Stefan Buana is a rising star amongst Indonesia's emerging artists, marking his way with fascinating paintings and exquisite sculptures that challenge and amuse his collectors and critics. Stefan is known for his constant experimentation with various styles and media and his creation of unique art pieces using non-traditional materials such as torched metal and rough craquelure.
In recent years Stefan's approach has shifted from abstraction with bold strokes, earthly colors and unusual figures to works that have a more conceptual content that represent his creative ideas and values. Tactile and pleasing to the eye, the paintings of Stefan Buana are deceptively benign. But don't be lulled by the pastel shades and fine lines, "Stefan is making strong social and political statements" says Michael Vatikiotis - former editor of the Far Eastern Economic Review, in his review for Stefan's solo exhibition at Galeri Nasional, Jakarta in 2008.
Despite the fact that he has been living and working in Yogyakarta since 1993, Stefan has always had warm recollections of his hometown of Padang Panjang - a small town surrounded with panoramic views of Mount Merapi and the Singgalang mountains, horse racing tracks, padi fields and elephants in the forest. His strong affection for Padang culture is visible in his vividly detailed works titled Beras Sama dengan Emas di Kampungku, Kampung yang Selalu Kukenang and Ketika Gendang Ditabuh.
Stefan has an insatiable hunger for new styles in the creation of his two and three-dimensional pieces. He often experiments with new materials and techniques, constantly challenging his art form and taking it to new heights. His works on canvas are not limited to acrylic, collage or oil paint and he does not hesitate to innovate, for example, by scattering thin staples or rice grains to create unique textural surfaces.
Stefan assembles his three dimensional works with techniques such as beating, punching holes and torching metal or steel plates, resulting astonishing works such as Legenda Penguasa Rimba and Stefanic Versus Ayat-Ayat Setan.
Born in Padang Panjang, West Sumatra, Indonesia in 1971, Stefan was acknowledged for his artistic talent from a very young age. Stefan studied at the High School of Fine Art (SMSR) in Padang, graduating in 1992. He went on to experience living on the streets of Kuta and other parts of Bali. A year later he continued his studies at the Art Institute of Indonesia in Yogyakarta (ISI) and graduated in 2003.
Stefan's works have earned him awards and accolades, including the Top Three Winner of Nokia Awards (2001), followed by a finalist position in the Indofood Art Award (2002) and the Phillip Morris Art Award (2003). In 2005, he was acknowledged as the first artist to make Batik Parang Lindu, a new motif of batik as a remembrance of the Java earthquake. He has held many group and solo exhibitions in Yogyakarta, Bali and Jakarta.