Regarded as one of the most influential artists within the development of Indonesian contemporary art, Arahmaiani is an active voice for the marginalised and repressed in society. Her installations, performances, paintings and video art are significantly shaped by the need to produce a new social consciousness based on her research of social, political and cultural issues. One example of Arahmaiani’s research-based work takes issue with the portrayal of Islam in the West. The artist seeks to debunk the monolithic image of Islam and explores the intricacies of faith according to its geography and tradition. Provocation is inherent to her work, favouring themes of social politics and humanity in order to create a new responsiveness to global contemporary culture. For many years, Arahmaini has lived between cultures, offering her a unique position to scrutinize identity and question cultural value.
"I think when I depart from personal experience this helps because I can tie together two issues that appear to be opposed to one another. As it turns out I can do this without being regarded as defending one or the other." - Arahmaiani, 2008.
Born 1961 in Bandung, Indonesia, Arahmaiani graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts and Design at Bandung Institute of Technology in 1983 and continued her studies abroad in Australia and the Netherlands. Arahmaiani’s performances are internationally recognized and her work has been exhibited in significant solo and group shows internationally since the early 1980s. Her work was celebrated in an important retrospective, “Slow Down Bro..!” at the Jogja National Museum in 2008. Other group and solo exhibitions include MOCA, Beijing (2011), Biennale Jogja 11, Yogyakarta (2011); 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney (2011); Sydney Festival (2010); Bentara Budaya, Yogyakarta (2009); Jogja National Museum, Yogyakarta (2008); Alexander Ochs Gallery, Berlin (2008); J&Z Gallery, Shenzhen (2007); Museum, New York (2007); Jim Thompson Art Centre, Bangkok (2006); INTOENNE Festival, Austria (2005) and the Venice Biennale (2003).