beyond mere methods and appearances. To him, it is about employing strategies and play to search for that stability in asymmetry, or chaos. What makes him who he is today – a centred man, a charismatic leader, a loving husband and father, a dedicated teacher and mentor – would need to be understood within that context of his life; about being transformed as the world around him changes. It is only through this that we can come to fully appreciate his art and the work he did during six weeks of residency at the Singapore Tyler Print Institute (STPI).