Hartanto's paintings seem to have been visually arranged in such a way that our subject relation as the viewer and the viewed figures becomes blurred, overturned, and even schizophrenic: Are the figures truly afraid of the North Korea nuclear text, while they are staring at us? Can the viewer play the role as the source of the paranoia - as North Korea that many countries 'fear'? As a form of sarcasm, the series of Post-North-Korea Nuclear Text essentially proposes an intriguing position to the audience who is able to capture the fearful expression of the figures within the paintings.
(Agung Hujatnikajennong cited in From Photography to Painting: The field of Gaze, the Fear in R.E. Hartanto, Post-North_Korea Nuclear Test, exhibition catalogue, H2 Art Gallery, 2009, unpaginated.)