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ARTJOG 2018 to Convey Light Through Art

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ARTJOG 2018 to Convey Light Through Art
Exterior view, ARTJOG 2018, Jogja National Museum, Yogyakarta / Photo: Courtesy of ARTJOG

Art as form of experience – whether social, intellectual, cultural or spiritual – has been ARTJOG’s global theme for the past three editions. This year, starting from the 4th of May 2018, the Jogja National Museum welcomes visitors into ARTJOG’s 11th exhibition entitled “Enlightenment”.

In one part, “Enlightenment” refers to an era in world history, that is, the post-French Revolution in the 18th century, which was known to be the birth of both rationalism and humanism. Sovereignty, individuality, knowledge, modernity, democracy, and laïcité (the concept of a secular republic in which the separation between state and religion applies), were the main ideas behind the understanding of “Enlightenment”, and art has always been a significant media to express it.

Popok Tri Wahyudi, The Battle of Moron, 2018, Raffia rope carpet embroidery, 700 x 400 cm / Photo: Tasia Cassandra

Popok Tri Wahyudi, The Battle of Moron, 2018, Raffia rope carpet embroidery, 700 x 400 cm / Photo: Tasia Cassandra

Curators Bambang ‘Toko’ Witjaksono and Ignatia Nilu mention that philosophically, “Enlightenment” as experience, is any attempt to drive out of the darkness. Keeping in mind that issues appear naturally within every society – from ethnocentrism, violence, injustice, to other forms of inhumanity – ARTJOG 2018 aims to highlight the power of art in upholding positivity in the contemporary stage we live in. 54 selected local and international artists present bold and distinctive pieces, which are driven not only by their strong reasoning, but also exceptional techniques and approach.

As Immanuel Kant once wrote, "Immaturity happens not because of the absence of the reason, but the lack of resolution and bravery in using the mind without having to rely on others' opinions". Therefore, the process of “Enlightenment” requires one's determination in both thinking and action – of which the featured artists have reflected through their creation, whether consciously or subconsciously.

Mulyana Mogus, Sea Remembers, 2018, Wool yarn, acrylic yarn, fibre, Dacron, resin, welded wire mesh and felt fabric, Variable dimensions / Photo: Tasia Cassandra

Entering the main door, one cannot miss the colossal installation, Sea Remembers (2018) by Indonesian artist Mulyana Mogus. Through this commissioned work, in which he imagined a colorful underwater habitat, Mulyana describes the fear that human beings often feel towards differences and the realities that lie beyond our sight.

Mulyana Mogus, Sea Remembers, 2018, Wool yarn, acrylic yarn, fibre, Dacron, resin, welded wire mesh and felt fabric, Variable dimensions / Photo: Tasia Cassandra

Inspired by his past experience in school, he intends to elaborate “strangeness” as miracle instead of seeing it as weakness. The work was realized through a meditative process of collective knitting, in which the artist invited senior women of Sorogenen, Yogyakarta to partake. During the progression of the artwork, the artist felt that a particular relationship was built between the participants and him.

Mulyana Mogus, Sea Remembers, 2018, Wool yarn, acrylic yarn, fibre, Dacron, resin, welded wire mesh and felt fabric, Variable dimensions / Photo: Tasia Cassandra

Participation is also the key behind Japanese-Australian artist Hiromi Tango’s Healing Garden (2018), an interactive mixed media installation and performance. The presentation of bright-colored floral forms in a green room is the artist’s attempt in creating a conceptual garden where creativity could be planted and grown. Local Indonesian plants and flowers – including the Rose, Jasmine, Amaryllis and Kenanga, which each has healing properties, inspired her choice of palette. According to the artist, hues play an important role in determining one’s feeling and mood.

Hiromi Tango, Healing Garden (Yogyakarta), 2018, Interactive mixed media installation and performance, Variable dimensions / Photo: Tasia Cassandra

Workshops that are held regularly during the exhibition, offer visitors the possibility to craft their own paper flowers, which become part of the artwork once they attach them to the main installation. Thus, by this protocol, Hiromi Tango experiments the status and border between “artist” and “public”. The act of categorizing by colors, sorting, wrapping and folding is also a form of therapy, which could reduce stress and anxiety and increase sense of well-being.

Hiromi Tango, Healing Garden (Yogyakarta), 2018, Interactive mixed media installation and performance, Variable dimensions / Photo: Tasia Cassandra

The artist herself, present during certain periods of the exhibition, conducts her performance consisting dance-like movements around the room, engaging her body to the surrounding, as an approach to generate “healing conversations” with the artworks and public.

Hiromi Tango, Healing Garden (Yogyakarta), 2018, Interactive mixed media installation and performance, Variable dimensions / Photo: Tasia Cassandra

Unique works from various international artists bring multiple perspectives to the exhibition. US artist Adam de Boer explores his Javanese roots through artistic researches which challenge the intersections between Indonesian craftsmanship and contemporary art.

Adam de Boer, Room Screen for Margio bin Suyeb, 2017, Acrylic paint and oil paint on carved leather, polychrome carved wood, cotton string, woven bamboo, 193 x 250 x 35 cm / Photo: Tasia Cassandra

Room Screen for Margio Bin Suyeb (2017) was inspired by Eka Kurniawan’s novel, Lelaki Harimau (2014) and stories from the artist’s father’s early childhood in Purwokerto, Central Java. A diptych painting in the form of traditional Javanese Penyekat (space separator), it depicts former European colonial projects, in which the acts of documenting and classifying nature were introduced, through the fields of anthropology and zoology. 

 

ARTJOG 2018 runs everyday from 10 am – 9 pm, from 4 May – 4 June at the Jogja National Museum, in the heart of Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Tickets are available on the spot for Rp. 50.000. For more information, click here.


Any views or opinions in the post are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the company or contributors.


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