The Year 2009 - Stefan Buana

Stefan Buana is a rising star amongst Indonesia's emerging artists, marking his way up with fascinating paintings and exquisite sculptures, his artwork challenges and amuses the likes of his viewers. Stefan is known for his constant experimentation with various styles and media as well as his creation of unique art pieces using non-traditional materials such as torched metal and rough craquelure.

In recent years Stefan's approach has shifted from abstraction with bold strokes, earthly colors and unusual figures to works that have a more conceptual meaning that exemplifies his creative ideas and values. Tactile and pleasing to the eye, the paintings of Stefan Buana are deceptively benign. 'Don't be lulled by the pastel shades and fine lines', says Michael Vatikiotis, former editor of the Far Eastern Economic Review, on his review for Stefan's solo exhibition in Galeri Nasional, Jakarta in 2008, 'Stefan is making strong social and political statements'.

Even as Stefan has been away from his hometown, residing and working in Yogyakarta since 1993, Stefan has always maintained in his heart warm recollections of his place of birth at Padang Panjang, a small town surrounded with panoramic views of Mount Merapi and the Singgalang mountains, horse racing tracks, padi fields and elephants in the forest. His strong affection for Padangnese culture is visible in his vividly detailed works titled "Beras Sama dengan Emas di Kampungku, Kampung yang Selalu Kukenang and Ketika Gendang Ditabuh".

Stefan's has an insatiable hunger for new styles when it comes to creating his two-dimensional and three-dimensional pieces. He often experiments with new materials and techniques, constantly challenging his art form, taking it to new heights. His works on canvas are not just limited to acrylic, collage or oil paint, he constantly innovates on new ideas. An example would be his work on scattering staples or rice grains to create unique textural surfaces.

Stefan assembles his three-dimensional works with techniques such as beating, punching holes and torching metal or steel plates, resulting in astonishing works such as "Legenda Penguasa Rimba" and "Stefanic Versus Ayat-Ayat Setan".

Born in Padang Panjang, West Sumatera, Indonesia in 1971, he has been acknowledged for his artistic talent from a very young age. Stefan studied at the High School of Fine Art (SMSR) in Padang, graduating in 1992. He went on to experience living on the streets of Kuta and other parts of Bali. A year later he continued his study at the Art Institute of Indonesia in Yogyakarta (ISI) and graduated in 2003.

Stefan's works have earned him awards and accolades, including the Top Three Winner of Nokia Awards (2001), followed by the finalist in the Indofood Art Award (2002) and the Phillip Morris Art Award (2003). In 2005, he is acknowledged as the first artist to make Batik Parang Lindu, a new motif of batik as a remembrance of Java earthquake. He has held many group and solo exhibitions in Yogyakarta, Bali and Jakarta.