MELENCOLIA I (JAVA DURER #2 )
300 cm x 200 cm
Eddy Susanto is an Indonesian artist whose research practice delves into historical narratives and processes of identity formation. He is renowned for his reinterpretation of woodcuts and engravings by the German Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer, focusing the Javanese society within the global constellation of art and cultural exchange. Eddy Susanto studied graphic design at the Indonesian Institute of the Arts in Yogyakarta before becoming a commercial designer and book illustrator. His works reference history and print practices from around the world, often aligning historical events and religious interpretations with Javanese references. ‘Java of Dürer’ (2011), which won Susanto the prestigious Bandung Contemporary Art Award that year, appropriates Albrecht Dürer’s ‘The Men’s Bath’ (1496) by elaborating on the image in 15th-century Hanacaraka script. Carefully etched with a pen on canvas, the artwork correlates the narrative of Islam’s arrival in Java in the 14th century with the European Renaissance. Thus, Susanto points to the radical transformations that occurred during that time in each region, repositioning Javanese sacred texts within the history of Western art.