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Contemporary art

Asian art

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They give evidence



Dadang Christanto

Indonesia, Australia

1957 -


Dadang graduated from the Indonesian Art College, Yogyakarta in 1978, and now lives in Darwin. The focus of his work, whether installations or drawings, is human suffering. His work speaks eloquently for the victims of oppression and social injustice. The larger-than-life male and female figures in this installation represents displaced victims, mutely carrying the bodies of innocent men, women, and children who have been killed: testament to the inhumanity of man to man, a silent monument to communal grief. The work strikes an immediate, primeval chord of empathy, pain and compassion, and is a compelling universal plea against humanity.

Asian Art Department, AGNSW, August 2003.


Place where the work was made

Central Java Java Indonesia



Media categories

Sculpture , Installation

Materials used

16 standing figures holding clothes. Figures made from terracotta powder mixed with resin/fibreglass; 22 pieces of clothing made from cloth and resin.


dimensions variable :

a - male figure, 200 cm

b - clothing, 134.6 cm

c - female figure, 190 cm

d - clothing, 106 cm

e - female figure, 190 cm

f - clothing, 125 cm

g - male figure, 200 cm

h - clothing, 147.5 cm

i - male figure, 200 cm

j - clothing, 148 cm

k - female figure, 190 cm

l - clothing, 76 cm

m - child's clothing, 44 cm

n - female figure, 190 cm

o - clothing, 140 cm

p - child's clothing, 44 cm

q - male figure, 200 cm

r - clothing, 126 cm

s - male figure, 200 cm

t - clothing, 129.5 cm, Piece made in 2003

u - child's clothing, 48.5 cm, Piece made in 2003

v - female figure, 190 cm

w - clothing, 111 cm

x - child's clothing, 50 cm

y - female figure, 190 cm

z - clothing, 101.5 cm

aa - male figure, 200 cm

bb - clothing, 138 cm, Piece made in 2003

cc - male figure, 200 cm

dd - clothing, 96.5 cm

ee - child's clothing, 65 cm

ff - female figure, 190 cm

gg - clothing, 143 cm

hh - female figure, 190 cm

ii - clothing, 142 cm

jj - male figure, 200 cm

kk - clothing, 144 cm

ll - clothing


Purchased 2003


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Dadang Christanto

Works in the collection



Where the work was made
Central Java

Shown in 2 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 19 publications


Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of New South Wales Annual Report 2004, Sydney, 2004, 17 (colour illus.), 30 (colour illus.).

Anthony Bond, Contemporary: Art Gallery of New South Wales Contemporary Collection, 'Imagining the body', pg.246-289, Sydney, 2006, 258, 259 (colour illus.).

Stephanie Britton and HUANGFU Binghui (Editors), Artlink: The China Phenomena, 'Asian Art at the Gallery of NSW', Adelaide, Dec 2003, 74 (colour illus.). The colour illus. on page 74 is a detail of this work.

Edmund Capon AM, OBE, Art Gallery of New South Wales: highlights from the collection, Sydney, 2008, 150-151 (colour illus.), 152 (colour illus.).

Susan Chenery, The Saturday Paper, 'Dadang Christanto's blood relations', pg. 18-19, Collingwood, 28 Nov 2015-04 Dec 2015, 18-19.

Christine Clark, Dadang Christanto: Heads and Trees, 'Recovering Footprints: The Art of Dadang Christanto', Sydney, 2005.

Lyndall Crisp, The Weekend Australian financial review, 'New Asian gallery a shining lantern', pg. 35, Sydney, 18 Oct 2003-19 Oct 2003, 35 (colour illus.).

Amber Daines, Asian Art Newspaper, 'Dadang Christanto', pg. 9, London, Mar 2005, 9 (illus.). The illus. on page 9 shows the work covered in black cloth, as part of the performance done during the time of the opening of the New Asian Galleries.

Rosalie Higson, The Australian, 'Towering bodies of evidence', pg. 15, Sydney, 17 Oct 2003, 15 (illus.).

Sue Ingham, TAASA Review, 'Witnesses from Indonesia', pg. 22, Sydney, Dec 2003, 22 (colour illus.).

Sabine Krajewski, Tabu, hinhören, hinsehen, besprechen, Bielefeld, 2015, 90- 107 (illus.). The illus. on page 91 is a detail of this work.

Carolyn Van Langenberg, Look, 'Global Resonances', pg. 16, Sydney, Feb 2004, 16 (colour illus.).

Steve Meacham, The Sydney Morning Herald, 'Figures of influence', pg. 10, Sydney, 18 Oct 2003, 10 (colour illus.). Forty-eight hours section

Sarah Pickette, POL Oxygen, '...And these figures, they give evidence', pg. 88-96, Sydney, 2004, 88-96, 89 (colour illus.), 94 (colour illus.).

Andrea Stretton, Art and Australia (Vol. 42, No. 2), 'Reading Dadang Christanto', pg. 271-273, Sydney, Dec 2004-Feb 2005, 271-272, 273 (colour illus.). The colour illus. on page 273 is a detail of this work.

Akira Tatehata, Art Asia Pacific, 'Crossroads of Culture', Sydney, 1998, 22-23 (colour illus.).

Caroline Turner, Beyond the Future, the Third Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, 'Dadang Christanto. Speaking for humanity: Art and social justice', pg. 200-201, Brisbane, 1999, 200, 201 (colour illus.).

Hendro Wiyanto, The Unspeakable Horror, 'The Meaning of Memory', pg. 24-31, Indonesia, 2002, 7 (illus.), 15 (colour illus.), 16 (colour illus.), back cover (colour illus., detail).

Hendro Wiyanto, Latitudes Magazine, 'The Big-Hearted Art of Dadang Christanto', pg. 44-50, Indonesia, Sep 2003, 44-50, 46 (colour illus.).