"Exhibition", ∆HRT = ∆HOR + (∆HP-HR)_


Indonesia | English

Curatorial | Artwork Images | Documentation | Essay | Discussion | Artist’s Biography

Solo Exhibition by Dyah Retno: ∆HRT =∆HOR+(∆HP-HR)

July 2-30, 2022
Cemeti – Institute for Art and Society, Yogyakarta

Manshur Zikri

THIS EXHIBITION EXAMINE Dyah Retno’s framework as an artist who started her ceramic expertise in 2014 and how her oeuvre reinterprets the ideas of the relationship between art and research. This particularly highlights her latest ceramic project in 2022 focusing on the experimentation with the glasswool waste and the ceramic production tool—the kiln. Selected archives are presented as evolving content, denoting the theoretical, empirical, and poetical thinking of the artist’s process with ceramics. They consist of paper archives that show the visuality of the basic structure of the project idea, on-site data, and evaluation notes. Other objects are bottles filled with waste materials, the dozens of ceramic pieces samples, and the kiln to burn the pieces directly in the gallery space. Displaying them in a kind of workspace flow that allows the burning process, this exhibition shows us an event-based art form in a productivist way. The exhibition’s title, a simple formula for calculating the flame temperature, was consciously chosen to represent the project’s idea and process.

In addition, highlights of the exhibition include sketches on paper selected from the artist’s archive that has been collecting since she conducted a study of visual forms while taking higher education in the Ceramic field. You can also discover some of the pictorial outputs of her academic work on the deformation of Radiolaria and her experimental artworks from her previous research series on ceramic waste; both are part of a long-term project in which she applied scientific methods to locate alternative sources for ceramic production. These are significant to broaden the scope of the presentation in order to get a comprehensive reflection on the vision, focuses, changes, and progress of Dyah’s ceramic practices.

Art and scientific research are indeed not used interchangeably in many cultural conversations. Through Dyah’s practice, we can see that, in the relationship between the two terms, art is not a goal or reason but a point of departure, a driving factor, and a methodological refinement in the efforts to achieve social goods.

Back to Table of Contents

Artwork Images

Physis – 01

Sukabumi Stoneware, pacitan earthenware, natural white clay, Glazed Sukabumi Stoneware
Variable dimension; 100 parts

These 100 objects are one of the outputs of the Physis project, a part of Dyah’s research efforts on materials in order to find alternative materials for producing ceramic works. Especially in this Dyah’s solo exhibition edition, visitors are allowed to take and bring home one Physis object for collection.

Dyah Retno’s Artistic Statement – 01

Text mural on the wall

“…it’s not just about aesthetics, working with ceramics means learning about materials, technology, formulation, research, and a sense of being ready to fail…”


Ceramic; Sukabumi stoneware, slip casting and coil, glazed with oxidation firing
Variable dimension; 21 parts

This is one of Dyah Retno’s ceramic works which, on the one hand, uniquely captures a visual phenomenon that has a certain effect on some people’s bodies, namely trypophobia, and on the other hand, also imitates a form of food as a representation of an object that human desires. The title itself, “Greed”, becomes a code to connect—or rather to denote the dialectic between the two: “the lust of the eye” (greed) and “the fear of the eye” (phobia). In this work, Dyah’s determination to be more flexible in choosing visual forms is striking; it emphasises the orientation of her ceramic practice which seeks to escape from the “functional regime” which is still attached to various types of crafts to this day.

Infographics Project of ΔHRT = ΔHOR + (ΔHP-HR)

Digital animation on a computer monitor; interactive

This information summarizes the overall framework, methods, approaches, theoretical foundations, and other derivatives that will be applied in theΔHRT = ΔHOR + (ΔHP-HR) experiment project. You can access the infographic by clicking here.

Soil Sample

2015 – 2022
Soil of various types in glass bottles
110 mm (bottle height) x 75 mm (diameter); 7 parts
95 mm (bottle height) x 70 mm (diameter); 13 parts

These bottles contain soil samples, including untreated waste soil, waste soil filtering dregs, processed waste soil products, selected objects for the material formulation, glasswool waste, burnt biscuit ceramic waste, Pacitan clay, cladding, and porcelain. These are all materials that were collected during Dyah’s work with ceramics to understand the character of the material, as well as to think about alternative materials. The purpose of collecting these samples, of course, is not only in the interest of obtaining suitable materials, but also being part of the artistic act itself. In other words, research on soil is not conducted for the sake of ceramic art, but knowledge of ceramic art that actually stimulates scientific research on soil, where this collection of information can be meaningful not only for ceramic art, but also for other fields. This collection of soil samples represents a particular discipline in an artist’s struggle with issues and materials. As objects, they are part of a broader substance, but as concepts, they also become archives containing important narratives regarding the process that the artist goes through. This soil sample, then, is no longer just a work based on “found objects”, but material data that reveals one aspect of the long process of ceramic production.

Physis – 02

Sukabumi stok, stoneware
+/- 40 x 45 mm (each parts); 195 parts

These hundreds of chips are samples that will be tested directly by Dyah in the process of burning ceramics during the exhibition. Each number on the chip is a data header to identify the comparative results of applying different flame temperatures when burning the chips in the kiln. Further narrative of this work can be seen in the paper archives which will be filled out by Dyah based on her findings during this activity. Throughout the exhibition, the visuals of these chips, one by one, will change from their original appearance. In other words, this work will only be complete when the exhibition ends. This kind of practical experiment also offers a dialogue about the presentation model of artwork or art project, as well as reviewing the function of the presentation space: that the production or research activity of the work can be treated as the work itself, and the main output of the art project is not an object, but an event. —event-based works—so that the gallery space becomes an experimental space (laboratory) rather than just a display case.

Dyah Retno’s Artistic Statement – 02

Text mural on the wall

The Secret of A Lump of Meat

Ceramic; stoneware
Variable dimension; 12 pieces

Research Paper of ∆HRT = ∆HOR + (∆HP-HR)

Digital printing on paper (graphics), and blank paper
148 x 210 mm (each sheet); 24 sheets (chart paper) and 32 sheets (blank paper)
240 cm x 60 cm (hanger frame); 20cm (hanger length)

This installation contains dozens of papers in the form of filling out forms for data, and blank papers that will be affixed with evaluation notes (handwritten) by Dyah, related to the ceramic chip burning experiment. The data will continue to grow and develop, and it is possible for some revisions to be made; the content in this work depends on the process that will be carried out by Dyah during the exhibition. Through this work, we can reflect on the idea of Data as poetry (artistic language—poetic of data), the lyricism of calibration, that is expressions and imaginative responses that arise from the process of testing materials, representing the ideas of endurance, beauty, and emotion, even lyrical of a long trial process with various results. These data are like visual sketches in the tradition of drawing, which will record every emotional struggle of the artist when she examines what she has explored, whether it is material, form, or action.


Ceramic; stoneware
Variable dimension

Visual Series of Dyah Academic Works


Top-left to bottom-right:

Visual Sketch for Bumiku Buruk Rupa / My Earth is Ugly (2016)
Archive; digital reprint on paper
475 x 355 mm in 655 x 52 mm frame

Visual Sketch for Life Dynamic (2016)
Archive; digital reprint on paper
475 x 355 mm in 655 x 52 mm frame

Visual Sketch for Imperfection (2016)
Archive; digital reprint on paper
435 x 330 mm in 660 x 54 mm frame

Visual Sketch for Infinity Craft in Social Paradigm (2016)
Archive; digital reprint on paper
420 x 320 mm in 660 x 54 mm frame

These four visuals are taken from the archives of Dyah’s academic work entitled “Deformasi Bentuk dan Tekstur Radiolaria dalam Keramik Instalasi / Deformation of Radiolarians Shape and Texture in Ceramic Installations” (Thesis work, Indonesia Institute of the Arts Yogyakarta). Referring to the artist’s explanation in her academic work, “the shape created in the process of making this work is the result of visual deformation by taking into account the characteristics possessed by Radiolaria. The shapes are irregular, some are oval, round with thorns, half pyramids, and some are wavy but of all shapes they still have cracks in the form of holes that can be found on the surface of the ceramic body.”

Visual Series in Dyah’s Diary

Paper archives; pen ink and marker ink on paper
195 x 260 mm (5 sections) with each 343 x 457 mm frame

This visual series is taken from Dyah’s textbook when she was still studying Ceramics at university. Dyah designed a ceramic product with unique shapes that can be applied (functioned or placed) in certain spatial contexts. Through this design drawing which is estimated to be made around 2014, we can trace how Dyah’s visual interest is in exploring ceramic works. Predictably, the tendency toward the complex shapes of marine organisms’ characters has appeared since this visual sketch was made. However, specifically on these sketches, we can also observe the presence of other people’s signatures (not Dyah’s signature), which is a “mark of value” from the lecturer who teaches/ guides Dyah’s academic process. This archive indirectly provokes a discussion about the mechanism of art education that takes place behind (or accompanies) one’s artistic process. The legitimacy of the value of the work in that context is “institutionalized” by educational institutions. In this solo exhibition, the legitimacy is “taken over” by “reframing” the archive, and consciously includes the signature of the lecturer whose event is “recorded” on the paper, as part of an important narration that determines the progressivity of Dyah Retno’s art.


Stoneware clay waste and glaze waste
Variable dimensions; 14 parts

Eves is one of the implementations of a long study on the deformation of Radiolarian marine organisms’ visual forms. These objects also represent the results of Dyah’s interpretation of the complexity of the Radiolaria skeleton structure into the logic of art and design. Included in this exhibition as part of an effort to explore Dyah’s exploration of the form, material, and process of creating ceramic works which, however, cannot be separated from the factors that underlie the idea of ΔHRT = ΔHOR + (ΔHP-HR) project.

Material Test Results Report

Archive; digital reprint on paper
210 x 297 mm (2 sections)
370 x 470 mm (frame)

This Test Result Report is taken from the archives of the Physis project that Dyah has carried out since 2016. This certificate shows how Dyah, as an artist who applies scientific research practices, does not only rely on informal activities, but also opens herself up to social institutions that have the authority to establish test results in research. This certification effort is important because, as part of scientific research, what is obtained in the process must be accounted for. This kind of initiative opens a new perspective in artistic practice, that an artistic output does not only depend on speculation and expressive intuition, but also has reliable and empirical measures. And in the process of developing this ΔHRT = ΔHOR + (ΔHP-HR) project in the future, Dyah will also do the same: the material test results will be submitted to the competent institution to ensure the appropriateness of the information.

Dyah Retno’s Research Notes Collection – 01

Paper archives; pen ink on paper
148 x 210 mm (each sheets); 9 parts
727 x 727 mm (frame)

These sheets are taken from two of Dyah’s diaries, combined into one frame considering the contents that show the basic structure of the idea for this exhibition project. Like a scientific researcher, the process of creating Dyah’s work begins with a hypothesis about how the steps and results of testing material, as well as its significance with social and environmental issues related to the material. Highlighting glasswool waste, Dyah took certain measurements to map the risks of processing the material, as well as looking for opportunities to take advantage of the efforts to reuse waste as material for the production of works. For this purpose, the exploration then proceeds to the design of the tools of production, which is the combustion kiln. Rather than stop at the logic of the design of the display object, Dyah explores the architectural possibilities of a processing device, and the outputs resulting from this process, later on, are test data: flame temperature. This framework of thinking has consequences in the form of a “creative attitude” to scientific research data. Returning to the practice of art, Dyah actually embraces Data as an aesthetic language rather than just a side note that guides the creation of works.

Dyah Retno’s Research Notes Collection – 02

Paper archives; pen ink on paper
148 x 210 mm (each sheets); 6 parts
627 x 527 mm (frame)

These sheets, taken from Dyah’s diary, contain the most important theoretical points that underlie the whole experiment in the art project ΔHRT = ΔHOR + (ΔHP-HR). Especially, through this note, we can find out Dyah’s way of thinking in analyzing, summarizing, or interpreting the meaning and calculation of what is called “burning ceramics”. Mathematical calculations of flame temperature become the principal of experimentation, representing the orientation of the project where it is not aimed at object-based outputs. From this, we can understand that the actual project output is a concept, where the concept will be applicable to different contexts. Observing this framework, it would be interesting to reflect on how Dyah, in the end, elaborated the practice of ceramics (which is commonly known as a part of the craft field) into the realm of conceptual art, as well as performance art (especially with the act of burning chips in a kiln and the action of
writing data and evaluation on research paper).

Not For Eat!

Ceramic; stoneware
Variable dimension

One of Dyah’s large-sized works, made with formal thoroughness that is somewhat pretentious in a positive sense. Through this work, we can capture Dyah’s concern to environmental issues. Taking the pizza icon as a macro construction for the puzzle’s visual, the detailed pieces in this work each represent an underwater object. Although it does not specifically refer to plankton-type of undersea organisms, the visual exploration in this work has shown the attitude and direction of Dyah’s work in the days to come: visual representations of nature as a basis for criticising environmental issues.

Ceramic Burning Kiln

Iron and glasswool waste
60 x 60 x 100 cm

This ceramic kiln was specially made by Dyah in the framework of the ΔHRT = ΔHOR+ (ΔHP-HR) project as a pivot for experiments on flame temperatures applied at different scales when burning ceramic chips. Glasswool waste was responded to as a material that was tested for its feasibility, both as a ceramic material and as a material for the ceramic production equipment itself. During the one-month exhibition at Cemeti, Dyah will operate the kiln to collect a number of combustion data, which data will be filled in on paper which are also exhibited in the gallery. Instead of putting it as a stationary object, Dyah includes the function of the object and the action of making the object function as part of the concept of her work. This kiln then became the main element for “ceramic performance”, and in that concept, Dyah tried to expand the scope of artistic exploration of ceramics: that ceramics are not just objects, but also culture, and therefore “ceramic events” are no less important to be presented to the public.

Back to Table of Contents


Notes: The concept of this exhibition is to present the ceramic art project ∆HRT =∆HOR+(∆HP-HR) as evolving content throughout the exhibition. Therefore, the exhibition display during the opening ceremony (July 2, 2022) was different from the display at the end of the exhibition (July 30, 2022). The photos below are the atmosphere and display during the opening of the exhibition.

Exhibition View

Notes: The concept of this exhibition is to present the ceramic art project ∆HRT =∆HOR+(∆HP-HR) as evolving content throughout the exhibition. Therefore, the exhibition display during the opening ceremony (July 2, 2022) was different from the display at the end of the exhibition (July 30, 2022). The photos below are the atmosphere and display at the end of the exhibition.

Back to Table of Contents

Esai Pameran

Esai Reflektif

The Poetic in Process, Data and Events

Re-examining Dyah Retno’s Solo Exhibition titled ∆HRT =∆HOR+(∆HP-HR), which was presented from 2-30 July 2022 at Cemeti Institute for Art and Society, Yogyakarta, we can explore the elaboration of concepts of “process”, “data” and “events”.

Back to Table of Contents


Diskusi Publik ∆HRT =∆HOR+(∆HP-HR) – “Menilik Empirisisme Seni Keramik”
Diskusi Daring ∆HRT =∆HOR+(∆HP-HR) – “Meninjau Metode Seni dari Sudut Pandang Ilmiah Lintas Ranah”

Back to Table of Contents

Artist’s Biography

DYAH RETNO (Medan, 9 March 1994) is a ceramic artist who currently lives and works in Yogyakarta. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Ceramics, at Indonesian Art Institute (ISI) Yogyakarta in 2016, and obtained a Master’s degree in the same field, particularly in the realm of Creation and Studies, from the same campus in 2018. Starting her ceramics expertise in 2014, Dyah elaborated on artistic exploration with scientific approaches, especially in responding to issues regarding the relationship between art and aesthetics, ethics, and environmental impact. Her work is characterized by hybrid and cross/interdisciplinary praxises.

Dyah’s progressivity in understanding the relationship between art and science began with a four-year project called Physis (2016-2020). This project indirectly criticizes discourses and phenomena that developed in the Anthropocene era, especially criticism of capital jargon arguing “environmentally friendly”, by reviewing the ethical and boundaries aspects of the arts and ceramics industry. Aiming to get an effective formulation while maintaining aesthetic importance, Dyah conducted a series of laboratory-based trials to understand ceramic materials empirically so that he could consider certain limitations related to the social and environmental impacts of the work to be produced. However, such a step also opens up any possibility to carry out artistic tactics and experiments on materials, and because of this, the works created by Dyah are identical with flexible forms, both in terms of appearance and use, one of which is the deformation of the visual form of Radiolaria — a type of heterotrophic plankton in the form of super small protozoa that have a complex mineral skeleton.

In the ∆HRT = ∆HOR + (∆HP-HR) project (just started in 2022), Dyah’s exploration of the relationship between art and science has moved from the problems of the visual form of ceramic works. What then became her attention was the production tools. How can an understanding of the production tools provide clues for artists or researchers to evaluate the context, relevance, and significance of product material in social life? How can knowledge of it be useful for all people in various fields and professional backgrounds to review similar materials in products and other uses besides ceramic artwork? Related to this focus, the aesthetics of ∆HRT = ∆HOR + (∆HP-HR) are based on three concepts that we can call “poetic of data”, “lyricism of the calibration” and “creative research’’). What the project aims for is “material literacy”.

The artist who is now also one of the lecturers at ISI Yogyakarta has received several awards, including the Best Work on ISI Anniversary (2016), Young Rising Artist Nandur Srawung (2021). She has been involved as an artist in several art events, such as “Physis” (2017, Pendhapa Art Space), Asana Bina Seni Biennale Jogja (2020, Taman Budaya), Biennale Jogja XVI – Equator #6 (2021, Jogja National Museum), and “Contemplating Alternative” (2020, Gajah Gallery) in Yogyakarta, and Restart (2021) at the National Gallery, Jakarta. A series of her works entitled Ampo: In Food I Belief (2021) in the form of video works and ceramic objects, a result of research on clay based foods in Tuban, was exhibited at the 2021 Korean International Ceramic Biennale and was one of the winners of the Honorable Mentions award. The work is now being collected by the Gyeonggi Museum of Contemporary Ceramic Art, South Korea.

Back to Table of Contents

This entry was posted in: "Exhibition", ∆HRT = ∆HOR + (∆HP-HR)_
Tagged with:


Cemeti – Institut untuk Seni dan Masyarakat (sebelumnya ‘Galeri Cemeti’, kemudian ‘Rumah Seni Cemeti’) adalah platform tertua seni kontemporer di Indonesia, didirikan di Yogyakarta tahun 1988 oleh Mella Jaarsma dan Nindityo Adipurnomo. Cemeti menawarkan platform bagi seniman dan praktisi kebudayaan untuk mengembangkan, menyajikan, dan mempraktikkan aktivitas mereka lewat kolaborasi bersama kurator, peneliti, aktivis, penulis dan performer, serta komunitas lokal di Yogyakarta.