Nia Gautama

Kurniawaty Gautama, also known as Nia Gautama, studies ceramics autodidactly. Her formal educational background is marketing that she took at Trisakti University in Jakarta. Aside from her participations in several art exhibitions, Nia also has her own ceramics studio and actively creates some functional ceramic products. Also, she gives ceramics lessons and makes ceramic jewelery. Her personal artworks she has been working on are mainly installations using terracotta (low temperature ceramic) and sometimes mixing clay with paper or dry leaves. In her installations, Nia also combines several objects with other materials besides ceramic. Her artworks are personal reflections on how humans are attached to their nature and view nature as a sign that there is a higher power than humans. This can be seen in her artworks in 2008 inspired by the shape of termite’s mound made of dirt where she made random high half-spherical shapes made of dirt. To her, the process of how it is built is quite phenomenal because it is made by millions of tiny termites for years reaching more than 5 meters high. The mound is a reflection for Nia on how humans as God’s greatest creation having ethics and logical thinking cannot compete with nature. The phenomena of nature often become Nia’s main inspiration that is reflected through the medium of terracotta showing an earthy feeling that reminds us of the quality and character of nature. Nia Gautama treats her ceramic objects without any restrictions from the ceramics conventional tradition with her monolithic artworks, but still showing a close sense of space with sculpture.


Amaze (box display)
2008-terracotta, stoneware, lampu bohlam, box kayu, kaca bening
Sculpture: variable dimension, Box (2 boxes) : (p.l.t)=(92×72.30) cm/each box

Faith & Believe (wall display)
2009-stoneware paper clay (berupa keping keramik bertekstur) installed with found objects: wire (kawat kumparan), old coins, red ribbon, stone, flowers petals, feathers (bulu ayam/angsa), small scissors (benda tajam ukuran kecil), insense (kemenyan).
Seven (7) peaces: each approx. (p.l.t) = (43 x 8 x 1,5) cm

Exhibition View

Artist Statement

My ideas of work always inspired by natural and expressive ideas. Minimum glaze applied and natural color becomes my artworks character. Some of my works are based on my emotional life. I am quite sentimental and melancholic in character, so the touchy and emotional things mostly become the idea of my art. Human social relationship and the need to be free as an individual, sometimes teasing me, and it can be an idea of my work.

In order to get closer to arts lover, I tend to create interactive artworks. My artworks mostly challenge people’s emotion to interact or play with the objects. In my newest artwork “Faith and Believe”, I experimented with clay that mixed with paper, and combined the ceramics with various found objects. This artwork tells about symbols of ritual cultures and my personal life as an Indonesian born Chinese that already mixed with some Indonesian families.


Nia Gautama is a self-taught artist who has passion in art. She was introduced by ceramic since 1998 and gained her ceramic skill from a short course. She worked for some advertising company previous years ago but then she decided to be serious in arts since 2000. Her curiosity in arts leads her to broaden her arts knowledge through actively visited art seminars or discussions, and explored lots of arts exhibitions, besides she read a lot about arts. She did several ceramic art exhibitions both National and International. Recently, in year 2009, she was invited by Yingge Ceramics Museum, Taiwan to participate in Southeast Asia Ceramics Exhibition, where she contributed two of her articles about ceramics art in Indonesia and she was also appointed as one of the speaker. At the same year (2009) she proposed her first book about “Working with Clay” and approved to be published in 2010 by one of the best publisher in Indonesia.

Date of Birth : Jakarta/June 24, 1973

Formal education Bachelor Degree in Marketing, Trisakti University

On going group exhibition: Oct 17, 2009-Feb 28, 2010)
pottery villages, ancient, contemporary ceramics
Yingge Ceramic Museum, TAIWAN
(an exhibition with Southeast Asian Ceramists)

Solo Exhibition
Bentara Budaya Jakarta

Duo Exhbition
COME ‘N PLAY IN OUR BACKYARD (installation-in collaboration with a Japan Ceramist)
The Japan Foundation Jakarta

FREEDOM TO BE EXPRESIVE-The Japan Foundation Jakarta

Group Exhibition 2008
THE LIGHT OF MILLENIUM OF KOREAN CERAMICS (cultural exchange exhibition with Korean Ceramist, organize by Icheon Ceramic Art Association)
Senayan City, Jakarta

Bentara Budaya Jakarta

Cemara 6 Gallery, Jakarta

The National Gallery Jakarta