Daniel Lie images
Daniel Lie
on Family, Heritage, and the Myth of Origin

Published on Jul 24, 2022

Brazilian-Indonesian artist Daniel Lie talks to us about the commonalities and distinctiveness between Brazil and Indonesia, two countries that share latitude lines, equatorial climate, lush rainforests enduring rampant deforestation, emerging market economies, class systems, and a long history of US-backed authoritarian regimes.

We discuss the ideas explored in Daniel’s trilingual project Toko Buku Liong, titled after their grandparent’s successful comic book store in Semarang: coloniality of power, retracing migration routes, reconnecting with ancient roots, acquiring and embodying new languages, the myth of origin, and the perception of time.

They share their family story, their migration journey, and the sociopolitical forces behind their grandparents’ migration from Semarang to Sao Paulo even though the comic book they created, called Wiro Anak Rimba, was a major canon in the Indonesian cultural movement during nationalization time.

This might sound like a long podcast but it’s all juicy! And we hope you have some good food to accompany you while you listen to this…

Daniel Lie is a Brazilian-Indonesian trans artist born in São Paulo. Using “time” as a starting point for their art practice, Daniel’s research looks into breaking the binary and questioning the tension between science and religion, ancestry and present, life and death. Through installations and hybrid languages, their work explores the concept of time, ephemerality and presence by using organic elements that change throughout their lifespan, such as decaying matter, growing plants, fungi, minerals, and the body.

They have exhibited work in Brazil and abroad in England, Hungary, Indonesia, Austria, Germany and Chile, including at the esteemed Casa Triângulo and the Jupiter Artland. Their work have
been featured in Frieze Magazine, The Guardian and Wallpaper.