[ close ]

The Art of Soni Irawan

After the end of his exhibition with Art Jakarta, Soni Irawan shared his story with Malaria House. Born on 15 January 1975 in Yogyakarta, Soni studied in the Visual Art Faculty, Fine Arts Department, majoring in Printmaking in the Indonesian Art Institute situated also in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. He experienced office work as a graphic designer before focusing on the visual artist as his full profession since 2007.

A musician and one of the founders of a Jogjakarta experimental band Seek Six Sick, Soni's art is greatly influenced by the spirit and energy of rock music. “I’m very much influenced by my rock music. My canvases are filled with spontaneous strokes, sketchy figures and cut out pieces, just like jamming sessions.” Said Soni Irawan.

Soni chooses oil bars to draw his lines since the medium gives him the similar feel of roughness and boldness as the sound created by a guitar - the instrument he plays in the band. His subject matters, however, are largely personal that revolve around his families and his environment with the underlying interest in capturing the spirit of human survival in everyday life (quoted from Vallette Gallery).

His artworks that were being presented at Art Jakarta shows how he loves living in Indonesia through the chaotic and the uncertainty of the growing nation. One of his objects is a superhero named Zorro, a common man without any superpower where he must capture the villain, which are not aliens, but corrupt police or politician. “I think Zorro is very much related to the life of Indonesian nowadays.” Said Soni Irawan whom some of his artworks are very much influenced by Basquiat.

Art Jakarta is the most prominent contemporary art fair in Indonesia since 2009. Art Jakarta embraces all stakeholders, from artists, galleries, collectors, to art enthusiasts, and serves as a platform for the development of Indonesia's art market and discovery of new talent. Soni Irawan joined the 2018 Art Jakarta from 2 - 5 August 2018, which is also the celebration of Art Jakarta 10th anniversary.

Still playing music as one of his source of inspiration, which is very much influenced by Sonic Youth, Soni is now on a collective exhibition in Paris where he created an art installation about the life on the street, such as the tire repairman and the gasoline station people with the title “Tribute to Street Fighter”.

The art development in Indonesia is now thriving and more people are better educated about visual art. “I think the visual art development in Indonesia is growing to a positive direction. Art connoisseurs do not just belong to the much older generation, now the younger generation becomes art connoisseurs. The difference is the younger generation buy artworks not just because of the artist name, but also because they like the artworks. I think it’s a good progress.” Said Soni Irawan.

By: Malariahouse | 04 September 2018