Dadi Setiyadi is a talented emerging Indonesian artist who takes reference from classic art pieces and fusing them with a mix of cultural elements.
Pieces like “Narcissus” by Italian Baroque master Caravaggio, and “Birth of Venus” by Sandro Botticelli and combining them with modern relevance is how Setiyadi peaks the interests of his audiences. As a two-time winner of the Indonesia Nokia Arts Awards Asia Pacific in 1999 and 2000, and being one of the Indonesian artists chosen for the 2011 “Indonesian Eye” program held by London’s prestigious Saatchi Gallery, Dadi Setiyadi is surely an artist to look out for.
Born in 1977 in Tasikmalaya, West Java, Setiyadi found interest in art since the age of 18. He started by exposing himself to art exhibitions, and found himself learning, questioning and debating about the artworks. Since he enrolled into the Indonesia Institute of Art in 1996, Setiyadi was passionate and comfortable in combining the formal and the informal in his works.
Besides being raised in a traditional Indonesian background and yet exposed to the globalised world, it is no wonder that Setiyadi is inspired by a mixture of Indonesian mythical folklore, Chinese, Arabian and Western cultures. Setiyadi takes particular interest in fantasy, science fiction and art culture, and to amalgamate all these into his paintings takes an artist’s conceptualizing abilities to the test. Setiyadi believes that pulling together the learning points of one’s provenance is what makes creativity, and not the cultural origin itself.
Setiyadi’s artwork is only possible as a consequence of increasingly cosmopolitan societies, and his uncanny ability to tie in various forms of pop culture is what makes viewing his paintings so fun. Setiyadi’s incredible mix of classic and modern art lends his paintings the ability to appeal to the masses. While traditionalists can appreciate the beauty and skill of his amazing replications, modern art lovers are able to appreciate his sense of humour and wit.
When looking at Setiyadi’s paintings, you may find yourself immersed in the game of trying to “Spot the Difference”. One of his newest pieces might cause viewers to do a double-take once they realise what they are seeing is not in fact Lady Godiva on a horse, but Lady Godiva merged with a horse’s body. Dadi was inspired by the Buraq, an Indonesian and Middle Eastern mythological creature that transports the Gods and prophets in ancient times. “Lady Godiva” was first painted by John Collier in 1897, and currently housed at the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum in the United Kingdom. By transforming the kind-hearted heroine, Setiyadi has elevated her status from mortal saint to a divine goddess in his painting.
Setiyadi’s art pieces provide food for thought, but are never preachy or laden with extreme political messages. To Setiyadi, it is important to view art not in terms of economic value, but as cultural artefacts of our time.
Witness the beauty of Dadi Setiyadi’s works at The Art Fellas’ booth at the Singapore Art Fair this November!
Event: Singapore Art Fair
Dates: 27 – 30 November 2014
Venue: Suntec City Convention & Exhibition Centre, 1 Raffles Boulevard
Gallery: The Art Fellas, 46 Kim Yam Road, #02-25, The Herencia
Phone: 6702 4001 / 6702 4003