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Arahmaiani speaks justice, truth through art

A. Kurniawan Ulung

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Wed, April 3, 2019  /  04:59 pm
Arahmaiani speaks justice, truth through art

Nature advocate: Dressed to resemble the Buddhist statues of Borobudur Temple, artist Arahmaiani presents 'Shadow of the Past', a performance art, at Taman Prasasti Museum in Central Jakarta. (A. Kurniawan Ulung/-)

Renowned artist Arahmaiani has no problems speaking her mind through her work. Few know that the outspoken artist – one of the most seminal and respected contemporary artists in the country – was raised in a pious family. It’s where she first learned about freedom of expression.   Arahmaiani, a pioneer of performance art in Southeast Asia, said she did not dream about becoming an artist. Her childhood dream was to become a prophet. Her father, a noted cleric in Bandung, West Java, was shocked into speechlessness when she told him of her religious aspirations in the 1960s. She became angry when he told her it was impossible. “That's unfair!” she retorted, asking why all prophets in Islam were men.  Arahmaiani, who turns 58 in May, laughed as she retold the story to The Jakarta Post in...