Tag Archives: Oky Rey Montha

the SELFIE PROJECT – Kenyut’s artisitic exploration into popular culture

Participant in "I Love Me - the Selfie Project"                              A participant in the Selfie Project

We are living in the era of pop culture selfie mania. Technology and smartphones have democratized visual self expression, with social media and imaging apps allowing us to constantly ‘curate’ our digital presence, enhancing our obsession with our perfect self.

The Century of The Self, the landmark 2002 documentary series by British filmmaker Adam Curtis focuses upon the work of Austrian psychoanalysts Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), his daughter Anna, and his American nephew Edward Bernays. Freud was responsible for changing our perception of the mind and its workings.

A devotee of his uncle’s work, Bernays was the first to use psychological techniques in a new field of marketing he labelled Public Relations. He went on to establish a hugely influential PR consultancy in New York City in the 1920’s that was to have an unprecedented impact on western civilization.

Children participate in "I Love Me - the Selfie Project" Image Richard HorstmanChildren participate in the Selfie Project during a workshop on contemporary art by Kenyut at Tepi Sawah Festival, Ubud.

“This series is about how those in power have used Freud’s theories to try and control the dangerous crowd in an age of mass democracy,” Curtis says in his introduction to Episode One. “Bernays showed corporations how they can make people want things they didn’t need by linking mass-produced goods to their inner desires. By satisfying one’s inner selfish desires people became happy and docile. This was the start of the all consuming self, which has come to dominate the world today.”

In recent years the selfie has entered the sphere of social themes for Indonesian contemporary artists. During Jogja Art Weeks (JAW), a month-long plethora of art activities held through the months of May – June, 2017 in Yogyakarta, there were two presentations based on this theme. In Selfie Frame, collective showings by Indonesian and Polish artists, decorated frames were arranged throughout an exhibition space and visitors were invited to pose within them, and then post their selfies onto social media.

Popular young artist Oky Rey Montha, (b.1986, Yogyakarta), exhibited In Frame We Trust, 2017, at ArtJog10. He prompted the audience to engage with his installation by sitting on a toilet and taking a selfie in front of his paintings that parodied the selfie as a ridiculous act. The artists contributed nothing fresh to the critical discourse about this phenomenon, prioritizing fun experiences while appearing to utilize the opportunity simply as an attempt to “cash in”.

I Love Me - the Selfir Project by Djunaidi Kenyut                       I Love Me – the Selfie Project at Laramona, Ubud

East Javanese, Bali based artist Djunaidi Kenyut, however, takes a vastly different approach with his art project, I love Me – the Selfie Project. In his ongoing venture in community engagement beginning early this year, Kenyut randomly seeks out people and asks them to be participants by drawing their image onto a small piece of mirror with a marker pen. The image he later engraves permanently onto the glass.

“People without artistic experience often feel intimidated when I ask them to partake,” Kenyut said. “So I introduce this exercise to them in a fun, non-confrontational way with the theme drawing is easy.” The artist’s goal is to amass 2000 of these individual images and exhibit them in Surabaya, along with presenting a workshop to children at the school he attended in the city, during his childhood.

From 29 April for one month, Kenyut exhibited over 200 of these self-portraits in I Love Me – the Selfie Project, at Laramona, Ubud. Featuring an array of fascinating, often humorous manually recorded images, the exhibition opening was a unique gathering where the project participant’s creations were the focus of interest.

Participant of "I Love Me - the Selfie Project" Image Kenyut                            A participant in the Selfie Project

Kenyut continued his engagement with the public at Tepi Sawah Festival, in Pejeng, Ubud 3-4 June, a new grass-roots community celebration of music, performance and creativity, highlighted by children’s educational programs on topics including environmental awareness and sustainability. He presented a workshop to children introducing the concept of contemporary art making and involving them in the Selfie Project. The group of twenty boys and girls delighted in the opportunity to participate in a communal work by drawing their reflections upon a large mirror.

During his one-on-one interactions, Kenyut learns about the character of the participants. “For some, the task of drawing their reflection is easy, while for others it’s difficult because they are afraid of their self-appearance,” he said. “In the mirror, they tend to see one of two things, and then chose to either imitate their true reflection or create an ideal image of the self. Some people focus on the creative process, while others focus on the results.”

“When people become hesitant I encourage them, and if they are not happy with the result it can be erased, and they can try again,” he said. During this process, Kenyut carefully prompts them to look into the mirror and engage with their reflection, to look beyond the physical, and to love and accept who they are. This helps to stimulate their creative process. “Simulating one’s self-image evokes a sense of self- confidence,” Kenyut said.

Kenyut during his presentation to children of "I Love Me - the Selfie Project" at Tepi Sawah Festival. Image Richard HorstmanKenyut demonstrates the selfie technique to children at Rumah Apik, during the Tepi Sawah Festival.

“I believe selfies to be narcissistic behavior – a desire to love one’s self excessively. The addiction we witness on social media is an empty expression constantly being repeated, reflecting people’s unbalanced psychological state. The selfie addicts look happy, but on the inside, they are not,” Kenyut said.

What effect is this addiction having upon our society? Has the selfie reduced life to a popularity contest, driven by the external myth of beauty and the need to compare ourselves with others, governed by likes, Instagram followers and Facebook friends? The ancient Egyptians understood the relevance of distinguishing and connecting with the self. Within the inner sanctum of the Luxor Temple on the east bank of the Nile River, a proverb states, “Man, know thyself, and you are going to know the gods”.

I Love Me – the Selfie Project encourages people to reflect upon their inner worlds. This, Kenyut believes, is the key to the most powerful door of all. Contemporary artists increasingly play essential roles within the positive development of modern society. They challenge our understanding of ourselves and help others to see things differently and to learn about the world. Importantly, they shine light on issues that need to be individually and collectively addressed for the sake of a sustainable, more peaceful and loving world.

The Exhibition "I Love Me - the Selfie Project" at Laramona, Ubud. Image Merio Falindra            the Selfie Project at Laramona, Ubud – Image Merio Falindra

https://www.facebook.com/djunaidi.kenyut

Words & Images: Richard Horstman & Merio Falindra

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Indonesian Art Growing in Popularity With Regional Collectors: Reviewing Sotheby’s Hong Kong Autumn Sales 2016

sothebys-auction-scene_modern-and-contemporary-asian-art-evening-sale-image-coutesy-sothebysScene from the Sotheby’s Sale 2 October, Affandi’s “Borobudur and the Sun” 1984, sets a new world record for the artist selling for US $ 1.26 million. All Images courtesy of Sotheby’s  Hong Kong.

 

More than 290 items of fine art went under the hammer in two auctions of special interest to collectors of Indonesian Modern and Contemporary Art during Sotheby’s Hong Kong Autumn Sales 2016. The Modern and Contemporary Asian Art Evening Sale 2 October, and the Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Art Day Sale 3 October featured paintings by the prominent Indonesia artists. More than half the total of auction lots sold achieving prices over their high estimates, reflecting a well-curated sale aligned with the current market.

affandi_borobudur-and-the-sun                        “Borobudur and the Sun” 1984 – Affandi.

There were two notable highlights of the Modern & Contemporary Asian Art Evening Sale, of the four works by Indonesia’s most internationally renowned modernist Affandi (1907-1990), 2 sold within their estimated prices, however Lot # 1034 “Borobudur and The Sun” 1984, estimated between US$ 585,000 – 880,000 set a new world record for the artist selling for US $ 1.26 million, including the buyers premium.

ay-tjoe-christine-when-it-is-the-only-path-of-going-home-image-courtesy-of-sothebys-hong-kong“When It Is the Only Path of Going Home” – Ay Tjoe Chrsitine. Sold for US $ 429,000.

Indonesia’s most sought after female contemporary painter Ay Tjoe Christine (b.1973) is distinguished by her sensitive, yet often dark and moody abstract compositions. Lot # 1071 “When It Is the Only Path of Going Home”, estimated price between US $ 77,500 -104,000 sold for a whopping US $429,000. Another work by Affandi, Lot #1035 “Balinese girl with Piglet” estimated between US $ 232,000 – 322,000 sold for US $ 505,000.

lee-man-fong_satay-vendor-with-mother-and-son “Tukang Sate Dengan Anak & Ibu” – Lee Man Fong. Sold for US $ 161,000.

Lot # 1064 by Lee Man Fong (1913-1988) “Setelah Mandi” with an estimated price between US $ 77,000 – 116,000 sold for US $ 145,000. Lot # 1061 “Village Life” 1975, by Hendra Gunawan (1918-1983), estimated between US $ 710,000 – 1,100,000, sold for US $ 846,000, while Lot # 1073 “Proud” 2012, by Nyoman Masriadi (b.1973), estimated between US $ 258,000 – 387,000 sold for US $320,000.

09_hendra-gunawan_chicken-vendors               “Pedagang Ayam” – Hendra Gunawan. Sold for US $ 350,771.

Highlights of the 3 October Modern & Contemporary Southeast Asian Art Day Sale include Lot # 399 “Landscape Gunung Kawi, Bali” by Srihadi Sudarsono (b.1931), estimated price between US$ 49,000 – 71,000, sold for US $ 89,000. Lot # 391 “Pedagang Ayam” by Hendra Gunawan estimated between US $154,000 – 232,000, and sold for US $ 350,771, and Lot # 368 “Three Women in the Garden” by Adrien le Mayeur (1880-1958) estimated between US $ 154,000 – 232,000 sold US $ 319,821.

srihadi-sudarsono_landscape-gunung-kawi-bali       “Landscape Gunung Kawi, Bali” – Srihadi Sudarsono. Sold for US $ 89,000.

Again Ay Tjoe Christine was popular, Lot # 218 “When I See It Is The Only Way Home #1”, estimated between US $ 38,000 – 64,000 sold for US $ 258,000. Mochtar Apin (1923-1994) with Lot # 385 “Memecah”, a wonderful abstract triptych with an estimated price between US $ 38,000 – 64,000 sold for US $ 92,720. Lot # 364 “Exotic Nude With Gong” by Antonio Blanco (1923-1991) with an estimated price between US $ 8,000 – 12,000 sold for US $ 25,972.

2-lot-368-adrien-jean-le-mayeur-de-merpres_three-women-in-the-garden   “Three Women in the Garden” – Adrien le Mayeur. Sold US $ 319,821.

Lot # 227 “Seven Magnificent Masterpieces #1&2”by Bali’s Gede Mahendra Yasa (b.1967) is from a series focusing on the exploration of Balinese aesthetics, with an estimated price between US $ 38,700 – 64,500 the works sold for US $ 116,000. Collectors responded with enthusiasm to works by emerging artists demonstrating the healthy development of the market, two Indonesian artists with strong results were Oky Rey Montha (b. 1986) Lot # 225 “The Dark Salvador” estimated price between US $ 5,800 – 8,300 sold for US $ 11,284, and M Irfan (b. 1972) with Lot #237 “One Day For Good Day” estimated between US $19,000 – 25,000 and selling at US $ 40,000.

mochtar-apin_memecah-triptych-1 “Memecah” – Mochtar Apin. One third of the triptych that sold for US $ 92,720.

The recent death of renowned Dutch colorist Arie Smit (1916-2016) was an enormous loss to Indonesian art. Thirteen paintings within a range of prices went under hammer, four failed to sell, while 8 sold within the estimated prices, however Lot # 348 “Full Moon in Bali”, estimated price between US $ 14,000 – 20,000 sold for US$ 20,956. Other well known artists included in the sales were S. Sudjojono, Dullah, Agus Suwage, Entang Wiharso, Agung Mangu Putra, Heri Dono, Rudolf Bonnet and Willem Hofker.

gede-mahendra-yasa_i-seven-magnificent-masterpieces-image-courtesy-of-sothebys“Seven Magnificent Masterpieces #2” – Gede Mahendra Yasa.  His two works sold for US $ 116,000.

“In 1996, Sotheby’s began selling Southeast Asian Art in Singapore. The auctions for the category moved to Hong Kong in 2008, providing a platform for increased international exposure,” said Sotheby’s Hong Kong Head of Department, Southeast Asian Art, Kim Chuan Mok.

“Southeast Asian art is considered relatively affordable compared to art in other regions, making it a popular entry point for new collectors. Indonesia dominates the region’s art market with a greater than 50 percent market share based on total auction sales at Sotheby’s and Christie’s.”

lot-348_full-moon-in-bali                     “Full Moon in Bali” – Arie Smit. Sold for US$ 20,956.

An example of the buoyancy of this market was evident at the 2015 Sotheby’s Autumn Sale with Hendra Gunawan’s “Bathing in the Shower” selling for US $ 1.3 million, more than 5 times higher than the most expensive Southeast Asian painting sold at the first auction for the category in 1996. The results of the 2 & 3 October auctions confirm the growing demand for Indonesian modern and contemporary art by regional collectors (Taiwan, Hong Kong & Japan), especially works by the maestros, by collectors seeking quality.

nyoman-masriadi-proud-image-courtesy-of-sothebys-hong-kong

“Proud” 2012 – Nyoman Masriadi.  Sold for US $320,000.

Words by Richard Horstman