Hahan in Yogyakarta

Uji Handoko Eko Saputro, aka, Hahan is a celebrated contemporary Indonesian artist whose high voltage aesthetic presents an ongoing tussle between ‘high art’ and ‘low art’. Hahan’s practice is characterised by its use of cartoons and comic illustrations and his work offers an insight into the psyche of a post-boom South-East Asian artist operating globally. Hahan has participated in group exhibitions in Indonesia and abroad, including Contemporary Worlds: Indonesia at the National Gallery of Australia, 2019 his work is being collected by national and international collections. VAULT speaks to Hahan in context of his home town Yogyakarta.

as told to Alison Kubler NOV 2019

Yogyakarta affectionately known as 'Jogja' is widely considered one of Indonesia’s financial, industrial and cultural hubs. Yogyakarta is home to Indonesia’s first established university; the Gajahmada University. It is also home to the oldest art campus in the country, the Indonesian Institute of the Arts, which in my opinion, makes this city one of the most attractive destinations for study, in addition to the low cost of living. In fact, not many students want to leave the city after they finish their studies and decide to stay. I am one of them.

Yogyakarta houses a variety of newcomers who form friendships and small groups based on their interests, which then turn into more formalized micro-communities. The desire to gather, mingle, and complain, about personal issues or career, politics, state conditions or shifts in the direction of the art world, strengthens the culture of utilizing public space for ‘hanging out’ in this city. This tradition of gathering and coming together has naturally given birth to a range of interesting cultural events and festivals; including the countries deep metal and alternative sound scene; in addition to more formalized art institutions such as the Equator Symposium; produced in association with Yogyakarta Biennale Foundation. .. Subscribe to read this article in full


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