Category Archives: Global Art

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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How Can Global Art Survive a Dystopian Future?

sothebys-auction-scene_modern-and-contemporary-asian-art-evening-sale-image-coutesy-sothebysSotheby’s Hong Kong during the Autumn 2016 Sale of Southeast Asian Art

 

As Art Stage Singapore, South East Asia’s flagship art fair, prepares itself for its seventh installment on the 12-15 January 2017 at Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Center, the Founder & President, Lorenzo Rudolf has made some notable observations.

Responsible for creating the model of what the majority of art fairs are today Lorenzo’s decade of innovative leadership at Art Basel transformed it from a minor art fair to the world leader. Along the way he introduced special packaged tours for VIP’s, corporate sponsorship, and supported emerging artists, plus all the glitz, glamour, money and quality art. In 2010 he founded Art Stage Singapore, a key international event with a specific focus on promoting and fostering Asian art.

In the November Art Stage Singapore 2017 media release that outlines the program highlights of the annual event, Lorenzo presents an analysis of the current global political and economic situation with regards to the future of the performance of the art market.

“As the performance of art markets is inextricably linked to the health of the economy, maintaining the same market positions is unrealistic in the current economic climate,” states Lorenzo, then points out, “Never has it been more urgent for us to re-examine the role of contemporary art in our societies than it is today. Against the backdrop of the weak global economy and changed political landscapes, art fairs such as Art Stage Singapore must re-think our role.”

art-stage-jakarta-2016_general-fair-view-2-jpg-image-courtesy-of-art-stage-jakarta-2016                                               Art Stage Jakarta 2016

To galvanize this ‘re-think’, Lorenzo is calling upon ‘visionaries, leaders, thinkers, and socially engaged actors’ to act in a role of ‘seismographs and disruptors’. This would seem to indicate that the time has come for a major change in the model and mindset of the art market, and that a much more innovative system is required. How this could happen may be directly tied into the 2017 Southeast Asian Forum, which is being hosted by Art Stage Singapore, with its focus being the theme of art investment, entitled Net Present Value: Art, Capital, Futures.

‘Net Present Value’ is a method used to forecast the profitability of future returns on investments made today. Nobody wants to lose money on an investment, so the Forum seeks to explore the value of art, imagination and progress in different ways. In creating the Forum as a platform for exchange and as a think tank, Lorenzo is reaching out to society’s critical and visionary thinkers, believing they can contribute meaningfully to provide solutions to maintain the financial value of art, by expanding on its other values.

In the last twenty years many potent creative minds in the art world have increased art’s economic model to where it is today, bigger, more successful, with more major collectors than at any other time in its history. But take away the tax breaks, and this grand edifice propped up on solid pillars, seems to be built upon seismic ground that appears ready to shake.

huge-crowds-at-bazaar-art-jakarta-2016-image-courtesy-baj-2016                                            Bazaar Art Jakarta 2016

Art always survives because it has a real value that is composed of many parts, though often these parts are in conflict with one another. What the ‘Visionaries’ that Lorenzo is seeking need to have is the ability to rearrange these components into a working system that gives benefits for all. They do this by seeing a multiple over-lapping system of systems, presented in a dynamic game plan of stages.

There has always been a danger that when too many like-minded people come together, the thinking tends to remain inside ‘the like-minded box’. Finding the different thinkers outside our networks can be tricky, unless the focus is on how to link ideas to ideas. To do this we need to spread our message wider. For this, there exists a connection between Visionaries, Organizers and the Media. The first dream up a radically different state; the second knows how to make the dream a new reality, while the third can link them together to create a viral change of attitudes and responses.

Visionaries are unique because they don’t see the world like everyone else and possess the ability to find a way forward. Organizers recognize potential, they can take good ideas and arrange them in the right order, with an eye for a market. The Media exists to find out what is happening, and to tell others about it. It connects with many types of people, each with their own stories or ideas to tell, and spreads the word in an instant.

To make a new paradigm shift in the art market would mean creating more varied models and methods. Available from the Internet are peer-to-peer linking, block chains and Bio-mimicry systems for finance. The emergence between traditional organized art events, together with large-scale all tickets sold installation events with virtual and interactive platforms offers exciting novel experiential possibilities. If global art can introduce successful innovative changes it could pave the way for other much-needed exponential growth miracles.

20170113_145341Southeast Asia Forum Discussion: Art & Money – A Dangerous Liaison? 13 January 2017, featuring panelists (from left) Alain Servais (Investment banker, entrepreneur & collector, Brussels), Lorenzo Rudolf (Founder & President Art Stage Singapore & Jakarta) and Dr. Franz Schultheis (Professor of Sociology, University of St. Gallen, Switerland and co author of the When Art Meets Money a study into the Art Basel art fairs).

 

PATH FORWARD

Art Stage Singapore seems to have stated its intention to begin a process of reinvention. By providing a forum for ‘visionaries, leaders, thinkers, and socially engaged actors’, combined with its own business acumen, it has the drive to set the wheels in motion.

New solutions are on the horizon, with a potential emphasis on presentation in a more immersive art experience, setting the stage as a stimulator for sales. By changing the mechanisms of the market, it is possible to not only maintain current returns, but to even increase growth with a broader clientele. Periphery programs may also need to alter, taking note from the success of the ‘presentation generation’ and themed workshops aimed to achieve specific objectives. The greater the event, the more it inspires the imagination of the collectors, art industry, critics, and the general public. We are aiming for an all-encompassing, immersive art park experience that invigorates exchanges of ideas, concepts, innovations and finance.

Can Art Stage Singapore lead the way? The stakes have never seemed higher and the timing is just right. The Forum will be an important milestone in the analysis of the current malaise of a troubled world, especially as the most significant dynamic shifts are generally derived from an adjustment of attitude. In raising the flag and making a clarion call, Lorenzo has sent the word out. What remains now is to link the like-minded to the ‘unlikely-minded’, so that history can be made.

Words: Richard Horstman, Soemantri Widagdo & anonymous