Juni Kusumanto (Indonesia/Netherlands)



Juni Kusumanto (1957) was born in Bandung, Indonesia, and migrated at the age of twelve to the Netherlands, where she attended the Breda Academy of Arts in 1990-1995.


Most of her earlier works and projects of art depict in a delicate manner the life path along which humans encounter various life circumstances and the different ways they may respond to these. These early creations are strongly inspired by the non-violence philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi, grounded on the idea that a more balanced world can only be reached by aiming at the absolute truth whilst using non-violence as means. These early works are in essence Juni’s search for the absolute truth. With predominantly black and white colours, images of hands and feet are central in the works. The images and lines —some strong, others more subtle— are given shape in such a way that they become either figurative or abstract of character. All are presented in a poetic and story-telling manner.


More recent works put nature more central, showing the artist’ deep concern towards the ecological crises that increasingly confront life on planet earth. In these later works, Juni has chosen the rainforest ecological system as a metaphor of harmony and balancing acts of the different creatures, including humans. These works seem also to tell that there is no rigid divide between the conscious and the unconscious; both make part of one ecological entity. These later creations are more colourful compared to the earlier ones.


Despite Juni’ Indonesian roots, this background has not limited the process of creation. ‘If imposed by my Indonesian background,’ she once asserted, ‘my hand would be clumsily and unnaturally steered. If feeling free, I may in the process of creation discover (also sub-consciously) new or hidden elements, notwithstanding whether I am Indonesian-born, a Dutch citizen or part of the universe.


Juni’s works have been exhibited in the Netherlands (e.g. The Hague, Rotterdam and `s Hertogenbosh’), Germany (Berlin) and Indonesia (Jakarta). Besides, she also actively participated in arts projects with a social character, such as the Youth and Graffiti Project and an Arts Auction for Children with Cancer. For her drawings and paintings, Juni has used acrylic, oil paint, conté, charcoal, pastel or ink on paper, canvas or plexi-glass. For more on her works of art, please visit: www.jpkusumanto.nl.