Hendra Gunawan was born in 1918, in Bandung, West java. A remarkable man, he was not only a gifted artist, but a poet, sculptor and a political activist. In his youth, he was a student of artists like Wahdi Sumwnta and Affandi. Later in 1935, together with two other artists they formed the Kelompok Lima in Bandung. He also helped to establish Sundanese Heritage ( Bandung) and People’s Artist Studio (Yogyakarta) in 1940 and 1947 respectively.
In 1978 he moved to Bali and three years later held a solo exhibition in Denpasar. His works are vigorous portrayals of the lives of villagers and common people in bright colours. Hendra Gunawan died in the year 1983.
Many of Gunawan’s works have been lost. Fortunately museums and private collectors have located and catalogued over 120 of his paintings and sketches, along with several sculptures.