May 7, 2020
ARTIST: Arahmaiani (Arahmayani Feisal)
Our conversation about contemporary Asian performance artists would not be complete without mention of Arahmaiani (Arahmaiani Faisal, born 1961 in Indonesia). She only goes by her first name, which is a stunning merging of the Hindu-Buddhist household she was raised in; “Arahma” is of Arabic origin, meaning “loving,” and “-iani/yani” is a Hindi word meaning “human being.” (wikipedia.org)
As a prominent female artist who has gained notoriety in Southeast Asia, her works exhibit her political point of view – such as an installation which stands as a “criticism of acute consumerism” – and another which pointedly questions public control of feminine fertility (The Jakarta Post).
On the Indonesian holiday of Wasaik Day or Buddha’s Anniversary, let us be cognizant of Arahmaiani using her voice as an artist and activist while exhibiting a nonviolent nature and engendering compassionate confrontation.
Post written by Crow Visitor Services Representative Meagan Severson