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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHAT’S NEXT – A Group Art Exhibition

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In recent years the visibility of street art in Bali has grown phenomenally. The dynamic crossover of genres, fusing graffiti with murals, social realism, and ever-evolving sensibilities has become a popular urban youth expression. Outside of conventional modes found in gallery and museums, street art is alive in public spaces, transforming bland street walls.

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From the beach side areas of Canggu and Kuta, to Kerobokan, Denpasar and across the city to Gianyar, colorful style, with plenty of visual WOW is adorning the urban landscape. Its techniques range from murals, to stencil and sticker art, even installations, it’s often saturated with social political issues, dissent, or emotions and ideas about identity and life. This democratic form is being exposed where the public can enjoy its aesthetic qualities, and/or ponder the messages presented.

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Some considered it a nuisance, urban visual pollution, whether perceived as vandalism or public art, it has caught the interest of the international art world, and is even seen as a manner of beautification and urban regeneration. Recently, however street has been making its transition onto the walls of Bali’s art spaces and contemporary galleries.

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Open Friday 17th March at Sika Contemporary Gallery in Ubud, WHAT’S NEXT – A Group Art Exhibition presents a mix of street culture art that is characteristic of this burgeoning movement that’s becoming a highlight of the Indonesian contemporary urban cultural scene.

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Organized by Yogyakarta born, Ubud based multi talented Kemal Ezedine, WHAT’S NEXT features ten artists, nine CRWPX from Jakarta, aged between 24 to 45, most below 30 years. A fresh and exciting array of works on paper, canvas, wood panels, and applied directly to the gallery walls is displayed. During the exhibition the artists present an art bazaar, live graffiti displays and a workshop open to the public.

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“Ubud is well known as a place for tradition art and culture, “WHAT’S NEXT“, is a new annual program for street artists to gain experience in Ubud,” said Ezedine. “Each year it will feature different artists and workshops, along with discussions in a kind informal short residency program.”

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“Bringing the work from the streets and into the gallery space allows a different perspective, and new, often spontaneous creative opportunities,” he adds.   “We trust the artists will learn something, while gaining new knowledge on how they see Ubud as an art center.”

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WHAT’S NEXT

Continues until 20 April
Sika Contemporary Gallery

Jalan Raya Sanggingan No.88X, Ubud

opposite Bintang Supermarket

Tel: 0361 975084

Open daily 9am – 6pm

Words & Images: Richard Horstman

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drawing Future: Charcoal for Children 2016/17 Charity Exhibition

Creativity during opening of DRAWING FUTURE Image Richard Horstman

Cush Cush Gallery of Denpasar announced its arrival onto the Bali art scene in July 2016 with Crucible, the gallery’s collaborative exhibition with Australian designer, educator and academic Ross McLeod.

Exploring ideas of alchemical synthesis, association of natural process, and craftsmanship, McLeod’s sculptural objects were enhanced by Cush Cush Gallery’s savvy presentation – the impact was immediate. A fresh, alternative gallery, highlighted by a sound vision was born, a timely, and exciting contribution to the island’s art infrastructure.

DRAWING FUTURE opening. Image Richard Horstman

The opening of DRAWING FUTURE: Charcoal for Children 2016/17 Charity Exhibition, on Friday 24 February celebrated the culmination of Cush Cush Gallery’s first CHARCOAL FOR CHILDREN 2016/17 program. The free program is designed to empower children through art and creativity, while raising environmental awareness through the making and use of DIY charcoal as a creative tool.

Six invited artists, with the help of thirty-five volunteers from local creative communities, worked together with 103 children from various backgrounds to create the exhibited collaborative artworks. The event was officiated by the Australian Consul General, Dr Helena Studdert.

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“Charcoal For Children (CFC) is a grassroots movement that is supported by the arts, design and creative communities in Bali and Indonesia, as well as friends from overseas,” Cush Cush co founder Suriawati Qiu said. “Having traveled, and lived overseas, I have witnessed how important creative education is to our future generations. We are also concerned with the lack of emphasis in art and creativity in the local education system.”

“Cush Cush Gallery wants to highlight the importance of fostering creativity in children from an early age, within a non evaluative learning framework,” adds Suriawati’s partner, and co founder Jindee Chua. “Early and consistent exposure to the arts and creativity enhances critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills in children, as well as strengthening their self confidence.”20170226_160425

The duo met while studying at RMIT Melbourne, Australia, Jindee pursuing an architecture degree, while Suriawati was studying interior design. The love of art and creativity consolidated their relationship, and they went on to form Cush Cush Gallery, a design studio workshop in Denpasar. Their focus is upon experimenting and creating with the abundant indigenous materials, textures, techniques and traditional crafts of Bali. With an emphasis on sustainability, much of their design products are up cycled resources.

Cush Cush presented ‘Make Your Own Charcoal’ workshop in August 2016 as a part of their LagiLagi programs up-cycling production off-cuts, giving them new life and turning them into useful things for everyday life.

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Three separate CFC workshops session were conducted in September and October 2016, and the finale in January 2017. Participating artists were Wayan ‘Suklu’ Sujana, Reno Ganesha, Noella Roos, Nyoman Wijaya, Natisa Jones and Budi ‘Kabul’ Agung Kuswara. CushCush presents a year-round program of exhibitions, and will continue to grow its residency and collaboration programs, facilitating exchanges between an international community of artists, creative, and Bali.

At art exhibitions there is usually a great divide between the art works and the creative process. Rarely is the process under the spotlight. During the opening of DRAWING FUTURE, however the creative process was on display, enriched by the enthusiasm of children of all ages busily sketching, interacting, and having fun.

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Could there be another human expression more potent and satisfying for adults to witness and adore?

DRAWING CHARCOAL: Charity For Children Exhibition 2016/17

Continues through until 13 May 2017

Jl.Teuku Umar Gg. Rajawali No.1A
Denpasar 80113, Bali, Indonesia
Tel. (62) 361 484558
www.cushcushgallery.com

Words & Images: Richard Horstman

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                                                  Korean 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Swedish Artist Richard Winkler at Home in Bali

Work in progress                             Richard Winkler at work in his Sanur studio

Swedish artist Richard Winkler’s creative development charts a course that isn’t unlike others who have settled in Bali. He has, however succeeded in doing what few foreign artists in Indonesia can do.  Art lovers and collectors quickly recognized Winkler’s talent and he created a niche within the large, yet difficult to penetrate, Indonesian contemporary art market.

Within his paintings Winkler creates a fantastic Balinese utopian landscape. His compositions feature figures, bulbous and distorted, that contain the extraordinary story of his own body and personal experience of having to cope with a rare bone disorder. From an early age painful boney growths continued to reappear on Winkler’s limbs and he had to undergo regular surgery to have them removed.

Farmers of the Blue Hills, 150x200cm, 2010. oil on canvas Richar Winkler.                                        Farmers of the Blue Hills, 2010

“These experiences taught me to love and honor the physical vehicle in which I was born. They have inspired me,” Winkler said.  “This has helped develop a resilient character, and given me an enormously positive outlook on life.”

Winkler’s figures reflect the creative nature of the human DNA that manifests in countless body forms and sizes, from obese to beautiful, and from the vigorous to the diseased.   “I resonate with the abstract nature of my figures. Subconsciously a part of me springs forth and then in the studio it comes to life through my works. It is my own unique creative process,” he adds.

Mother Earth, 2011, Bronze, 217Hx152Wx212D                                         Mother Earth, 2011

At a glance Winkler’s oil paintings are an amalgamation of subtle curves, delightful arcs suggesting nature’s perfect symbol – the circle. The exaggerated human forms that occupy his compositions feature bulging backsides, toros and limbs. His works are studies of balance and precision, enhanced by his perfect brush work technique.

Winkler’s coloration is never over powering, his rich environmental scenarios send tranquil messages. The soft greens and blues within his tropical locales contain delicate, soothing melodies. Occasionally he adopts contrasting colors, positioned to create aesthetic impact.

20160825_161839                                                  A Beautiful Afternoon, 2016

Rarely does Winkler utilize the potency of the straight line within his settings. When he does it will be the horizon line, that helps denote the composition’s depth of field, while delivering a jolt of tension within his “sea of curves”.

About 12 years ago Winkler was driven to transform his ideas into large three dimensional forms. His process began with experimentation and learning how and what he needed to be. First he constructed and ‘played’ with models, simplistic and crude, and then the momentum of his creativity grew. It was not long before Winkler was forging wonderful sculptures in bronze.

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These are monumental, minimalist reclining figures, some more than 3 meters in height. Winkler takes the voluptuous characters from his paintings and expands on their size. To achieve the perfect symmetries in his sculptures requires time and skill, so during the process he must continuously run his hands over the extremities of the models to identify and correct imperfections.

The models are then dismantled in his Sanur studio and transferred to Central Java,  reassembled and caste in liquid bronze, and then the finishing is done. His characters are finally positioned according to the client’s wishes, and appear rooted and secure as if they have grown up and out of the earth.

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Richard Winkler was born in 1969 in Norrkoping, Sweden and studied graphic design and illustration at the Beckman’s School of Design in Stockholm. For some years he worked as an illustrator for advertising and magazines.  In 1997 he moved from Europe to Ubud to become a full-time painter. His work is a metaphor for the omnipotent fertility of the universe, while celebrating the beauty of the Balinese landscape.

Words & Images: Richard Horstman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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