Born in Medan on 2 February 1931, Syahmardan or Ardan was very productive in creating written compositions since studying at Taman Siswa. His works were mostly found in newspapers and magazines, such as Indonesia, Mimbar, Pujangga Baru, Zenith and others.
Ardan’s writings were quite diversed, from poetry, novels to film scenarios. Terang Bulan Terang di Kali was his popular short story collection. This book was reprinted several times because of public’s high enthusiasm. As for play script, Ardan successfully wrote the story of Si Pitung, which has become the pride of Betawi people.
Apart from writing, Ardan was also known as Betawi lenong champion. Lenong is a form of traditional theatre to the Betawi people. He spent a lot of time singing at lenong performances in villages and even at Taman Ismail Marzuki (Jakarta Cultural Centre). His determination in pursuing career with lenong made him respected as a honorable lenong artist.