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Dhawa Rezkyna

Artist Spotlight

At first, I did not plan on creating such complicated compositions, but often when I start painting, layer by layer the landscape starts to take on a life of its own.

Indonesian artist Dhawa Rezkyna takes the powerful, yet ambiguous, symbol of the flower, which can represent a celebration of euphoria, beauty, birth or death in cultures around the world, and contrasts it with the common objects of everyday life in order to represent an internal conflict between rationality, imagination, drama and irony. Fascinated by how they continuously adapt to an ever-changing ecosystem and continue to grow, much like people adapt to the cultural changes happening around them, Rezkyna cultivates his personal mind-garden, in which he continuously plants, fosters, and harvests the products of his imagination.

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INTERVIEW WITH THE ARTIST


Q. Did you always want to be an artist? 

A. Ever since I was a kid, there's always been something that's attracted me to art, especially fine art. And I think I still don't know anything about being an artist, hahaha.

Q. What first drew you to creating these intricate floral compositions and fantastical landscapes? 

A. At first, I didn't plan on creating such complicated compositions, but often when I start painting, layer by layer the landscape starts to take on a life of its own. On the one hand, there is an impulsive element and on the other a very controlled one which in conjunction subconsciously produces such landscapes. 

Q. Your work seems to showcase an inherent contradiction in subject matter. What do you aim to achieve with this juxtaposition of dream-like landscapes and fantasy figures such as unicorns with the common objects of everyday life? 

A. This contradictory subject matter often appears in my work as a veiled symbol of satirical criticism, or sometimes just because I want to play around, to disturb the illusion of harmony as both a reminder and a question. For example, the plastic flower balloons among cacti and beautiful floral landscapes, I consider a reminder of the reality around me and how difficult it is to find pure natural beauty without the distraction of man-made objects, except perhaps in nature conservation parks or forests. 

Q. The faceless human figures in your composition, are they the procrastinator of a fictional story that plays out in the painting, or is there a specific personal element in there?

A. I think both are correct. On the one hand, I critically question myself and my identity through these faceless cloaked figures. I address my ambivalence when it comes to ideology, culture, or whatever topic on which there are doubts in my mind. They are also a means to convey my belief that human beings are often still vast empty spaces that need to be filled in order to reveal their true face. 

Q. You have stated that your artworks are a reflection of the human condition and of emotional conflict in particular, could you elaborate on this?

A. Maybe it's just my na├»ve mind. I think everyone is always grappling with their own emotional side, and figuring out how to cope with everyday life. Is this not exactly what art is about? Much like music, film, literature, and even science? 

Q. Is there an autobiographical aspect to your work? For example, do your own daily environment, experiences, or dreams play a role in the conception of your artworks? 

A. Yes, in many ways. But most often they reveal personal experiences that I choose to keep hidden. 

Q. What would you like your work to evoke in the viewer? 

A. I honestly don't know. I am happy if people freely interpret my work as they please. I think I can always explain my work, but I prefer it if people interpret it from their point of view, which is a way for me to learn from them. 


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