Franciscus Xaverius Harsono was born in Blitar, East Java in 1949, Fx. Harsono is a living legend and one of the central figures in Indonesia art scene for over 40 years. He is also one of the founders of the Gerakan Seni Rupa Baru (GSRB) and the Desember Hitam movement. His works of art always touch social issues in Indonesia. Studied art at ASRI (now the Institut Seni Indonesia (ISI) from 1969 to 1974, then continued his education at the Jakarta Arts Institute from 1987 to 1991, Harsono has been actively criticizing the political situation, society, and culture of Indonesia since his days as a student. During Indonesia’s dictatorial Suharto regime (1967-98), his installation and performance works were powerfully eloquent acts of protest against an oppressive state apparatus. The fall of the regime in 1998, which triggered rioting and widespread violence, mainly against Indonesia’s ethnic Chinese minority, prompted an introspective turn in Harsono’s artistic practice.
His life and his family greatly influenced the works he produced. Harsono has made a name for himself as a leading and influential contemporary artist in Indonesia, winning various awards, including the prestigious Joseph Balestier Award for the Freedom of Art in January 2015.