Arahmaiani is an Indonesian artist born in Bandung and based in Yogyakarta, Central Java, Indonesia. Arahmaiani is considered by many to be one of the most respected and iconic contemporary artists, specifically in pioneering performance art in Southeast Asia. Arahmaiani frequently uses art as a means of critical commentary on social, religious, and cultural issues.
Though best known as a performance artist, she also employs painting, drawing, sculpture, video, poetry, dance, and installation. The thematic material of Arahmaiani’s work deals with certain issues related to the discrimination and violence against women, the oppression of women’s bodies by men, religion in modern society, Western commercial imperialism, and global industrialization. Since the early 1980s, Arahmaiani’s works have generated hostility on the part of Islamic community leaders and political authorities resulting in her short imprisonment in 1983.
Arahmaiani’s work has been collected by several museums and art institutions such as: The Brooklyn Museum, New York; The Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara (MACAN), Jakarta; Asia Society, New York, USA.; Singapore Art Museum, Singapore.