Leonard Suryajaya is currently single and pursuing his MFA at SAIC.

Personal Statement

Influenced by the cultural milieu of experiencing intra-ethnic relations in Indonesia, my work explores identity, culture, gender, and sexuality. By utilizing photography, video, along with elements of performance and installation, my work challenges and deconstructs the perspective we use to scrutinize and observe our roles in a transnational global world.

Oppression and suppression were the themes of my childhood. Events, such as my grandfather and his dad fleeing the communist regime, eradication of Chinese culture by the Indonesian government, and escaping genocides framed my upbringing. As a second generation "Indonesian Citizen of an Alien Descendent," I was raised to witness constant cultural and religious clashes.

My parents are Buddhists, yet put me in Catholic and Christian schools to ensure a good education. To add another layer to this mayhem, a Muslim woman, my "other" mother, raised me. Early on, my constant "placelessness" urged me to reconcile discrepancies in finding my identity. It is through art that I found my home and objective in life. Art, specifically photography, has provided me with a broader set of tools to engage the world that language does not provide me.


Disclaimer: All work represents the views of the INDIVIDUAL ARTISTS & AUTHORS who created them, and are not those of the school or museum of the Art Institute.