Journey into the dreamlike visions of the Indonesian photographer

Surreal metaphors, dreamlike visions, conceptual portraits. When you look at the works of visual artist Hardi Budi, you can find yourself walking on unknown sensory terrain: highly destabilizing places, flooded with unreal colors, pure lines, inexpressiveness and Kafkaesque aesthetics.

His works are hybrid, they are the result of a highly experimental and avant-garde photography. The edited shots become small paintings suspended in time, poised between irony and anxiety, between social denunciation and figurative power.

We asked the creative Indonesian to tell us about his artistic vision, a vision deeply connected to and inspired by the sporting sphere.

Your artistic production is hybrid: it combines photography and graphic art, creating surreal and dystopian images. How was your unique style born and what do you want to communicate through it?

My life is overflowing with creating works of art. Since a boy I really love Drawing and Painting. Art gives me freedom to create anything I want in fantasy and reality! Ideas and inspirations came about on their own. I really enjoy every process no matter what the result is. Besides Photography I also love poems. So if you take a look at my Instagram, I always write poems on every single photo that I post, I try to deliver my messages through poems.

Would you describe the process behind your works? And what role do colours play in the creation of your images?

When the ideas come up, I always recording it to voice recording on my smartphone. If I think it is possible to create, first of all I make a story board of the concept, I make the list of what I need such as outfit, properties, models, venue, make up artist etc. By the time everything is ready then I execute the photoshoot and editing for finishing.

In your visual gallery sports are featured quite often. What is your relationship with this universe and how much does it influence your creations?

I love sports and thank God for that! I swim, I play basketball, tennis, and especially ping pong. When I was a boy I used to be a ping pong player for my home town club. People says doing what you love is freedom and loving what you do is happiness.

Basketball, ping pong, tennis, swimming and dancing seem to take on a metaphorical value in your artistic vision. The same goes for your imaginary fields, ideal and dreamlike places. What do all these entities symbolize in your thinking?

My works are like the journey of my life. It is all about the expression of imagination, emotion & experiences of my life.

Would you describe the value of sports in Indonesian society? Which sports (or traditional games) are you most attached to?

Well, talking about sports in Indonesia, there are two favorite sports here: badminton & football! Same with me, those 2 sports are my favorite too.

What is your view on contemporary sports photography and what do you think it should show?

Einstein said “Insanity is doing the same thing over & over again and expecting different result”. How long are we gonna see same style sport photography from time to time? I try to break through and bring something different either in concept or style of sports photography.

Hardi Budi
IG @hardibudi

Text by Gianmarco Pacione