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30 Nov 2020

Tisna Sanjaya

Dr. Tisna Sanjaya, M.Sch. (Art ’79) is an Indonesian artist. His name is widely known through his works in the form of paintings that are displayed in dozens of exhibitions held both domestically and abroad. Tisna is one of the recipients of the Adhikarya Rupa Award for the personal category, 2014.


Tisna Sanjaya was born in Bandung, West Java, in 1960. Her artistic talent was seen from a young age. He often draws on the walls of the house. Although his parents are chicken traders, they are very supportive of his artistic talent. This is because his home environment is not far from the arts. When he was in junior high school, he won the drawing held by the National Family Planning Coordinating Board (BKKBN). He is an admirer of paintings by Chan Tanjung, Rusli, and other Moi Indie works, even his painting which won the competition organized by BKKBN was inspired by Rusli’s style. Tisna studied at the Teacher Training and Education Institute (IKIP) majoring in fine arts for two years, and then entered the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) (1979-1986). At ITB, since he became acquainted with the world of happening art from the creative experiment class taught by G. Sidharta, his painting skills have been honed. Since graduating from ITB Fine Arts (1986), he has been very productive at work and has been active in exhibiting both solo and in groups. Due to the activity and intensity of his work, as well as his creative breakthroughs, his figures and works have attracted much attention and criticism from art observers in Indonesia. The work discourse that he developed has been responded to, followed and negated by other artists, especially the younger generation.


Since the 1995s he has received a lot of attention from observers of Indonesian and even international art, because his works reveal many themes of social and political inequality in Indonesia, especially during Suharto’s reign. His works at that time tended to be abstract art that kept away from social reality and was more oriented to the problems within (microcosm) of the artist, or universal themes. He also always cares about things related to humanity, such as including his work in the solidarity exhibition for the dance master Mimi Rasinah, who is lying sick and a victim of Underground music in Bandung, 2008. As well as being active in the arts, he is also good at playing a kabayan. in a program on local television in Bandung, STV which brought up the daily realities experienced by residents. He is interested in playing the character kabayan because since childhood he likes kabayan besides Batman, Zoro, and Tarzan. He wants to play the character Zoro, the defender of the oppressed people in a Sundanese context. He made a breakthrough by breaking the formalism tradition of graphic arts at ITB, by starting to make works on the theme of socio-political problems in Indonesia. From all this it seems that what he is still fighting for is resistance to violence. After completing his S-2 in Germany, he continued his doctoral program (S-3) in the same place (1997-1998).


Tisna Sanjaya has produced many works, most recently in 2018 she presented “Self-Portraits as Hypocrites” at the National Gallery of Indonesia, Jakarta and “99 Sajadah Merah” at M + Live Art: Audience as Performer, M + Museum Hong Kong.