Arahmaiani discussed the intersection of cultures and spirituality in artistic practices, at the 2015 Arts & Museum Summit.
Arahmaiani is one of Indonesia’s most respected and iconic contemporary artists. In the 1980s and 1990s, she established herself as a pioneer in performance art in Southeast Asia. Her multidisciplinary practice incorporates painting, drawing, installation, video, poetry, dance, and music. Her work has grappled with contemporary politics, violence, critiques of capitalism, the female body, and in recent years, her identity as a Muslim who uses aspects of Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, and animist beliefs in her work. In her prolific career of activism combined with artistic practice, she has used her influence to direct attention to violence against women and female discrimination in Indonesia’s Islamic community, as well as to fight against the stigmatization of Islam after September 11. Since 2010, a focus of her work has been the environmental issues in the Tibetan plateau region, where she has been collaborating with local monks and villagers to foster environmental protection. Her work has been shown widely in exhibitions around the world, including Suspended Histories, Museum Van Loon, Amsterdam (2014); Global Feminism, Brooklyn Museum (2007); and the landmark exhibition Traditions/Tensions, Asia Society, New York (1996). In 2003, Arahmaiani was one of theartists representing Indonesia at the 50th Venice Biennale.