Although demonstrating prodigious talent at a young age, the south Sumatran painter Heri Siauw only surrendered to his calling as a painter later in his career, after working for several years as an interior designer.
The catalyst for this career change was the fall of President Suharto in 1998 when Indonesia's capital Jakarta was wracked by riots, some of which victimized the Chinese community there.
Shocked and dismayed, Siauw searched deep within himself to understand these events discovering a creative source that liberated him from his fear and eventually propelled him into stardom on the Indonesian art scene.
His canvasses show explosive force using bright colors and bold strokes. Often fiery and always full of emotion, they mirror a deeply contemplative soul trained in meditation.
Spontaneous and expressive, the power of Siauw's paintings is not accidental. Like the seemingly effortless strokes of a Zen painter they are the product of long experience. Siauw is a student of the ancient wisdom of his own Chinese ancestry and the Chan Buddhist sect from which Zen is descended.
While acknowledging his Sinologic roots, Siauw is also a quintessential product of Indonesia, the vibrant multiethnic society that nurtured him. His art, like the country of his birth, demonstrates an ability to transform pain and suffering into joy and beauty.
Depth of the Soul
Depth of the Soul - an exhibition of art by Heri Siauw (Heriawan) at the Ganesha Gallery Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. May 17 Ė June 9, 2006.
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