The word ‘cacophonous’ best describes Dedy Sufriadi’s works, where words swoop horizontally across canvases, paint and symbols crash against each other in stunning compositions, and colours unfurl with reckless abandon. All these elements make for an interesting solo exhibition titled ‘Hypertext’, the Indonesian artist’s very first in Malaysia, but tenth to date. Hosted on Malaysian soil by Artemis Art and Interpr8 Art Space, Dedy’s paintings and mixed media pieces are all rooted in text, the very basis of human communication.
Indeed, Palembang-born Dedy presents variations of text alongside naïve symbolism that bears some resemblance to archeological drawings. The twist, however, is the dose of abstract expressionism that Dedy injects into each and every piece, with many bearing subtle traces to the art of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Work like ‘Zoo’, a tapestry-like painting that features nonrepresentational images of animals, illustrates this particular lineage well. Bright, vibrant colours pop from the surface of the canvas, and the irregularity in the image and raw, energetic brushstrokes suggest an impassioned artistic spirit.
Never mind then that the pieces don’t purport to want to change the world or rustle up social fires. Some art is simply there for the taking, and Dedy’s paintings present layer upon layer of text and symbols that are begging for viewers to be lost in.