Category Archives: Contemporary Ceramics

Reviewing ART|JOG|10

"Fashion As A Weapon" Hendra 'Blankon' Priyadhani. Image Richard Horstman             Fashion As A Weapon, 2017 – Hendra “Blangkon” Priyadhani

How may we define Indonesian art?

Unlike other nations, Indonesia is without an international standard museum as a foundation through which its distinct art narratives and identity may be imparted internationally, and locally. We can, however, reference a different platform ART|JOG, the art fair that supports artists over galleries. Celebrating this year its tenth edition, it has grown into an icon, presenting the ‘voice’ of Indonesian contemporary art diversity to the global audience.

ART|JOG|10 Changing Perspective opened with a limited preview 19 May, at the Jogja National Museum (JNM), Yogyakarta, officiated by GKR Mangkubumi, the eldest child of Yogyakarta Governor Sultan Hamengkubuwono. Annually the event attracts additional foreign visitors, this year there were more international art industry insiders, many expressing ideas about future collaborations.

Mulyana Mogus "Silent Prayers"                         Silent Prayers, 2017 – Mulyana Mogus

Running parallel with Jogja Art Weeks, a month-long abundance of events set throughout the Special Regency, and now in its second year, (another organizational feat by Heri Pemad Art Management), ART|JOG is a fixture on the international art map, a boon for cultural tourism in Central Java.

“The combination of an art fair founded for artists by an artist, hosted at the Jogja National Museum, over a relaxed time frame with daily performances and artist interactivity against a backdrop of the uniquely engaging energy of the Yogyakarta arts community is highly inspiring in a world where art fair fatigue is prevalent,” said artists, art historian, curator, gallerist and collector Jane Walker, who is London and Singapore based, also on her first visit to the fair.

ART|JOG|10’s Open Call Application granted fifteen artists eligibility, while invited artists numbered 58 of a total of 73. One of the most enjoyable features of its format is the freedom to observe works without any presence/pressure of sales, gallery staff, and infrastructure.

J Aryadhitya Pramuhendra - Holy Lamb               Holy Lamb, 2017 – J Aryahitya Pramuhendra

Both local and foreign, emerging and established artists exhibit side-by-side over 3 floors. The JNM’s design of alternative shaped showrooms offers possibilities for varying art encounters. Artists granted individual space, who understood how to capitalize upon this creating intimate art experiences, were generally the most memorable.

A giant batik parasol depicting the sky spans the ceiling and a mural rendered in clay revealing order and disorder are the two prominent features of Seti Legu’s installation, Universal Syndrome. Observers are immersed within an intriguing reconstruction of opposing positive and negative forces – the world according to Javanese cosmology – where human and environmental exploitation contrasts with ideology, religion and materialism; the modern world in conflict with the past. Legu sits and reads poetry aloud, while a traditionally attired elderly musician completes the distinctive ambience.

Invited Chinese artist Geng Xue presents a 13-minute animation, Mr Sea. Her two characters, set within a surreal forest landscape are all made from porcelain. In this extraordinarily sensitive tale, that takes the art form to wonderful innovative heights, breath-taking beauty and tragedy go hand-in-hand. This is a mesmerizing, emotional journey.

"Mr. Sea" Geng Xue, 13 minute porcelain animation. Image Richard Horstman                                Mr. Sea, 2014 – Geng Xue

Syagini Ratna Wulan’s Chromatic Chimera, and Chromatic Myth 1,2&3 together create a tangible atmosphere. Her ‘gloomy’ skyscapes feature tiny colored ‘figures’ floating seemingly without purpose. A hanging geometric form projected with colored light creates beautiful patterns up into a corner, its energetic distinctions, married with her painted compositions create a potent, mysterious abstract experience. While other artists exhibit abstract works, many fail to excite, Wulan’s imagination, however fully engages our senses via the subtle powers of suggestion.

Season In The Abyss, Jim Allen Abel’s commemorative installation honoring 102 people lost in 2007 on an Adam Air flight from Surabaya, East Java to Manado is thought provoking, and ultimately touching. At front a display case presents facts and details including archive photos. Within the darkened space the installation merges elements, projected images, and flashing lights reflect upon mirrors from the ceiling to the floor, and wall. The experience is intriguing and upsetting, yet beautiful as well. Such a thematic is bold, revealing artistic maturity.

ArtJog 10 Merchandise Project - Wearable Art. Scarf by Radi Arwinda, Image by Richard Horstman       ArtJog 10 Merchandise Project – Wearable Art, Scarf by Radi Arwinda

Angki Purbandono collaborated with adventure traveller/actor and advocate for the preservation of Indonesia’s endangered Sumatran elephant, Nicholas Saputra, to make a documentary describing the alarming decline of this specie. Post Jungle – Tangkahan Project introduces an alternative story, in a visual art language aimed to incite the public’s curiosity and concern towards grave Indonesian environmental issues.

Floating Eyes, the commissioned work by Wedhar Riyadi of giant eyeballs floating in water is spectacular. Positioned at the front façade of JNM, evening time it contrasts wonderfully against the white building and the night sky, in the presence of the new, honorary R.J Katamsi statue, flanked by majestic banyan trees. The work, however, lacks local iconography.

Some other works of note include J Aryadhitya Pramuhendra’s Holy Lamb, Mulyana Mogus’ beguiling visual world, Silent Prayers, Agung Prabowo’s linocut reduction print on handmade paper, Study of Convex and Concave by M.C Escher 1955, and Hendra “Blangkon” Priyadhani’s, Fashion As A Weapon. Recipients of this year’s Young Artists Award, a program open to artists under 33 years in appreciation of artistic endeavour are Bagus Pandega and Syaiful Garibaldi.

Indonesian artists, including Wedhar Riyadi, along with art lovers, with "Floating Eyes" JNM. Image Richard HorstmanIndonesian artists, including Wedhar Riyadi, center, along with art lovers, with “Floating Eyes”, Riyadi’s commissioned work.

The popular Fringe Program, headlined by the Curator’s Tour, Meet The Artists, and the ASRI Historical Tour, enhanced the public’s engagement. This year’s new Merchandise Project presents selected local creative communities and artists to showcase their signature works. The strong line-up of Daily Performances including performance art, music, dance, fashion shows and theatre, featured well-known artists Melati Suryodharmo, Garin Nugroho and Rahayu Supanggah, Bimo Wiwohatmo and Astri Kusuma Wardani.

Post preview consensus was, however, the quality of art was down from 2016. “The works were less innovative and less challenging this year compared to last,” said art critic Jean Couteau. “While the local component was minor, the visual and symbolic language is global.”

A deacade of ART|JOG is a huge distinction. Such an event faces great challenges, both internal and external. The vision of Heri Pemad, along with the vigor of Heri Pemad Art Management deserves enormous credit. Indonesia, and the global art world please take note!

20170519_130530                        Universal Syndrome, 2017 – Seti Legu

20170519_125340                             Angki Purbandono, 2017

20170519_131058                Situ Ciburuy; Museum Plan, 2017  – Aliansyah Chaniago

20170519_132125                  Season In The Abyss, 2017 – Jim Allen Abel

20170519_134058                  On the Way, 2017 – “SurantoKenyang

 

ART|JOG|10

19 May – 19 June 2017

Jogja National Museum

Jalan Prof. Ki Amri Yahya No. 1, Yogyakarta

www.artjog.co.id

Words & Images: Richard Horstman

 

 

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Ways of Clay – Jakarta Contemporary Ceramic Biennale #4

Audience at JCCB#4 national Gallery Indonesia                        Audience at the  National Gallery of Indonesia – JCCB#4

Unique to other conventional mediums clay offers artists distinctive and potent properties, forged over eons by the natural elements, to co-create with. A piece of Mother Earth, throughout the ages it has inspired civilizations, both practically and esoterically, the ancient Greeks, Egyptians and Sumerians all had creation myths that tell of the hands of Gods shaping the first human beings from clay.

The fourth Jakarta Contemporary Ceramic Biennale (JCCB#4), closing 22 January, opened at the National Gallery of Indonesia in Jakarta 8 December 2016. Themed Ways of Clay: Perspective Toward the Future the exhibition features works by forty-one invited artists from 16 countries (eight from Indonesia), interpreting history as a point of view to aid in the understanding of how the practice of ceramic arts may progress into the future.

Ljubica_JocicKnezevic_FragmentOfLifeJPG                                  Fragment of Life – Ljubica Jocic Knezevic

Initiated in 2009 by Indonesian curators Asmudjo Iranto and Rifky Effendi the JCCB has become a contemporary ceramic art event offering fresh perspectives, especially in the ceramic art world. Each biennale has featured mixed media works adopting video, photography and other mediums side-by-side with clay or ceramics reflecting the process of evolution of the medium into the greater contemporary arts practice.

“The Western art world considers ceramics as being outside of the classification of the fine arts, in Indonesia, however the perception is different,” said Rifky Effendi. “As Indonesian art history is not well recorded the canons of fine art are still loosely defined, thus allowing   opportunities for increasing local appreciation of the art form by both the public, and art collectors.”

Uji Hahan "Liability - Between Lack and Achievement" 2016 Image coutesy JCCB#4                 Liability: Between Lack and achievement – Uji Hahan

The distinctive feature of JCCB#4 was the residency program of which 20 of the invited artists participated in. Setting varied scenarios to inspire a highly diverse range of creative outcomes by the artists, with the focus upon collaboration, learning and shared experiments, artists participated in one month residency programs between August – November 2016, at independent ceramic studios, traditional small to mid-sized ceramic industries, large-scale factories, ceramic producing communities and ceramic institutions, such as colleges and vocational schools.

Aligning the artists with Indonesia’s environment, people, and culture, the programs rural and urban hosts have their own respective characteristics, materials and resources, as well as facilities. The residencies were held in Bandung, Majalengka, Kasongan-Bantul, Sleman-Yogakarta, Semerang and a few locations in Bali. While about half of forty-one artists were ceramicists the biennale presented wonderful opportunities to the remaining invitees, who had never, or rarely worked with clay to explore this ‘new’ medium.

SoeYuNwe                                           Myanmar artist Soe Yu Nwe

“Introducing well-known contemporary artists into JCCB#4’s program helps both collectors and the curious in their perception of what is contemporary art, and how it explores mediums outside of the realms of conventional painting and sculpture,” Effendi said and adds, “The artists were excited to participate in the residency program, to explore new mediums and find fresh form for their ideas.”

“I was chosen by JCCB#4 for my residency with PT Sango Ceramics Indonesia (the nations leading ceramics tableware manufacturer based in Semarang) who allowed me creative possibilities that both they and I had yet to encountered,” said emerging artist Uji Hahan from Yogyakarta, whose work Liability – Between Lack and Achievement” was an exhibition highlight.  “The work, in which I experimented with electroplating techniques, challenged both PT Sango’s and my own working practices.”

Maria Volkhova "Cloboters" 2016 Image courtesy JCCB#4                                          Cloboters – Maria Volkhova

“Inspired by natural history specimens and archaeological findings, being the creator and a collector, Broken Dreams Without Wings explores some of the ways people have brought things together into purposeful collections to preserve memory,” said Singaporean artist anGie Seah of her clay series in which she rearranged objects to create new ways of thinking about nature, time and interpreting tangible things from her environment.

“I enjoyed the process of experimentation with other materials to add-on to the clay bodies of my work, underlining JCCB#4 concept Ways of Clay.”

20161207_215913                                                     anGie Seah

 Eddie Prabandono, known for his large-scale installations, exhibited Padi one of the more interesting aesthetic and conceptual works of JCCB#4 that featured a collection of plates piled one upon the other, over two meters high positioned upon a chair, from which rice grew during the exhibitions duration. Making reference to human greed in his ‘living art work’ Prabandono said, “The increasing use of agricultural land for housing and development is an important issue that requires urgent attention.”

Other highlights include Bandung artist Arya Pandjalu’s glazed stoneware Electric Earth, Ukrainian Maria Volkhova’s Cloboters and Serbian Ljubica Jocic Knezevic’s Fragment Of Life.

14715488_10154510455512107_5407491981682033517_o              Participating Artists and Curators, National Gallery of Indonesia

Supported by a program of Artist Talks – Ceramic Sharing & Presentations, regular gallery tours, and ceramic workshops by Ganara Art Space open to the public every weekend, attendance numbers at the National Gallery revealed one of the success stories of JCCB#4. During the holiday seasons visitors numbers were 1000 per day, while non-holiday periods visitors ranged between 500-600, and on weekends increased to 700-900 people a day.

15875410_10155328161509316_5169993784207623161_o                                             Padi – Eddie Prabandono

 

Words: Richard Horstman

Images: Courtesy JCCB#4