Nia Gautama

Artist Statement

My main material in early works are clay which appeared in single material as pure clay or to be processed as ceramic. The materials then combined with industrial objects or any found objects, to create drawing, sculptural work, installation and interactive work. I love to communicate with audience through my art and give the audience chance to response and participate in my work. The topic might range from nature, personal issue and social condition.

As my art developed then I do performance. It started in 2012 when I did a residency in China. At that time the performance was the supporting medium for my interactive ceramic installation. I felt I found my visual identity in combining ceramic installation and performance. So I continued the idea and visual concept in 2013 – ‘The Sacred’ - and 2014 – ‘Would it be Replaced’. The topic was about local tradition culture and responded the socio-economic culture condition.

Started 2015, my works focused on woman issue. They are about women as subject and object, their restlessness, their feminine power, their right, their role, also their body. Woman issue is a never ending issue and has become a common topic, especially by women artists. But I think since their (our) position in society is still vulnerable and marginal, and I myself once became a victim and I do believe there are many women became a victim (by social, politic, culture, law, believe), so I need to speak out through my art.

In past two years I have created ‘The Body of My Own #1 & #2, a performance series supported by drawing and video, about women’s consciousness of the right to her own body. Later in September 2018, I initiated a group exhibition – ‘Kembang Goyang’ (shaking flowers) – invited young women artists, showing mixed media works about women strength, power, and independence.

Started October 2018, I am focusing on domestic matter both in subject theme and material used. The domestic matter often associated with women’s job, in this case household job. I want people to appreciate such serving and caring job by creating art showing codes, symbol, and metaphor in a form of two dimension and three dimension artworks using the local material that associated with domestic material such as clay, fabric, organic or any industrial material.

I do my works by my own hands, and I really enjoy it. Artisan is only to help producing works in finishing or to help the supporting materials. I trust my hands. I do believe that the originality of the work is not only in the artist’s idea but also in artists finger prints. This is how I appreciate the craftsmanship in art making to be wrapped by the concept, content, and context of the work to make it a perfect set.

Art for me can be a soft media to share my restlessness and can be a voice of awareness. There are challenges for artists to dig their creativity and intellectuality to share their ideas and concern to appreciate many things - nature, culture, social – in more metaphoric and symbolic way. Art can be a media to increase ones self-confidence, self –esteem, and self-appreciation. Globally art can connecting people between countries to understand the variety of culture and believe, and hopefully as a stimuli to make peace.

-- Nia Gautama


Nia Gautama (b. Jakarta, 1973) is an independent artist resides in Bandung and a full time lecturer in Visual Art at Telkom University Bandung, West Java, Indonesia. She gained her Bachelor degree in Economic Management in 1996, then worked for some advertising agencies. Her curiosity and passion in art led her to leave that permanent job with a promising career in advertising to be seriously focus in arts. She continued her studies in Visual Art in 2014 and gained her Master of Fine Art Degree, graduated Cum Laude from Faculty of Art and Design, Institut Teknologi Bandung in 2016.

Since early 2000, she has actively exhibited both at home and abroad, to name a few : “The Ceramic View Bangkok – Symposium for Modern Ceramic Arts”, Bangkok Thailand (2016); “Present Continuous, APA Artspace, Jakarta (2015) ; “SELSIUS-USM International Ceramic Festival, Penang, Malaysia (2014)”, “Challenging the Boundaries”-Martell Contemporary Art, Kuningan City, Jakarta (2014); “The Meeting Place-Asian Century”, Gold Coast City Gallery, Australia (2013); “Homoludens#4”, Bali (2013); “3 x 3 projects”, National Gallery,Chaofa Road, Bangkok, Thailand (2013); “Clay Unity Celebrating the Diversity of Southeast Asia”, FLICAM, Fuping, Shaanxi, China (2012); “Indonesian Contemporary Ceramic Art—A Progress Report”, Art & Ceramics Museum, Jakarta (2012); “Indonesia Craft: Reposition”, Indonesian National Gallery (2012); “Jakarta Biennale: Maximum City” (2011-2012); “2nd Shanghai Modern Pot Art Biennale”, Shanghai, China (2010); “The First Jakarta Contemporary Ceramics Biennale (JCCB#1)” (2009); and “The Ceramic Road of Southeast Asia”, Yingge Ceramics Museum, Taiwan (2009).

She gained some travel grants to do residencies and exhibition overseas from The Ministry of Economic and Creative Industry (2012) and Department of Education and Culture (2013). Some of her ceramic works were collected permanently by FLICAM Ceramic Museum, China and Lawangwangi Creative Space, Bandung. She is also a finalist for Gudang Garam Indonesia Art Award 2015.

Since her presentation at a conference in Yingge Museum in 2009, she has started to contribute art-related articles to arts and lifestyle magazines. Her first book “Ceramic for Hobby and Career” was published in 2011 by a leading Indonesian publisher. She is also active involves as organizer for a non-profit international art exhibition.