By Julius Tomasowa
According to Martin Heidegger, the power of art is in its capacity to describe an experience that is not visible. Good artists are not only armed with good technical skills. They also have the ability to describe experiences in perceptive ways. As an artist, Deden Hendan Durahman truly subscribes to this view.
Born on 6 December 1974 at Majalaya, West Java, Deden Hendan Durahman displayed a love for drawing from a very young age. While studying in junior high school, Deden recreated Hans Christian Andersen’s work in Indonesian vernacular and “style”, and made other drawings based on Lelucon Petruk Gareng [ed: Indonesian vintage comic series]. In 1993, he enrolled in the Faculty of Art and Design (FSRD), Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), specialising in woodcut. In 2005, he obtained a Diploma in Fine Art from the Braunschweig University of Art in Germany, before graduating with a Meisterschüler from the same institution in 2006.
Returning to ITB, Deden helped to set up the Intermedia Studio at FSRD. Away from work, he continues to pursue his artistic practice. Starting from what we think, in response to what happens externally—this is how Deden often describes his artistic process.
In the Reconstructio series, the title suggests that Deden first witnessed something, which he then reconstructs for his art-making. Reconstructio; Faces (2006), for instance, is made in response to the culture and environment that he encountered in Germany.
In After The War (2010), Deden uses archival photographs of Germany in the aftermath of WWII as his starting point. He reconstructs them by adding new things into these photographs.
“If you look carefully, there is something strange in the images,” says Deden. In these two projects, Deden uses photography as source material, reconstructing images and displaying them as digital prints. Both projects have been exhibited in Germany and Indonesia.