Leonard Suryajaya

False Idol

The work of the Chinese-Indonesian artist Leonard Suryajaya is a response to the legal and ideological limits that society imposes on queer migrant identities. Taking his own experience as a starting point, he creates complex theatrical scenes performed in collaboration with his family and friends.

Suryajaya’s colourful, bizarre and chaotically organized portraits reflect his life trajectory shot through with diverse cultural systems, religious beliefs, and border politics. The rigid, exhausting process to obtain permanent residence in the United States, governed by a hetero-patriarchal conception of love and family, was the starting point for False Idol. The photographs, along with the videos and texts that make up the series, reflect the obligation to hand over his identity to the government and show the traumas that emerged during the procedure, as part of a minority community of Chinese origin in Indonesia and an oppressed sexual orientation.

The collaborative work process with his family and loved ones is an invitation to share and celebrate the beauty of extravagance together in the midst of chaos.


False Idol

Venue: Erega beach II
Open air exhibition