Wedhar Riyadi (b. 1980) is part of a group of Indonesian artists whose work is strongly influenced by the era of change, which saw the fall of the Suharto regime, the subsequent transition to democracy, and an increasing influx of Japanese and Western popular culture in local entertainment. With their strong lines, bright colours, and graphic pop/pulp imagery, we can see influence of street culture, graffiti, and comic books in Riyadi’s paintings and illustrations, combined with his own Javanese heritage. Since 2007, Riyadi has been interested in depictions of violence in popular culture, and the effects of violence, domestic and foreign, in Indonesia’s sociopolitical life. He explored these ideas by pitting comic book characters in epic battles against figures from traditional Javanese theatre, or painting over found archival images, distorting and disfiguring faces from Indonesia’s past with influences from the present.
Riyadi has exhibited widely in Asia, Australia, Europe and USA, and in 2012 participated in the 7th Asia Pacific Triennale in Brisbane, Australia. In addition to numerous private collections worldwide, his works are included in the collection of the Queensland Art Gallery.
He currently lives and works in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.