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Beyond Nature: SUPER/NATURAL Looks at Discursive Constructs


Beyond Nature: SUPER/NATURAL Looks at Discursive Constructs
Image from "Reinventing Identity_ Self Portrait" (2012) by Aliansyah Caniago (Image courtesy of the artist and Gajah Gallery)

Just in time for ART|JOG 10, Gajah Gallery Yogyakarta presents 'SUPER/NATURAL'. Curated by Michelle Ho, the group exhibition features twenty contemporary Southeast Asian artists, including Lavender Chang, Sarah Choo Jing, Jason Lim, Kumari Nahappan, Ruben Pang, Melissa Tan, Suzann Victor, Robert Zhao, amongst many others.


"Movement 1" (2016) by Kumari Nahappan, Cast Bronze, 59.5 x 39 x 100cm (side)
Image courtesy of the artist and Gajah Gallery


The selected works engage with nature in one way or another: either defined as intrinsic characteristics, represented as physcial forms of the living environment or contemplated as promordial states of existence and fundamental bases for being and experience. Each work expounds on one of these ideas, questioning and revealing the conditions that we have often accepted into our realities due to the sense of stability they afford us.


"7066 Nessus" (2016) by Melissa Tan, Acrylic on Watercolor Paper and Powder-Coated Mild Steel, 104 x 86 x 4.5cm
Image courtesy of the artist and Gajah Gallery


"Singapore Landscape Painting" (2012) by Zen Teh, Inkjet Print on Archival Japanese Handmade Paper, 60 x 460cm
Image courtesy of the artist and Gajah Gallery


SUPER/NATURAL is the subversion of of nature and the natural order of things to reflect critically on contemporary society. Despite the varied specturm of mediums and artistic disciplines, the works seek to reveal anomalies and contradictions that may well in fact, be natural in everyday life.


Image from "Gotong Royong (Spring Cleaning)" (2016) by Ridwan Rau Rau
Image courtesy of the artist and Gajah Gallery


Three of the twenty artists - Warren Khong, Adeline Kueh and Melissa Tan - have created new works specifically for the show. Additionally, there is a performance component to the show, curated by Jason Lim that showcases performance art by Aliansyah Caniago, Mimi Fadmi, Ridwan Rau Rau, Riyadhus Shalihin (Bandung), FJ Kunting (Yogyakarta), Jason Lim (SG).


"Untitled Cities 3" (2016) by Ng Joon Kiat Acrylic on Cloth, 200 x 180cm
Image courtesy of the artist and Gajah Gallery


Singaporean artist Ng Joon Kiat in his work Untitled Cities 3 presents an aerial view of a cityscape in neon yellow and green acrylic paint, highlighting the parallels between human settlements and an colonies. It also aims to draw attention to our desire to control nature and manipulating it to conform to our own definitions of beauty. 


"Cliff Potter Robin" (2009) by Robert Zhao, Digital Pigment Print, 121 x 84cm, Edition of 3 + 1AP
Image courtesy of the artist and Gajah Gallery


From another perspective, Robert Zhao's Cliff Potter Robin deals with the misconceptions regarding the natural world and the way in which we gather knowledge about the world around us. Speaking about his artistic practice in general, "[a] large part of my work tries to resist the false naturalisation of beliefs and circumstances. The work is loosely centered around notions of knowledge production and enmeshed with philosophy, natural history and anthropology.” 



'SUPER/NATURAL' is on view at Gajah Gallery Yogyakarta // Yogya Art Lab, Jalan Keloran, Komplek Pertokoan Aruna Rt 004 Tirtonirmolo, Kecamatan. Kasihan, Kabupaten. Bantul, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta, Indonesia 55181. The exhibitions runs from 19 May - 19 June 2017. 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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