YUNIZAR: New Perspectives

About the Artist

Born in Talawi, West Sumatra, Yunizar earned his fine arts degree at the Indonesian Institute of Arts in Yogyakarta - in the heart of Indonesia’s artistic and cultural capital. Yunizar’s training reveals itself in his intuitive, expressive style, balanced with sophisticated compositions and subtle palettes.

In 2012, Yunizar unexpectedly ventured into sculpture. In the same year, he co-founded the Yogya Art Lab (YAL) in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, where he sought to provide a space for artists to experiment with unconventional materials and collaborate with skilled local artisans. Observing that the team at YAL could realise his sculptural visions, Yunizar began producing arresting, cast bronze sculptures, experimenting with a range of whimsical subjects that evolved fluidly from his two-dimensional work. Busts engraved with enigmatic symbols of birds and skulls; double-faced human figures imbued with psychological depths and wit; and surreal, primordial monsters that blur the line between predator and prey; they are all testaments to the artist’s ever-expanding imagination.

Provided by: Nicole Soriano, Gajah Gallery

Curatorial Notes

Yunizar is considered as one of the most prominent Indonesian artists working today, known for paintings and sculptures that are dreamy, playful, and rich in imaginative associations. Born in Tawali, West Sumatra, he received his fine arts degree from the Indonesian Institute of Arts in Yogyakarta. During his studies, Yunizar co-founded the Kelompok Seni Rupa Jendela, an art group that focused on experimentation and honing individual artistic styles. Yunizar’s paintings are characterized by their childlike style, whose raw lines and fantastical imagery present an alternative idiom to the sophisticated and sleek figuration of his peers.

The artist is particularly known for his “Coretan” series, which features impressionistic scribbles that evoke an immediate connection with the viewer for their emotional force, similar to that found in oral traditions in Minangkabau culture. In 2012, Yunizar ventured into sculptures, whose whimsical forms are usually based on his paintings. His works have been exhibited globally and are held in major art collections, including the Long Museum in Shanghai, the Benesse Art Collection in Japan, and the Singapore Art Museum. “Trust in his intuition” and the “ability to see poetry and power in the ordinary” characterize Yunizar’s artistic process.

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