Performance and Talk by Heri Dono
+ Report of the SEA PROJECT Research in Indonesia Summary


  • Date: Saturday, November 24, 2016
  • Time: 7:00~9:00 p.m.
  • Venue: Auditorium, Mori Art Museum
  • Organizer: Mori Art Museum, the National Art Center, Tokyo, the Japan Foundation Asia Center
  • Cooperation: Mizuma Art Gallery
  • Program:
  • Host: Eise Shiraki(Educator, Mori Art Museum)
19:00 Part 1: Performance and Talk by Heri Dono Performer: Heri Dono (Artist)
20:00 Part 2: Report of the SEA PROJECT Research in Indonesia
Speaker1 Mami Kataoka (Chief Curator, Mori Art Museum)
Speaker2 Naoki Yoneda (Curator, the National Art Center, Tokyo)
Speaker3 Haruko Kumakura (Assistant Curator, Mori Art Museum)
Performing by Heri Dono
The Figures of Wayang Kulit

Throughout the research trips to the ten ASEAN countries, some of the artistic phenomena that stood out for the SEA PROJECT team were the artist collectives amidst rapid urbanization and modernization and the performative practices that emerged from within the insufficient infrastructure for the arts.

Following the symposium held last February, the second public program of the SEA PROJECT focused on Indonesia where artist collectives are thriving in particular and international art exhibitions are held in three of its cities.

The team welcomed renowned Indonesian artist Heri Dono for an artist talk and also his performance using Wayang Kulit. After which the curators who visited Indonesia in November 2015 presented progress reports on the theme of “Now in Indonesian Contemporary Art.” Mami Kataoka spoke about the diverse ethnic, linguistic, and cultural relationships between Japan continuing from the wartime period and surveyed the artistic environments of Javaof Java. Naoki Yoneda focusedYoneda focused on artists active during the 1980s and 1990s, and Haruko Kumakura took up the relatively younger artists from the 2000s. The curators’ report about the current state of contemporary art thriving in Indonesia impressed the audience.


Heri Dono is having his presentation

Heri Dono

Born in Jalarta, 1960. His works often employ monstrous or even frightening figures that originate from Indonesian traditional shadow-puppetry theatre known as wayang. At a glance, these figures might feel overwhelmingly negative, but when we look closely at the works’ details, comical elements start to emerge. These at times grotesque, at times pantomimic or Pierrot-like figures are analogues of Heri Dono’s socio-political criticism of contemporary Indonesia. They also resemble a parodic reflection of global contemporary politics. This winning combination of a highly intellectual critical sensibility and a humorous, smiling outlook on life has now become characteristic of Heri Dono’s artistic practice which allows us to easily identify him on the global stage as one of Indonesia’s foremost contemporary artists.


  • face_kataokaMami Kataoka
    Chief Curator
    Mori Art Museum
  • face_yonedaNaoki Yoneda
    The National Art Center, Tokyo
  • kumakura_faceHaruko Kumakura
    Assistant Curator
    Mori Art Museum

Photo: Shinichiro Mikuriya
Photo Courtesy: Mori Art Museum

How has Japan Engaged with Contemporary Art in Southeast Asia?