Hanafi

Indonesia / °1960
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Born in 1960 in Purworejo, Central Java, Hanafi studied painting at the Indonesian School of Fine Arts in Yogyakarta (now the Indonesia Institute of the Arts). Moving to Jakarta in the 1990s, where he currently lives and works, Hanafi soon gained a reputation for his luminous, abstract paintings which subtly convey the sense of an interior, meditative world. Yet at the same time Hanafi’s paintings present another kind of vision of the Indonesian earth. His recent paintings are like poetic, abstract ‘mindscapes’-- fascinating intersections of abstract formalism and a kind of sensory realism that are played out on both a conceptual and painterly level. His compositions have a minimalist aesthetic that has been compared to the Japanese Mono-ha tradition. But the artist has also embedded a subtle quality of realism in the spatial relationships between the abstract forms, echoing both the relationships of natural forms in a landscape, and the sensation of being physically and emotionally present within that landscape. Or to put it another way, Hanafi’s organic arrangements of space and sensuous form are like sensory maps of the felt experience, within the physical presence of the natural world.

Hanafi’s elegant, muted colour palette is unique: his deftly mixed tones of light brown, gold, blue, grey and white seem infused with the luminosity of natural light. At once transcendent and rooted in the earth, Hanafi’s art seems to emerge intuitively rather than deliberately from a kind of open, meditative space within the heart of existence itself.

by Valerie C. Doran ©2012
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Auguste Soesastro

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