Bonny Setiawan was born in Central Java in 1968. Bonny was steeped in art from a young age, as both his parents were painters. Bonny graduated from the Art Academy of Yogyakarta and has since participated in several painting exhibitions in major cities in Indonesia.
Bonny was fond of his city - Yogyakarta or Yogya, as the Javanese city is lovingly referred to, which is the cultural heart of Java. The culture of Yogya has greatly inspired and influenced his works and the thematic content of his work therefore reflect Javanese people and their traditions, such as herbs sellers, Javanese weddings, and Wayang Kulit.
Bonny also explores topics that could reflect the life of any large and modern city, illustrating scenes such as carnivals, the circus, mask festivals and shows. Bonny’s work is thus defined by a typical juxtaposition of traditional and modern life to demonstrate the tensions that are simultaneously at play in the human experience.
His "Wayang Kulit" painting depicts in detail the unique stage, the actors, singers, and the Javanese orchestra, which together form a whole.