Galeri Ruang Dini at Art Jakarta 2023 Booth A22 17 – 19 November 2023 JIExpo Kemayoran Hall B3, West Park

R.E. Hartanto

R.E. Hartanto (b. 1973) graduated from the Studio ofPainting, Department of Fine Arts, Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) in 1998. Until now, Tanto has been activeas an artist by creating works and participating in groupand solo exhibitions. He has also formed art workshopsand projects, as well as participated in artist in residenceprograms in various places. Apart from creating artwork,Tanto also teaches courses and writes a fine art blog.

Tanto started painting the landscape of the middleof nowhere combined with figures in 2017. But in the Limbo Series, the figures are omitted. What remains is alandscape of nowhere. The Limbo Series by R.E. Hartantoreflects on the uncertainty and the unknown, which containboth opportunities and risks, that we have faced since thepandemic began several years ago.

Because he wants to describe someone's inner feelingsamid survival, Tanto figuratively changes the realism ofhumans with animals. In Limbo, variation no. 4 (2022), hechooses Scarlet Ibis as the central object in his work. Forhim, the scarlet ibis bird is quite attractive, especially whenthey're already in a flying formation. He admitted that hefound a certain beauty, which is very evocative.

However, this beauty is accompanied by sad emotions,even sorrow, because beneath the beautiful formation ofthe flying scarlet ibis, there is a barren desert—it gives theimpression of an unreasonable and undue displacement.

The Scarlet Ibis is familiar in Central America, mainly inTrinidad and Tobago, the hot but humid tropics. At thesame time, Tanto depicts the formation of a scarlet ibisflying over the barren desert just like the Namib Desert,accompanied by objects of dead trees. Tanto deliberatelyemphasizes this geographical impossibility to indicate aform of displacement that forces someone or somethingto activate their survival mode. Tanto also sees thisdisplacement eventually bringing the alienated aspect ofthe living things during their survival process.

In Limbo, variation no. 4 (2022), Tanto plays imagery inthe juxtaposition method—he collates two objects to get acontrasting effect. This work shows the beautiful and livelyflying formation of the Scarlet Ibis amidst the clear bluesky juxtaposed against the barren field surrounded by deadtrees. These nonsensical, absurd, and morbid conditionsthen make anything that lives will try to stay afloat. It makesLimbo a matter of contemplation, a thought material, oreven self-reflection.

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