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Visions of Paradise

An Exhibition by Didik Nurhadi at Bali's Ganesha Gallery through May 12, 2006.

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In his newest exhibition at the Ganesha Gallery at the Four Seasons Resort at Jimbaran Bay, the Javanese artist Didik Nurhadi focuses his unique vision on a new subject Ė the famed Island of Paradise Ė Bali.

Didik's art can best understood as a parallel, somewhat curious version of contemporary Indonesian life and society. At initial glance, his caricatures evoke humor; but tread with care Ė on re-examination his characters also offer biting commentaries reflecting Didik's take on his nation's hypocrisies and foibles. While his criticism is subtle and self-depreciating, his inflated and literally "balloon-life" human subjects sometimes border on the grotesque - especially when dressed in traditional costume and struggling for material gain.

Although the art of Didik suggest an influence by the Columbian artist Botero, the art critic Jean Couteau argues that Didik's world of fat people is an independent discovery. Unlike Botero, Didik's work is always a commentary and never an escape from reality. As the son of a military man who came of age during the iron fisted rule of General Suharto, Didik is no stranger to discipline or censorship. The shortcomings of democracy and the reform movement after the euphoria that followed immediately in the wake of Suharto's fall have also taught him to take no one, including himself, too seriously.

This young man embarked on his artistic career as Indonesia slid into a tumultuous decade of political and social change. Accordingly, his work reflects a biting commentary on the tragedies that have befallen his country and the very human failings of those whose job it is to safeguard the nation. However, social criticism lacking introspection and a modicum of self-deprecation, becomes a tiresome harangue, faults absent in the work of Didik Nurhadi who captures the irony of the Indonesian situation by satirically depicting his subjects as hugely rotund characters with prominent lips who reside in surrealistic landscapes

Born in Central Java in 1972, Didik Nurhadi attended the Faculty of Art at the Indonesian Art Institute (ISI) in Yogyakarta, graduating in 1992.

Visions of Paradise

Didik Nurhadi's Visions of Paradise, an exhibition by Didik Nurhadi at the Ganesha Gallery at the Four Seasons Resort at Jimbaran Bay, open daily from April 19 through May 12, 2006. Gallery is open daily from 10:00 a.m. through 6:00 p.m..

For more information call the Gallery at ++62-(0)361-701010.

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