Category Archives: Contemporary Asian Art

Made Djirna – soul mining

Installation at Djirna's studio.                     Installation by Made Djirna at his Ubud studio, 2017

Exploring Balinese artist Made Djirna’s cavernous studio conjures up notions of a journey into a mysterious inner sanctum that is vibrant and fascinating, yet is equally as powerful and confronting.

A collector of all manner of cultural artifacts, naturally formed shapes and unusual objects, which he then converts into intriguing installations, typically, Djirna’s lively yet simplified and raw figures reflect the primitive tribal arts. He constructs enormous “shrines and altars” from old timber, crude sculptures and rocks, complete with fire, coloured light,  and abstract painted deities that are infused with a sense of ritual and resonate with spiritual energy.

Installation by Made Djirna, mixed media, various dimensions. 2012.Image Richard Horstman.JPGInstallation by Made Djirna exhibited in “Ubud 1963, (Re) Reading The Growth of Made Djirna”, at the National Gallery in Jakarta. 24th November – 5th December 2012.

Within the National Gallery of Indonesia, Djirna recreates the unique essence of his studio by placing his installations within small rooms and in confined corners. He allows the audience an insight into the creative world of one Indonesia’s finest contemporary artists.

“My concern is to express reflections that go far deeper than what we can know with our panca indra (eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin). All of my work is a process that goes hand in hand with the demands of my soul. It is essentially a spiritual process taking visible pictorial shape,” Djirna.

'Benang Merah Bali - Basel" (The Red Thread From Bali to Basel) Made Djirna. 1993, mixed media on canvas, 145 x 245cm..JPG     Benang Merah Bali (the red thread from Bali to Basel) – Made Djirna, 1993

A versatile artist who loves to experiment with new materials, techniques and styles, from 2010 onwards Djirna reinterpreted his method of producing his paintings and the new works were highlighted in his exhibition Ubud 1963, (Re) Reading The Growth of Made Djirna, at the National Gallery of Indonesia, in Jakarta. The exhibition ran from 24 November through to 5 December 2012.

In this, Djirna’s eighth solo, retrospective exhibition, observers may take a brief sojourn through his creative development and witness the metamorphosis he has undergone. Mengenang Piramid (To Reminisce About the Pyramid),1994 and Kabut Hitam (Black Fog) 1994, are memoirs of his childhood experience of 1963. Both paintings are rendered in darkened acrylic hues with traces of red and white. These bleak abstract works convey anxiety and distress, evident in the facial expression in Piramid and the tension created by vigorously scored details into the body of the work. Kabut suggests architectural objects overcome by thick black clouds and bright red denotes volcanic flows and the horror of such a scenario.

"Wajah Wajah Mengambang" (Floating Faces) Made Djirna, 2008, oil on canvas, 295 x 380cm.      Wajah Wajah Mengambang (Floating Faces) – Made Djirna, 2008

Within his curatorial essay, senior Indonesian curator Jim Supangkat began by describing the extraordinary events of 1963 that had a catastrophic impact on Bali, as well as shaping the formative years of a young Djirna who was living just north of Ubud. Mount Agung in East Bali, the islands spiritual pinnacle, began its process of tremors in January, volcanic eruptions started in March and again in May and tremors then continued until its final blast in January 1964. This was an unprecedented year with extensive infrastructure damage, crop failures, wide-spread famines and many deaths, while also putting an immediate halt to tourism in Bali.

Born in Kedewatan, Ubud in 1957 Djirna was just 6 years old at the time of this event. He later went on to graduate from the Faculty of Fine Art and Design at the ISI (Indonesian Institute of Art) Yogyakarta in 1985 and spent 10 years living in the cultural capital of Java. He actively exhibits his works locally and internationally and is a member of the respected SDI, Sanggar Dewata Indonesia association of modern artists.

"Gajah Genit" (flirty Elephant) Made Djirna. 2012, mixed media on canvas, 260x400cm..JPG          “Gajah Genit” (Flirty Elephant), 260 x 400 cm, 2012 – Made Djirna

Among Djirna’s captivating new works exhibited in the National Gallery, Gajah Genit (Flirty Elephant), 260 x 400 cm, serves as a metaphor of a power crisis in the face of change. Djirna communicates the damages inflicted by power and domination via deforestation. Posing in jest, the “flirty elephant” stands confidently in defiance. Yet also he depicts a ruler’s demise by placing the image of a vulture on the elephant’s head.  He also symbolizes the dawn of a new era by depicting a dove on a stump of a tree. This intelligent work in rich blues, reds and greens is infused with humor that helps to resolve the seriousness of the alarming reality we face.

Upon his mixed media canvases of huge proportions (up to 350 x 400 cm) Djirna first applies a thick base of texture into which he scores his vast narratives, then adds color in rich metallic paint and finally contains all the characters within black lines. In a style reminiscent of the traditional Balinese paintings with the narrative covering the complete expanse of canvas, Djirna’s works take on modern narratives and issues that for the artist are very close to home.

Metamorfosis-2012      Metamorfosis (Metamorphosis), 260 x 400 cm, 2012 – Made Djirna

His recent use of metallic paints adds a wonderful luminous dimension, particularly when highlighted by artificial lighting. They are aesthetically spectacular not only because of the dynamic coloration, yet the scale of the works simply overwhelms. Some have taken Djirna more than 4 months to complete.

In Metamorfosis (Metamorphosis), 2012, 260 x 400 cm, two lovers embrace in the forest surrounded by hundreds of brightly colored butterflies, on the trunks of the trees are numerous large caterpillars. What may appear to be a simplistic narrative denoting change reveals the reality that life is full of paradoxes. Butterflies are natures symbol of grace, yet they become caterpillars which are destructive and are seen as pests. This is a creation of wonder and beauty, and it is here that Djirna’s brilliance shines through.

DSCF4366Installation by Made Djirna in the exhibition, “The Logic of Ritual” at Sangkring Art Gallery, Yogyakarta, 2013.

During his July, 2013 exhibition at Sangkring Art Space in Yogyakarta Djirna was prepared to bring his religion under close scrutiny. His paintings and installations in The Logic of Ritual were protests against numerous ritual practices, whose meaning, according to the artist, is now driven by modern and commercial practices.

Djirna criticises the consumption of money (his works utilise a countless number of Chinese coins used in Balinese rituals) in direct relation to the demands of Balinese Hindu religious rituals that are becoming increasingly glamorous, luxurious and festive. Such demands, while indeed granting communion between the devotee, the spirit world and Gods, may be perceived as rigid mechanisms, ultimately keeping the ‘little people’ poor.

He dedicated his exhibition to the plight of the impoverished of Bali, who suffer in silence while paying excessively for offerings and rituals that demand perfection both in the materials and presentation.

Djirna -the magic of ritual .jpg               The Logic of Ritual – Made Djirna, 2013

Djirna was invited to participate in the landmark 2016 Singapore Biennale – An Everywhere of Mirrorings at the Singapore Art Museum (SAM). His installation – Melampaui Batas (Beyond Boundaries) 2016, seeked to transcend the boundaries between the interior and the exterior, the microcosm and the macrocosm, along with the spiritual and the physical planes.

A fusion of different elements, it featured found objects, 1000 terracotta figurines representing humanity (the fragility of clay signifying the precarious nature of life), an antique traditional ironwood boat from Sulawesi –symbolic of journeying between Nusantara and the larger world and the worlds of the living and dead (in Balinese belief the boat carries the soul to its ancestral abode after death). Positioned in the corners of the room, large trees constructed from driftwood – its trunks and branches, some with crude primitive figure scribed into the wood, suggest fragments of other lives, cultures and civilizations.

Made Djirna "Melampaui Batas" 2016 Singpore Biennale .jpgMelampaui Batas (Beyond Boundaries) 2016 – Made Djirna, Singapore Biennale – An Everywhere of Mirrorings at the Singapore Art Museum.

The artist’s earlier works are categorized by naïve figurative and abstract expressions often rendering thick chunks of paint to create ambiguous forms with faces that reveal the darker emotions of the human experience. His strong earthy figures are a reminder of the past when life was simpler and with a greater connection to the environment.

What has remained consistent throughout Djirna’s career is his sense of unity within the collective experience and importance of the personal process while learning to endure the dualities of life.

“Through the personal development that is achieved by the inward journey of self-discovery, compassion, understanding and healing, we gain wisdom and strength. These are the tools which will support us during the journey of life.” Made Djirna’s expressions are intimate, honest and expose the heartfelt emotions of the human experience. They convey a profound sense of authenticity.

Djirna is currently working on a large installation for the Jakarta Biennale in November 2017.

Rimba-2011                        Rimba, 2011 – Made Djirna

Mixed Media on board, 210x70cm, 2007.                Installation by Made Djirna at his Ubud studio, 2007

DSCF4389.JPG                  Painting from The Logic of Ritual – Made Djirna, 2013

Words & Images: Richard Horstman

Menjumput Masa Lalu – picking up the past

20170522_131213                         Generasi J.K #1,2,3 2016 – Nyoman Suarnata

Ubud’s Sika Gallery presents Menjumput Masa Lalu (picking up the past), a group exhibition of contemporary artworks by the # PK collective. On show from 21 May are installations, drawings, paintings, videoart, object art, scpultures, and graphics by five young Balinese artists I Gede Jaya Putra, Ngakan Putu Agus Arta Wijaya (NPAAW), I Nyoman Suarnata, I Made Putra Indrawan, and I Putu Nova Ruspika Yanto, along with written text by female arts and language freelancer Savitri Sastrawan.

All the participants were students at the Indonesian Art Institute (ISI) in Denpasar, studying between 2006 – 2009. Their works explore themes from the serious, to light- hearted and include environmental issues, the conflict between tradition and modernity, identity, the erosion of Indonesian democracy, and even thought-provoking themes that incite humour.

20170522_131349                              Home, 2017 – Putu Nova Ruspika Yanto

Full Space 2016, by Nyoman Suarnata (b.1987, Mengwi, Badung) is a progressive representation of iconic local subject matter that is too often translated into conventional painted forms. His installation of two-dimensional canvases taking on 3 dimensional hexagonal forms adds fresh life to the subject matter. Suarnata’s images related to the cultural pasttime of tajen (cock-fighting) are rendered in 3 colours systems evoking different eras; black & white (conjuring up pre modern Bali), monochrome, and dynamic realism (suggesting modernity).

"Black and White" Ngakan Putu Agus Arta Wijaya                   Black & White, 2017 – Ngakan Putu Agus Arta Wijaya

Text by Sastrawan (b.1990 Denpasar) is a response to the collective’s artworks revealing her thoughts related to struggle; not only of Indonesia’s on-going journey of democracy, yet also the everyday challenges that confront young artists. Her writings are set within the form of an installation, centrally positioned is a humourous, yet disturbing illustration. The Garuda Pancasila, the mythical eagle featured on Indonesia’s national emblem, with the motto Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (unity in diverstiy), is hospitalized and receiving care. Corruption, violence, injustice and inquality, seemingly sanctioned by the country’s ruling elite, are current and real threats to democracy.

Tentang aku jendela rumah dan angin, (about my window house and the wind) by Made Putra Indrawan (b. 1987, Denpasar) is a light-hearted and quirky installation. He presents a small box through which an nondescript, whimsical creature peers out through a window, the medium is timber. From a tiny electronic device inside the sound of strong winds emanate, while the words – tentang aku jendela rumah dan angin are emblazoned across the wall. The audience is prompted to imagine the artist as this curious creature.

Savitri Sastrawan               Let’s Pick Up the Past With PK! 2017 – Savitri Sastrawan

Diary Book # 1 & 2, by Putu Nova Ruspika Yanto introduces alternative asethetics and techniques to the exhibition, aiding in its overall strength. His woodcut images are presented within the format of two diaries. While one book depicts images of his young son and wife, the other narrative is his observations of dramatic and disheartening change. The artist’s home environment was once cool, green and clean has, within the space of a few decades, become barren, void of trees. It’s now hot and dry, and polluted.

The work of two promising Balinese talents, Gede Jaya Putra and NPAAW are showcased in Menjumput Masa Lalu, both are worthy of close observation as they mature. Jaya Putra (b.1988, Kerobokan) attracted much attention with Transformation, his first solo exhibition in 2013, revealing remarkable depth in the exploration of his social themes, equally supported by his imaginative works.

"Generasi Sintetis" Gede Jaya Putra                Generasi Sintetis 2017, (Synthetic Generation) – Gede Jaya Putra

Generasi Sintetis 2017, (Synthetic Generation) emphasizes his ongoing theme of the process of change that is confronting today’s yonger generation, specifically the change from the natural, to the synthetic world. The large installation comprises of three elements, and includes more than 20 pencil sketches of the foliage of different trees positioned upon sections of tree trunks functioning as pedestals. Two screens reveal videos, one of colourful flowers and foliage, the other, shot in black & white, focusses upon the physical structure of branches, and its myriad of abstract forms. The contrast between what is real and that which is illusory is powerful, highlighting the demise of the natural environment, which is increasingly threatened by modern development.

The focal piece of Generasi Sintetis is a hybrid character, part human, part machine, the icon central to Jaya Putra’s transformation theme, his representation of the younger generation of Balinese. A black, life sized, two dimensional figure holding a glass jar containing a synthetic eco system.

20170522_131104Tentang aku jendela rumah dan angin, (about my window house and the wind) 2017 – Made Putra Indrawan

The medium of video art IS the most challenging format for an artist to master, and to successfully communicate his ideas. The most effective works are generally short, no longer than two minutes, with simple messages that are easy to read. The audiences’ attention must be captured from the beginning of the video and maintained until the very end. The moment boredom sets in our attention wanders, yearning for fresh stimulus, and the artist loses his audience.

Jaya Putra has been experimenting with this format for the past five years. Merasakan Ibu Pertiwi (feel mother earth), 2017, his 2-minute performance video, features the artist walking bare-footed through the crowded city streets of Japan, “feeling” the earth. We become observers of contrasting imagery, Jaya Putra’s feet making direct connection, as opposed to the multitude wearing shoes. Jaya Putra attaches the video screen to the gallery ceiling so we must look up to observe what in reality is always witnessed when looking down. Jaya Putra’s work is uncomplicated and thought-provoking, while communicating a facet of Balinese cultural worldview.

"Full Space #1 #2 & #3" Nyoman Suarnata                            Full Space #1,2,&3, 2016 – Nyoman Suarnata

NPAAW (b. 1990 Pejeng, Gianyar) is currently based in Yogyakarta, Central Java, Indonesia’s largest, most diverse and dynamic art community. In Menjumput Masa Lalu he presents three round paintings and one installtion, rendered in black and white tones and representing duality. Two meters in diameter, Black & White is an interguing composition, a part of his ongoing theme featuring animals in metaphorical scenarios representing the never-ending cycle of life, and the constant process of change. His composition features two horses with elongated bodies, one black, the other white, travelling in clockwise motion. The foreground features the Beatles walking in counter-clockwise direction, reminiscent of their famous album cover Abbey Road.

Zebranizasi is a fascinating installation, again emphasizing duality, and that according to Balinese Hindu philosophies, all life and universal order is subject to equal and opposing forces. The installation features 6 individual works, three iconic Balinese cultural creatures, another two the lucky charm of the Japanese, maneki-neko, the waving cat. The final piece reveals a dramatic, yet impossible scenario upon a chess board. The horse or Knight is painted as a zebra, balancing both the positive and negative forces, and has the black and white kings in a check mate position.

"Zebraniasi" Ngakan Putu Agus Arta Wijaya                    Zebranizasi, 2017 – Ngakan Putu Agus Arta Wijaya

The contributions by the Sika Gallery in the support and development of Balinese contemporary art is unsurpassed. The vision of painter, sculptor, writer, critic and provocatur Wayan Sika (b.1949, Silakarang, Gianyar), in 1996 he opened Bali’s first non-commercial artist’s driven space to provide a platform for the avant-garde that was quickly evolving on the island. Continuing in the tradition of exhibiting young and immerging local artist’s the Sika Gallery presents Menjumput Masa Lalu, continuing through until 3 June 2017.

Detail of Installation "Generasi Sintetis" Gede Jaya Putra      Detail of Generasi Sintetis 2017, (Synthetic Generation) – Gede Jaya Putra

20170522_131328                       Diary Book # 1, 2017Putu Nova Ruspika Yanto

Menjumput Masa Lalu (picking up the past)

21 May – 3 June

Sika Gallery

Jalan Raya Campuhan

Ubud, Bali

Open daily 9am – 5pm

Words & Images: Richard Horstman

 

 

 

ART|JOG|10 – Changing Perspective

RJ Katamsi WIP 5Yogyakarta artists work on the R.J Katamsi statue, a project designed and overseen by Wahyu Santoso, honouring the artist, and one of the founders, and the president director of Akademi Seni Rupa Indonesia (ASRI), the first fine arts campus in Indonesia, opened in 1950 (now known as ISI). The work will be erected at the historical JNM, the original ASRI site.

 

A milestone in Indonesian art will be celebrated in May during the Grand Opening of ART|JOG|10, marking a decade in the ART|JOG journey, beginning 19 May at the Jogja National Museum (JNM). Themed: Changing Perspective, the fair will exhibit immerging and established artists side-by-side, while featuring some of Indonesia’s hottest contemporary talent.

An initiative born from the collective will of the Yogyakarta art community, ART|JOG’s significance is its model: a supporting and promotional platform for artists, not galleries, introducing fresh names to the market. The vision of Heri Pemad, who through his support of the local art scene starting some 20 years ago developed strong relationships of trust within the community, the springboard for bigger and brighter things.

"Floating Eyes" Wedhar Riyadi, Jogja National Museum front entry. Image by Richard HorstmanART|JOG|10 2017 commissioned art work “Floating Eyes” by Yogyakarta artist Wedhar Riyadi, at the front facade of the Jogja National Museum.

“ART | JOG has grown quickly since 2008, when it was Jogja Art Fair (JAF). From 2009 we included curators, selected special themes, and artists, and commissioned artists to remodel the façade of the building, originally Taman Budaya Yogyakarta. Wanting to create an international event, in 2010 we renamed it ART | JOG,” said CEO and founder of ART|JOG Heri Pemad.

“We attracted more and more international visitors in 2011 due to increasingly widespread publication, and began inviting international artists for special presentations. From 2012 our curatorial themes evolved. In short, ART | JOG has grown along with the development of the art world itself, because it has presented the development of artwork from Indonesia and the world.”

A Decade of ArtJog's Journey. Image Richard Horstman                                    A decade of ART|JOG’s journey

With a keen eye for the artist’s needs, Pemad launched Heri Pemad Art Management (HPAM) in 2004, an organization that evolved out of his personalized art services. HPAM has since played a defining role in the development of Indonesian contemporary art. This year ART|JOG|10 will exhibit over 120 artworks; 2 & 3 dimensional works, installations, videos, site-specific objects, and performances.

ART|JOG is the anchor event for the Jogja Art Weeks, a month long abundance of openings and events around the Yogyakarta Special Regency, which has developed into an art and cultural tourism boon, attracting national and international art lovers, industry insiders, and collectors.

20170519_125233                                   Poor Yorick – Ichwan Noor

“We have selected 73, national and international artists, this year, via our Open Call Application, whether by invitation, or those who self-applied,” said ART|JOG|10 co-curator Ignatia Nilu. “Our selection process is not only based on the compatibility between the artwork and curatorial concept, but also the presentation method, and the freshness of the artistic concept.” Nilu adds, “The Open Call program is an unsurpassed way to scout the best young talent.”

ART|JOG|10’s main program includes the exhibition by Indonesian, and also artists from Singapore, Japan, England, USA and Australia. Some of the local names showing are Angki Purbandono in collaboration with Nicholas Saputra, Agus Suwage, I Nyoman Masriadi, Tromarama and Agan Harahap. This year’s Commissioned Works are by Wedhar Riyadi, a young Yogyakarta artist, presenting his balloons installation, decorated with eye icons, transforming the main facade of JNM.

20170519_125333.jpg                   Souvenir from Tangahan – Angki Purbandono

“Through the theme, Changing Perspectives: The Challenge For The Artist, we dare the artists to take a fresh look at how they work from various point of views,” said Bambang “Toko” Witjaksono, of the curatorial team. “Not only from technical aspect, but also the interpretation, to hopefully enhance, and achieve beyond what we have had, and have experienced to now.”

A new and special highlight of ART|JOG|10 is The Making Of The Statue Of R.J Katamsi, a 2.5 bronze made in conjunction with Wahyu Santoso. The statue honours the artist, and one of the founders, and the president director of Akademi Seni Rupa Indonesia (ASRI), the first fine arts campus in Indonesia, opened in 1950 (now known as ISI). The work will be erected at the historical JNM, the original ASRI site.

20170519_125429                                   Dasar – Rudi Mantofani

The event’s Supporting Program includes an Open Air Cinema, a collaboration with Jogja-Netpac Asian Film Festival (JAFF). The Young Artist Award, an award for the best young participating artists under 33 years old or below. Jogja Art Weeks, a publication providing comprehensive information about art and cultural happenings in Yogyakarta from May-June, (the free guide book will enhance the visitor experience, while being an essential supportive platform for the art tourism program), and the Merchandise Project has invited 20 artists, including Eko Nugroho, Papermoon Theatre, Oky Rey Montha, Farid Stevy, and Bob Sick Yudhita to create special buyables.

For ART|JOG|10 VIP guests the special preview on 19 May begins 5 hours prior to the exhibition officially opens.

Supporting Program Time & Dates:

Curatorial Tours: Saturday, 27 May & 10 June, 3 PM, Sunday, 4 & 18 June, 3 PM.

Meet The Artists: Sunday 28 May & 11 June, 3 PM, Santurday, 3 & 17 June, 3 PM.

Open Air Cinema: Tuesday 23 & 30 May, 6 & 13 June, 7:30 PM.

ASRI Tours: Tueday 6 & 13 June, 3 PM.

20170519_130238                              Be Ready – Nyoman Masriadi

ART|JOG|10

Open from 7pm 19 May

Continuing through to 19 June 2017

Daily from 9am – 5pm

Jogja National Museum

Jalan Prof. Ki Amri Yahya No. 1, Yogyakarta

www.artjog.co.id

Words: Richard Horstman

Images: Courtesy ArtJog10 & Richard Horstman

20170519_132451Study of convex and concave by M.C Escher, 1955 – Agung Prabowo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bali Artists’ Camp 2016 Exhibition

Made Budhiana "Badak Taman Ujung Karangasem"                Badak Taman Ujung Karangasem – Made Budhiana

Impressions of some of Bali’s most important archeological sites, the 11th century Gunung Kawi temple in Tampaksiring, and the stone reliefs at Yeh Pulu in Bedulu, along with dramatic landscapes depictions from remote East Bali, went on display at the Bali Artists’ Camp 2016 Exhibition.

Open from 8 April – May 22 at the Made Budhiana Gallery, Ubud, and featuring more than 30 paintings, sketches, and installations by local and foreign artists, the exhibition marks the fifth year of engagement between the Northern Territory of Australia and Bali, and Eastern Indonesia.

Gede Gunada "Yeh Pulu"                                       Yeh Pulu – Gede Gunada

An art and cultural engagement that began in 2012, the Bali Artists’ Camp’s vision evolves around engagement with the landscape, nature, and the rich Balinese culture. The event brings together artists from Bali and Indonesia, with their counter parts from Australia, and other foreign countries, to visit inspiring sites throughout Bali, to work on location in a visual art and cross-cultural exchange exercise.

The fruits of the 2016 Bali Artists’ Camp, themed engagement with monumental Bali, produced on separate occasions in May, June, July and September 2016 (collectively a period of seven weeks), will be displayed until 22 May. The vibrant collection includes works by renown Balinese artists Made Budhiana, along with Made Sudibia and Gede Gunada from Bali, and paintings by Freddy Sitorus, born in South Sulawesi, and East Javanese painter Nanik Suryani.

Nanik Suryani "Gunung Kawi"                                       Gunung Kawi – Nanik Suryani

The foreign artist’s contributions reflect different artistic approaches and backgrounds, Japanese artist Rie Mandala’s offerings are delicate works in ink on paper. Well-known Australian artist Michael Downs’ compositions have both surreal and abstract sensibilities, fellow countryman Ivor Cole prefers to works in oil, in his realism paintings, while Australian Mary Lou Pavlovic’s presentations are forged from an array of media, including timber and plastic, with the addition of paint and other decorative media.

Ivor Cole said of his experience, “the cultural divide between the artists is quickly wiped away. There is no separation, we are here to absorb and translate the best we can through the visual image, the emotional, spiritual state of this place and this time.”

Ivor Cole                                        Puri Prima – Ivor Cole

“The Northern Territory – Indonesia relationship has a long history of trade and cultural exchange,” said Michael Gunner, the Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, who is one of the co sponsors of the event.

“For hundreds of years trade and cultural exchange flourished between the Macassans (people from present day Sulawesi and related islands) and aboriginals of the Northern Territory. Since the birth of the Republic of Indonesia, and the attainment of Self- Government for the Northern Territory in 1978, there has been an increased focus on acknowledging and strengthening our economic, cultural and social ties within the region,” Gunner adds.

Made Sudibia - "Perwujdudan Dewi Kesuburan"                                 Perwududan Dewi – Made Sudibia

“I had the honor of traveling through the lush tropical landscape with the local artists visiting spectacular temples and monuments,” Mary Lou Pavlovic said. “And I was struck by how close to nature the Balinese and Indonesian artists were, everywhere we went they knew all the fruit and medicinal herbs. I realized although I long to feel this affinity with nature, I am not from a culture that exists in the same way with nature.”

The Bali Artists’ Camp compliments the Artists’ Camp art engagement project run in alternative years by the Northern Center For Contemporary Art (NCCA) in Darwin.      “The Artists’ Camp involves Balinese and Indonesian artists traveling to the Top End of the Northern Territory and interpreting its rugged and diverse landscape, together with an artistic and cultural interaction with Aboriginal artists,” said the founder of the Made Budhiana Gallery, Australian Colin MacDonald.

Michael Downs "Gambelan Landscape"                           Gambelan Landscape – Michael Downs

“The camp started as a concept with the original Director of Museums and Art Galleries in the Northern Territory (MAGNT), Dr Colin Jack Hinton back in 1978.” MacDonald, the former Director and Chairman of the Board of MAGNT, developed the concept further when he took Balinese artist Made Budhiana to the NT to participate in the first international Artists’ Camp, along with Australian and Malaysian artists in 1990.

The vision of the ten-year program of the Artists’ Camp is that the Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, the Australian Prime Minister and the Indonesian President will open a touring exhibition at the Australian National Gallery that will include the first retrospective of the Australian-Indonesian artists’ engagement.

Study for a Monument of Flowers             Study for a Monument of Flowers – May Lou Pavlovic

 

The Bali Governor, Made Pastika, who is also a supporter of the event, will visit the exhibition in early May to meet the artists, and to be presented works by the artists.

This project has had the on-going and enthusiastic support from the Indonesian Foreign Affairs Department, the Australia Indonesia Institute and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs, especially successive Australian Consul Generals.

20170414_085327                                    Batur – Gede Gunada

Made Budhiana Gallery

Villa Pandan Harum

Jl. Anak Agung Gede Rai

Banjar Abian Semal

Gang Pandan Harum

Lotonduh, Ubud

Tel: 0361 981624

Words & Images: Richard Horstman

 

No place like home – Ari Bayuaji

View of 'No place like home' from outside the front of Kunsthal Rotterdam Image Ari Bayuaji     View of ‘no place like home’ from outside of Gallery 6, Kunsthal Rotterdam

The Kunsthal Rotterdam, a leading cultural institution in the Netherlands, through it’s program Kunsthal Light challenges artists to create site-specific works to be exhibited within a most unconventional space.

An elongated and narrow slopping showcase ramp, with generous vertical height, Gallery 6, is positioned adjacent to the window at the forefront of the museum. While also functioning as walkway through which visitors cross from one gallery to the next, it becomes a ‘display cabinet’ for artworks, to be observed outside by passersby.

17264168_10154227288921956_8483278281296326009_n                         Detail of ‘no place like home’

During Kunsthal Light #16 Montreal based, ‘Indonesian born’ artist Ari Bayuaji occupied Gallery 6 from 9 March, until the exhibition’s official opening on the 18th, transforming it with his installation ‘No place like home’. Constructed from eclectic 3D sculptures, drawings, paintings and photographs, the exhibition, which continues until 28 June, features references to locations throughout the world where Bayuaji has been, and the resources that people utilize to create their homes.

Beginning early January Bayuaji visited the Kunsthal to gain vital insights and then returned to Canada to select materials from his studio collection to be shipped to the Netherlands. Two months later he was tasked with creating an installation, or a ‘puzzle’ as the East Javanese, former civil engineer, said.

Aji Bayuaji at KunsthalLight16 Image by Marcel Kollen                             Ari installing ‘No place like home’

“The gallery is not just a blank white wall, there are, however other elements, such as the varying height, CCTV cameras, doors, speakers and a balcony that I must consider, and include in my work. I employ plywood, paper, plastic tarpaulin, and canvas to represent urban life in different parts of the world where some people might adopt these materials to build a place they call ‘home’.”

A collector of distinctive, often unusual bits and pieces, items from as far as Mexico to Bali become meaningful icons in this work. Plastic bags and ropes littering beaches are utilized, as too are small weathered windows frame old letters, and pictures from magazines. Throughout the installation Bayuaji creates beautiful and contrasting visual landscapes.

No lace like home - Ari Bayuaji. Image by the artist                             Detail of, ‘No place like home’

“There is no direct connection. The ‘exotic objects’ that came from far away are there for the audience to see, absorb, and to learn more about,” he said. Traditional dancers upon a Bali picture postcard point to CCTV camera, currency notes, discarded keys and utensils he juxtaposes with colorful geometrical forms painted directly upon the 60 meters long wall.

“I love to work with ready-made objects, like wooden architectural ornaments from old buildings found in Indonesia and Canada. Some of these items may be old, but the ‘content’ is new as I inject them with emotions that are influenced by the contemporary issues I seek to address in my work,” said the 42 year-old artist, who admits this project has been confronting, yet a career-defining experience as well.

Visitors during the 18 March opening Kunsthal Light 16 Image Aji Bayuaji              Visitors during the opening evening of ‘No place like home’

“Ari came to our attention via Natasha Sidharta, a friend of Kunsthal’s director Emily Ansenk. Emily and I where impressed and immediately felt he was a perfect fit for our program,” said curator Natalya Boender. “Ari took his cultural background and heritage and by giving the title ‘No place like home’ and using the general ‘home’ as a subject says a lot about him as a person and an artist. We like artists that are not afraid to tell a story.”

“Working in Gallery 6 is akin to performance art where the visitors can observe my process, and can interact with me as they like. This is new for me because normally I work alone in my studio,” Bayuaji said. “Surprisingly I have enjoyed how they respond, or react. European audiences can be very direct, and this engagement has helped me mature as an artist.”

17264927_10154227289001956_4218543065809826751_n                             Detail of ‘No place like home’

“Many asked about the materials I used, opening up bigger conversations about my culture and background. Some shared their ideas of ‘home’, and even about their political point of view.”

A two-meter square black and white photograph reveals a slum dweller peering out from behind a shanty door, while eighty Mexican canvas moneybags are sewn together to form an ‘Alternative Wall’, Bayuaji’s satire of US President Trump’s border wall and a play on ‘alternative facts’.

“The more freedom I am granted by a big institution the greater the pressure I feel. I have to create something that I really like to work on to show the public, while delivering my ‘voice’. These considerations help me to work in subtle ways.” Having the autonomy of creating such a large installation helped Bayuaji learn how to be the ‘curator’ of his own work.

17361632_10154227288736956_8422524388330762822_n                                Detail of ‘No place like home’

“The current geopolitical landscape is rapidly changing the way people live. Many from all over the world have been moving, immigrating and being displaced from one place to the next,” said the artist who in 2004 moved from Indonesia to Canada to study fine art at the Concordia University of Montreal. “There are many places people call home that have been destroyed because of wars and uprisings, or natural disasters too.”

“As a contemporary artist I want to talk about problems that concern me. I trust that the experience will touch people’s heart so they may share a little space of their own home for people who need a place to feel accepted and safe.”

“We were really touched by Ari’s commitment to make political jokes in his work while being very serious and poetic at the same time. This is a rare quality, and it makes his work relevant,” Boender adds. “The fact that Ari comments on critical global issues in a very approachable manner is a beautiful way to share experiences and ideas.”

17353277_10154227309541956_4859946872236865801_n                                Detail of ‘No place like home’

17353455_10154225958806956_3336473321771839409_n                            

No place like home

IMG_0473                                           Artist Ari Bayuaji, right

 

Words: Richard Horstman

Images courtesy: Marcel Kollen & Ari Bayuaji

No Place Like Home,

Kunsthal Light #16

Continuing through until 28 June, 2017

Kunsthal Rotterdam

Info: +31 (0)10-4400301,

www.kunsthal.nl

 

 

 

Ethnic Faces – Wolfgang Widmoser

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In May 2015, German born painter Wolfgang Widmoser, along with eight western artists ventured East across the Java Sea to South Sulawesi, Indonesia upon a traditional Penisi Bugis sailing boat. According to Wolfgang, “ to find and explore human history that is not really known.”

the-guardian                                     The Guardian – Wolfgang Widmoser

Visiting several islands the artists interacted closely with the islanders, the encounter with the indigenous people deeply fascinated Wolfgang. His response was to paint a series of portraits of some of the characters he met along the way.

bo                                              Bo – Wolfgang Widmoser

Wolfgang sets out to not merely represent the physical, yet through his distorted, interpretive style, he calls ‘fantastic realism’ he creates a window into the subject’s soul. Every detail of the subject’s face, every wrinkle and pore is an opportunity to explore, often rendering the details into landscape like scenarios. Yet it is via the enlarged eyes of his subjects that the observer may traverse the physical and access other dimensions. Earthly inhabitants are transformed into other worldly beings.

twilight                                   The Twilight – Wolfgang Widmoser

Ethnic Faces, an exhibition of paintings, some taken from the fore mentioned series, while others are recent reworking of an older succession of portraits, opened 25 February at Bali Bohemia, Ubud, Bali. The evening was a birthday celebration for the well-known Ubud character, born 1954, Munich, who has lived in Indonesia for more than 30 years.

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“To me all painting is abstract, an order of colored shapes on canvas through which I like to create illusions,” Wolfgang said. “A face is more than face, it is an archetype. I am a theoretical artist, my paintings are founded on color, composition and beauty.”

“Art, science and philosophy are all one. They provide the answers to all the mysterious questions that have captivated humanity throughout the ages. Yet while science attempts to inform the mind, art connects with the spirit.”

gnome                                       Gnome – Wolfgang Widmoser

Wolfgang painted, played music and studied architecture and philosophy since his childhood. In 2007 his exhibition of fantastic Indonesian faces set in cosmic scenarios, Venus Rising at Bentara Budaya Jakarta exposed his talents to the Indonesian art world. While he has exhibited in many European cities, Australia and the United States, during the past decade he has been relatively quiet in Indonesia.

warrior                                   The Warrior – Wolfgang Widmoser

In 1973-1978 Wolfgang studied classical Renaissance painting techniques with Salvador Dali in Cadaques, Spain and Ernst Fuchs in Vienna, Austria, making him the most advanced painter of classical western techniques living in the country. His presence compliments the Indonesian modern and contemporary fine art scene.

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“I am researching my truth,” Wolfgang said. “I believe there’s more to the world than meets the eye, and I enjoy reaching higher grounds. Connecting with the spiritual world seems to be a must in our turbulent times.”

 

Ethnic Faces

Bali Bohemia

Nyuh Kuning, Ubud, Bali

Jalan Nyuh Kuning, Ubud

25 February – 25 March 2017

Open Daly: 9am – 11pm

Facebook: Wolfgang Widmoser

Words & Images: Richard Horstman

 

 

 

 

TiTian Bali Foundation Gives Recognition & Heritage Awards to Balinese Artists

chairman-of-the-indonesian-agency-for-creative-economy-triawan-munaf-with-the-nine-finalists-of-the-2017-titian-art-prize-copyThe Nine Finalists of the TiTian Prize, (from left) Gede Suryawan, Wayan Aris Sarmanta, Wayan Malik, Mangku Muriati Mura, Ida Bagus Suryantara, Gede Sugiada, Made Sutama, Nyoman Arisana and Made Supena pictured with Triawan Munaf, Chairman of the Agency for Creative Economy Indonesia (center).

 

During the first anniversary celebrations of Yayasan TiTian Bali, in Ubud, Sunday 29 January, the Chairman of Agency for Creative Economy Indonesia, Triawan Munaf presented an array of art awards, culminating with the nine finalists, and the winner of the TiTian Prize 2017.

winner-of-the-2017-titian-prize-fight-lust-nyoman-arisana-copy                 Fight LustNyoman Arisana, Winner of the TiTian Prize 2017

Yayasan TiTian Bali (YTB) was established in the belief that Balinese art would flourish as it is integrated into a truly creative economy. “The founders of TiTian believe in continuing the importance of Bali’s history and culture, but we share a concern that the long association of the island’s creative life with tourism, cottage industry, and souvenirs, combine to create static and clichéd perceptions of cultural heritage,” said YTB Director Soemantri Widagdo.

alam-agung-great-whale-ida-bagus-suryantara                              Alam Agung Ida Bagus Suryantara

“We aim to work with Balinese artists, designers, and performers to ensure the long-term cultural, economic, and creative success of Balinese arts, with the highest levels of entrepreneurship in its creation and marketing,” he said. “Our mission is to discover, nurture and develop new talents, helping them achieve their full potential.”

“We are excited to be associated with Yayasan TiTian Bali, it as if TiTian is our arm in Bali,” said Triawan Munaf, Chairman of the Agency for Creative Economy Indonesia. “The mission of the Foundation is inline with our concerns.”

hidup-di-alam-gede-suryawan                             Hidup di Alam Gede Suryawan

“What we are doing now with the agency is developing the eco-systems within each of the 16 sub sectors of the creative economy, including the visual arts,” Munaf said. “We aim to create policies, involving multi ministries, that can make some breakthroughs for our creatives, giving them freedoms and mechanisms of how to enter markets, access finance, and how to register the intellectual property of their creations.”

emotion-ii-installation-made-supena                               Emotion II, Installation – Made Supena

The TiTian Prize 2017, open to all Balinese visual artists in the genres of painting, sculpture, installation and photography, received 82 entries from all regencies in Bali, plus entries from Lombok and Yogyakarta, 9 works were submitted by women. The finalists ranged in age from 21 – 53, reflecting the talent of both emerging and established artists. Genres varied from the traditional Kamasan, Batuan and Keliki styles, works influenced by modern and contemporary painting, and one wood carving installation.

lot-364-sutama-i-made                                    World of DreamsMade Sutama

Fight Lust, the winning painting by twenty-seven year old Gianyar painter Nyoman Arisana, an eye-catching composition of contrasts and tension featured a complex laying of visual elements, in both mono chrome and color, from the Balinese tradition, along with modern and contemporary art.

bhineka-tunggal-ika-mungku-muriarti-mura                         Bhineka Tunggal Ika – Mangku Muriati Mura

The work sets demonic creatures at war with one another, symbolizing, according the artist our human behavior. “Lust greatly influences human life and survival, greed, jealousy and envy are common, yet our desire to do good may also be perceived as lust,” Arisana said.

kasih-ibu-mothers-love-wayan-malik                                 Kasih IbuWayan Malik

The presentations at Titian Art Space Bali included the second annual Anugrah Pusaka Seni (Art Heritage) Award to ten artists and a patron who have made extraordinary contributions to the Balinese Arts. Some of the honored were Nyoman Ngendon (1906-1946), Ida Bagus Togog (1913-1989) and Ida Bagus Njana (1912-1985).

female-male-gede-sugiada                             Female & MaleGede Sugiada

The Patron Award (Life Achievement) went to Ni Made Kadjeng, founder of the Secondary School for the Arts of Batubulan. The event included the launch of the Indonesian language edition of Ida Bagus Made: The Art of Devotion, a book that focuses on paintings from the estate of the esteemed Balinese artist Ida Bagus Made Poleng (1915-1999).

nature-tease-wayan-aris-sarmanta                                Nature TeaseWayan Aris Sarmanta

“We are already working with Bali’s village artists’ associations, schools, individual artists, and other arts organizations for all our activities. Our approach is inclusive rather than exclusive,” Widagdo said.  “The long-term goal is to build the Bali Museum of Contemporary Art (Bali MOCA), exhibiting old and new work of the finest quality, supported by programs to inspire new directions and achievements in Balinese visual arts.”

Nine Finalists of the First TiTian Prize

Exhibition open 29 January – 26 February 2017

TiTian Bali Art Space, Jalan Bisma 88, Ubud, Bali.

http://www.titianartspace.com

Words & Images: Richard Horstman