Category Archives: Collage Art

TANDA SERU! exhibition in Bali makes a bold artistic statement

Members of the public engage with paintings by Citra Sasmita during the opening of "Tanda Seru" at Uma Seminyak - Image courtesy of FutuwonderAudience members engage with paintings “Portrait of the Other, #1 & #2” by Citra Sasmita during the opening of Tanda Seru!

 

In 2017 a meeting of young Balinese women from various creative backgrounds, yet with similar visions, set out to create a cross-disciplinary platform to support and encourage women’s art activities and visual discourse. Their driving motivating question: ‘Why aren’t there many established women artists in Bali?’ The gathering set the foundations for a new art collective – Futuwonder.

In July 2018, Futuwonder announced its arrival on the Indonesian art scene by conducting a Wikilatih workshop (Wikipedia article writing) and uploading onto the World Wide Web eighteen new articles on female artists from Bali. Puan Empu Seni: Edit-a-thon was a part of a national drive, held in conjunction with Wikimedia Indonesia, to increase the amount of data on Indonesian female artists available on the Internet’s most go-to source of information – Wikipedia.

Leading Indonesian contemporary artist Arahmaiani and Tanda Seru artists during the exhibition opening at Uma Seminyak 31 March 2019 - Image courtesy FutuwonderLeading Indonesian contemporary artist Arahmaiani with Tanda Seru! artists during the opening of the exhibition at Uma Seminyak

 

Following on from their first exhibition, Masa Subur: Efek Samping, held late last year in Ubud, Futuwonder presents Tanda Seru! (Exclamation Mark) open for two weeks from 31 March at the Uma Seminyak, Bali. Officiated by Indonesia’s most prominent woman contemporary artist, Arahmaiani, and showcasing a diverse array of contemporary works by eight-woman artists, the exhibition commemorates International Woman’s Day 2019, 8 March, and Kartini Day on 21 April. Also referred to as Women’s Emancipation Day, established in 1964 by Indonesia’s founding President, Sukarno, Kartini Day is a national holiday celebrating the life of Raden Ajeng Kartini (1879-1904), Indonesia’s first feminist activist.

“Bali is a very patriarchial society with few women being represented in the art scene, especially in the museums and galleries,” said Ruth Onduko, one of the founding members of Futuwonder, along with emerging artist Citra Sasmita and graphic designer Ni Putu Sridiniari. “We intentionally invited talented young women to exhibit in Tanda Seru! especially those who make art but do not label themselves as artists,” Ruth explains. “Due to the narrow scope of today’s contemporary art world women are marginalized and few get the opportunity to exhibit their work within the fine art gallery system as their work may not follow current market trends, or may lack the necessary commercial elements.”

"Res Publica - Security Mirror for Genitalia, 2019, Ni Putu Sridiniari. Image by Richard Horstman         Res Publica: Security Mirrors for Genitalia, 2019 – Ni Putu Sridiniari

 

“Through Tanda Seru! we examine and question issues related to gender, patriarchy and sexuality – making statements about the female body, woman’s roles, and our capabilities as equals with men,” Ruth said. “We chose the exhibition title to emphasize the importance of these issues, while showing the art world (especially in Bali), that there is a lot of highly skilled female artists that are worthy to be considered as part of the larger art world.”

Dan Bunga Berkata (And the Flower Speaks) is inspired by Aria Gita Indira’s investigations into data released by Badan Pusat Statistik (BPS Statistics Indonesia) in 2017, that reveals 1 in 3 Indonesian women aged between 15 – 64 have experienced violence and, or sexual violence in their lives. Indira presents three small ‘still life’ compositions of flower arrangements on black backgrounds, some of the flowers, however, are embroidered in cotton. The cotton ‘patches’ are metaphors, symbolic icons for all the female victims of domestic violence. Journalists often use the names of flowers when referring to domestic violence survivors in their reports.

"Dan Bunga Berkata" by Aria Gita Indira Image Richard HorstmanDan Bunga Berkata (And the Flower Speaks), 2019 – Aria Gita Indira

 

Crude, yet confrontational The World Between Her Legs, 2019 and Are We There Yet by Santi Permana features women’s underwear attached to brightly colored canvases. Statements to encourage strength and enthusiasm, such as: ‘forced prostitution’, ‘sexual harassment’, ‘girls are strong’ and ‘empowered women’ complete the compositions. Questioning the patriarchal reconstruction of the body of a woman who is menstruating, worshipping, in the work place, and in marriage, Happy to Bleed #1,2&3 by Cristine Mandasari presents circular compositions with restrictive statements written upon sanitary napkins. The artist poses the question, ‘With all the restrictions, can women actualize themselves as human beings who are free and equal to men?’

Communicating about the objectification of women, layers of transparent acrylic sheets frame a collage of digital images featuring mannequins, flowers and hands in the eye-catching Mannekin, 2019, by Intan Kirana Sari (b. 1999, Denpasar, Bali). Delicate brightly colored pieces of paper are arranged into collage on a blue background in Male Reproductive System, 2019 by Irene Febry. Febry imagines what the human reproductive system may look like if it was found within the body of a man.

"Mannequin", 2019 Intan Kirana Sari - Image by Richard Horstman                               Mannekin, 2019  – Intan Kirana Sari  

 

Citra Sasmita is renowned for her descriptive paintings depicting the exploration of the female body through the suffering and pain of the wounds inflicted upon them. Portrait of the Other, #1 & #2 contrasts and balances tragedy with an unusual sense of beauty, creating strong and distinct compositions. Few Balinese artists express themselves through the medium of printmaking, Sealing the Body and Tutur Tinular by Ni Luh Pangestu Widya Sari (b. Denpasar, Bali 1991) are a departure in artistic techniques and aesthetics from the other works in the show, adding to the overall strength of Tanda Seru!

 A pair of long, silver legs protrude from a square mirror, centrally positioned between the legs another mirror, round and convex. Upon inspection of Res Publica: Security Mirrors for Genitalia, by Ni Putu Sridiniari, the observer immediately comes face-to-face with their own image. The highlight of Tanda Seru! the work is both engaging and confronting, provoking thoughts, experiences and reflections upon gender identity.

"Happy to Bleed #1,2&3" by Cristine Mandasari - Image Richard Horstman                    Happy to Bleed #1,2&3, 2019  – Cristine Mandasari

 

“People are obsessed with private matters and sexuality. The law and the public, however, control women’s freedoms and perpetuate gender inequality,” said Sridiniari, a freelance graphic designer, who rarely publically exhibits her work. “I believe contemporary art is important to negotiate politics and socio-cultural issues – discourses that highlight personal narratives and cultural identity in a larger context: the family, community and the state.”

“I’ve always wanted to work with mirrors and body parts to create an installation, so I decided to work with legs for Res Publica, because everybody is curious about sexuality, especially in this case with the direct reference to the female genitals,” she explained. “In Res Publica, the female genitalia is a treasure, yet remains a hidden mystery, that is watched by the public eye.”

"Male Reproductive System" by Irene Febry Image by Richard Horstman                     Male Reproductive System, 2019 – Irene Febry

 

Tutur Tinular, 2015 Ni Luh Pangestu Widya Sari - Image by Richard Horstman    Sealing the Body and Tutur Tinular, 2019 – Ni Luh Pangestu Widya Sari

 

 

Tanda Seru!

Open 31 March – 13 April

Uma Seminyak,

Jalan Kayi Cendana 1.

Oberoi, Seminyak, Bali

 

Words: Richard Horstman

Images: Richard Horstman & Futuwonder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smart’s cutting parade of choreography

Chout Ballet Curtain, (The Choreography of Cutting) @ Tony Raka Art Gallery - Image Courtesy of Honold Fine Art & Evelyn PrittChout Ballet Curtain, (The Choreography of Cutting) at Tony Raka Art Gallery, Ubud – Image Courtesy of Honold Fine Art & Evelyn Pritt

 

Australian contemporary artist Sally Smart has a long and enduring bond with Indonesia, having first exhibited in 2005 at the Jogja Biennale. “I have a special fascination in the shadow theatre, and have had a collection of Wayang Kulit puppets for many years. This has inspired my interest in the representation of the shadow world and its story telling dimension, across cultures,” Smart said.

“I visit Yogyakarta regularly where I have formed relationships with artists and artisans who I continue to collaborate with and engage in immersive dialogue and practice, examining cultural history and the commonalities in the post-colonial world discourse.”

 

P.A.R.A.D.E - Sally Smart @ BIASA - Image Richard Horstman                         P.A.R.A.D.E – Sally Smart at BIASA, Kerobokan

 

In 2012, as the Sackler fellow at the University of Connecticut, USA Smart worked with their School of Puppetry and animation, learning shadow puppet techniques and creating a series of works that also included moving image. Her puppet creations are a fusion of Eastern and Western cultures, the artist also being inspired by the seminal European avant-garde artists of the Dada movement, along with the Constructivism philosophies. She positions early 20th century experimental choreography, costume and theatre design alongside traditional Indonesian shadow puppet performance.

The ‘immediacy and simplicity’ of collage as a potent contemporary art practice is often overlooked. Cutting out and re-assembling, taking from one source to compliment another is a disruptive, yet highly creative method with limitless potentialities. For Smart it is the foundation of the communication of her artistic ideas. “The cut out methodology has been a strong part of my practice since the early nineties – the expression of a cut out – aligns silhouette and the shadow play conceptually and technically,” she said.

Puppets (The Choreography of Cutting) - Sally Smart @ Tony Raka Art Gallery - Images coutesy of Honold Fine Art & Evelyn PrittPuppets (The Choreography of Cutting) – Sally Smart at the Tony Raka Art Gallery – Images coutesy of Honold Fine Art & Evelyn Pritt

 

Honold Fine Art (HFA) presents in parallel solo exhibitions Sally Smart’s most recent offerings held in two different venues in Bali, Indonesia. From 19 June The Choreography of Cutting opened at the Tony Raka Art Gallery, Ubud, and P.A.R.A.D.E. at BIASA in Kerobokan. Her work ‘speaks’ about the human body as a vehicle of expression through movement, performance and gesture, revealing collective and individual anxieties, while questioning the status quo.

At a glance both shows appear worlds apart, yet they are innately connected, P.A.R.A.D.E. being the perfect synthesis of Smart’s two works exhibited in Ubud. Displayed at Tony Raka is Chout Ballet Curtain, (The Choreography of Cutting) 2018, an enormous 350 x 900cm wall hanging assemblage in which abstract organic forms and imaginary landscapes come alive upon Smart’s colourful textile curtain that includes dye transfer photographic prints on satin and chiffon, with multiple collage elements. And, Puppets (The Choreography of Cutting) 2016-18 a mixed-media installation of over 30 abstract suspended puppets, with moveable parts and of varying dimensions.

P.A.R.A.D.E - Sally Smart @ BIASA Image Courtesy of Honold Fine Art & Evelyn PrittP.A.R.A.D.E – Sally Smart at BIASA  – Image Courtesy of Honold Fine Art & Evelyn Pritt

 

P.A.R.A.D.E is inspired by Smart’s encounter with the immense stage curtain painted by Pablo Picasso for the Ballet Parade in 1917 on display in Rome in 2017. In Smart’s P.A.R.A.D.E which features Parade (In Being Dancing), 2018, Staging the Studio (Blaubart &Pina), 2017-18, and Drama (Staging the Studio), 2018, all floor to ceiling curtains with photographic dye transfers on textile with collage elements, a troupe of figures are represented on transparent textiles intersecting and overlapping to create multiple images of performance.

While Chout Ballet Curtain is predominated by strong colors and dense ‘heavy’ fabrics, the illusory impact emphasizes the laws of gravity grounding the observer to the floor. P.A.R.A.D.E, on-the-other-hand, has the opposite impact. It’s multiple see-through films are soft and delicate, soothing upon the eye. While its transparent qualities with layered figures appear sensual – a most potent allure. Air conditioning choreographs gentle rhythmic waves of motion across the curtain’s surfaces that are seemingly engaged within a dance of their own, and we become captivated in the dynamic interplay of Smart’s layered translucent ‘performers’. Our vision is then drawn upwards allowing us to feel elevated and expansive. The beauty and simplicity of the material is seductive – our experience is potent and ethereal.

Puppets (The Choreography of Cutting) - Sally Smart @ Tony Raka Art Gallery - Image is coutesy of Honold Fine Art & Evelyn PrittPuppets (The Choreography of Cutting) – Sally Smart at Tony Raka Art Gallery – Image coutesy of Honold Fine Art & Evelyn Pritt

 

One of Australia’s leading contemporary artists, Smart is the recipient of numerous awards and prizes. She is currently the Vice-Chancellor’s Professorial Fellow at University of Melbourne, and a board member of the National Association for the Visual Arts. She is represented in significant international public and private art collections. Recognized internationally for her large scale cut-out assemblage installations and, increasingly, performance, Smart’s artistic practice engages identity politics and the complex relationships between the body, thought and culture.

The most delightful aspects of Smart’s work are the opportunities for audience interaction, and personal art experiences. Her installations invite the observer to venture closer, to wander within and take part in a make believe other world. In response some people become animated in their own intimate performance, which has the potential to touch them deeply, while being coded into their memories.

Detail of Chout Ballet Curtain, (The Choreography of Cutting) - Sally Smart - Image Richard Horstman   Detail of Chout Ballet Curtain, (The Choreography of Cutting) – Sally Smart

 

“I am interested to observe the audience physically engage with my work,” the artist said. “As performance and movement are imbedded conceptually in the works, the feeling of movement and dance within the space becomes manifest, with the puppets and the curtains – making it feel dynamic and engaging. I was excited to see this.”

When asked if she believes that as artists seek out new avenues to create more positive opportunities for fresh and personal audience art experiences that society will gain greater benefits through contemporary art? Smart responded, “Yes, always when something is triggered, even the slightest gesture, to reveal and present possibilities for news ways of thinking an engagement in all aspects of society. Art makes essential pathways.”

20180620_155042_IMG_4240                           Detail of P.A.R.A.D.E – Sally Smart at BIASA 

 

 

The Choreography of Cutting

at Tony Raka Art Gallery,

Jalan Raya Mas 86, Mas, Ubud

& P.A.R.A.D.E. at BIASA,

Jalan Raya Kerobokan 51 X, Kerobokan

Open from 17 June – 17 July 2018

www.sallysmart.com

 

Words: Richard Horstman

Images: Courtesy of Honold Fine Art with Evelyn Pritt & Richard Horstman