Eddy Susanto


300 cm x 200 cm

Mixed media


Tell the story of Babat Tanah Jawi depicted with melancholic images. These Melancholic images are inspired by Albrecht Durer, who often depicted stories of Ancient Rome.


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.

Susanto continues to employ this technique in his subsequent series of paintings, incorporating significant Javanese elements from the ‘Babad Tanah Jawi,’ ‘Mahabharata,’ and ‘Ramayana’ into reinterpretations of Dürer’s Old Testament engravings, as well as prints by Marcantonio Raimondi and Theodor de Bry. He is particularly interested in scenes and texts depicting historical shifts and encounters—especially those representing Eastern subjects—mining art, literature, and science for composition. In 2015, Eddy Susanto exhibited ‘Java Script’ at the National Gallery of Indonesia in Central Jakarta. Drawing parallels between Javanese script and the JavaScript programming language, the artist envisions websites like Google, Facebook, Baidu, and Amazon as illuminated manuscripts from the Middle Ages. By replacing the Latin and Chinese texts with Javanese language and featuring Indonesian ornamental elements, Susanto subtly indicates that our society, increasingly driven by technology, overlooks local knowledge and heritage, even though they are rooted in the same drive for understanding and connectivity. Currently, Eddy Susanto is based in Yogyakarta.