Meet Hanh, a talented artist from Indonesia with more than 15 years experience in the art scene. As well as being an artist he is also known as the mastermind behind HEART LAB, a creative platform that highlights paper mache works as its signature product. His art is fun and cheerful, bound to make you fascinated or, at least, smile.
Tell us a litlle about yourself.
I graduated from Institute of Arts Indonesia in Yogyakarta, majoring in design and visual communication. I was born in Pontianak. I established HEART LAB a couple of years ago. Prior to that, I started art spaces in Jakarta and Yogyakarta that organized numerous art exhibitions and managed a couple of contemporary artists in Indonesia.
I learned that you create paper mache art. What attracted you to it originally? What’s special about the medium?
I’m always interested in recycled things and objects. Thrown-away papers, newspapers and magazines are easy to get and inexpensive materials. With creativity, we can create beautiful and interesting art from it. Also in Indonesia, not so many people experiment with these materials.
How is your creative process? How do you work and where do you get your ideas?
I’m inspired by popular culture like MTV, cartoons, comic books and movies. Here, I try to bring something cheerful and fun into the art world. Art is something playful; no need to be something deep. I’m just trying to make the audience smile or laugh with my art.
How has Bali and its nature influenced you and your work?
Bali, with many cultures and nations here, with people from around the world, is a huge influence. I learn a lot from collectors and customers in terms of taste. I learn to look at daily objects in new ways; I learn how foreigners appreciate and admire our culture. Bali’s atmosphere and its beauty support me not only in creating art, but also in making me a better human being in a spiritual aspect.
Tell us a bit about HEART LAB.
I founded HEART LAB a couple of years ago. We supply artworks for commercial projects, source interiors for hotels, villas and residential properties, and export paper mache. Our paper mache works are actually done by housewives from Bali and Yogyakarta. We have two workshops. Here, we’re empowering women in the economy. One of our biggest projects in paper mache was cooperating with WWF to create a tiger paper mache to raise awareness for this endangered species. HEART LAB has also cooperated with contemporary artists and illustrators to produce limited editions artworks.
What’s next?
More exhibitions, creating more and branding for HEART LAB and myself as an artist. We just came back from an art fair in Hong Kong, and we received a good response from collectors there. Next year, we will exhibit in Singapore and Korea, and probably return to Hong Kong again.


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