Dwi Setianto

This summer, I have lived in Finland for 19 years. I am from Java, Indonesia. I currently live and work in Helsinki. I first studied art in Yogyakarta from 1991 to 1996 and, after moving to Finland, continued my studies at the Lahti Institute of Design and Fine Arts, from which I graduated in 2000. For the last 10 years, I have worked as a gardener at the Hietaniemi cemetery. In wintertime, I migrate like the birds to Indonesia and work in the art community of Yogyakarta.

Dwi Setianto: Growth II, 2015, a detail from drawing installation.
(Photo: Timo Nieminen.)


I am inspired by vegetation.
I find it interesting to observe how the plants and animals grow and live.
The grass, lichen, roots, flowers and trees; all harmonious, growing next to,
among and in between each other.
They all affect each others' lives.

In the first instalment of the series, I focused on the tattoo-inspired decorative flora that
vividly grows both on the wall and on the human body.

Growth II deals with the same theme of growth. This time, I wanted to delve even deeper
into the undergrowth, above and underground,  such as moss and rootstock.
Its unity and continuity and, at the same time, its immense diversity.
Vegetation that grows from my own subconscious. 

The series is comprised of ink drawings of varying sizes, including a ten-meter growth;
drawings and installations of plant motifs on recycled paper;
vines, seeds and inflorescence, taking on a life of their own on the walls of the building.

For the last decade, I have been working as a gardener at a cemetery.
I often feel like there is only one great life present there.

In the end, death is merely one phase,
everyone will continue their lives later in another form.

My job at the cemetery inspires me a great deal.
There is death at the cemetery, and it is death that has given me life.

Dwi Setianto: Iiris, 2015, ink on a paper, 150 cm x 1000 cm.
The drawing is part of the installation Growth II.

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