Heri Dono: Civilization Oddness
Heri Dono: Civilization Oddness at Walsh Gallery in Chicago, IL. "...Heri Dono's art, no matter what form it takes, reflects an internalization of the study of the illogical. One of his strengths is in creating complicit laughter to realize art as a vehicle of social critique. As the curator points out 'cartoon characters, although crushed to smithereens, never die.' In the 80s, Heri Dono's art explored the world of cartoons, while the rest of the Indonesian art world was caught up in a social commentary of a more gory sort. After studying with an eccentric puppet maker in Java, Heri Dono began to reinvent 'wayang,' or 'shadow puppets,' which is the traditional Javanese form of puppet-making. Javanese leather puppetry is an ancient art form that is still practiced on the island of Java and dates back to the 1st century. The actual forms and symbols used in this practice are filled with mystical meanings and some forms are even seen as sacred."