Lives and Works: Indonesia
Jange Rae whose maiden name is Evi Muheriyawan, is a self-taught artist. As an autodidact he experimented with different techniques, explored with diverse subject matter and participated in multiple exhibitions as a way to upgrade his level of competency as an artist. In his search for a stylistic identity, he started delving into naïve and surrealistic themes, transitioned to then detail of photo realistic and hyper realistic techniques to then find his own. Like most artists who experiment with styles and concepts, visually or thematically, he was influenced by factors such as the country’s condition, economy, religion, amongst others. In addition, the inner angst about how he felt about all these issues, the rebellion towards social political norms and culture became a driving force in his practice. These elements were what defined his personal style, now translated in his latest creations.
But after sometime, Jange got tired of the realistic style and conventional fine art forms. He felt saturated with any form of art that was defined by traditional aesthetics and beauty. That is when he discovered street art, which he believed to be the resurrection and rebirth of the art of drawing. Started on cave walls by primitive people, the art of drawing depicted quotidian events, rudimentary symbols and early signs of a written language. Jange felt that there was similarity between these early forms of art and street arts, as they are both trying to leave a message and create their own symbols. For him, this form of low art is raw and appealing, as it is freed from conventionalism and norm that goes beyond outsider art even though many do not consider it an art form.
“I personally believe that this is art, this is pure, this is culture and evolution. I don’t ask other people to agree with my opinion but after going through all these process to find what I like, I feel at ease and comfortable. Somehow, it’s like an asylum for the mental patients. Although I am not a street activist, my soul is there with them. We talk about the same things but in different territories. They create their art in the city walls while my job is to fill up the galleries and auction walls. However, the essence is all the same, to create first and foremost, a work that is honest before deciding whether or not it is considered a work of art. There is in fact an entity that determines and decides on a work of art, whether it is the academy or an art gallery. But as artists, as street creators, we are a group with a community that can determine if this is in fact a work of art. To me, art and artworks have a message, the space and the technique are just mediums to achieve this.”
- Jange Rae
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