The Jakarta Post
'Merlion' (2017) by Naufal Abshar. (JP/Liza Yosephine)
As Indonesia and Singapore celebrate half a century of bilateral relations, an art exhibition is being held in Jakarta to illustrate the close ties between the close neighbors.
Held at the World Trade Center 2 Lobby Exhibition in Central Jakarta until Oct. 12, "Rising 50: The Contemporary Art of Singapore and Indonesia" opened on Tuesday evening.
The exhibition features work from eight artists from the two countries.
Singaporean Ambassador to Indonesia Anil Kumar Nayar emphasized the importance of people-to-people relations as the foundation for thriving ties. He said the exhibition was a way to bring the two countries together through art.
"People-to-people always makes a difference in a relationship," Nayar said on opening night on Tuesday.
Organized in collaboration with the Jakarta-based ISA Art Advisory, principal curator Deborah C. Iskandar said the exhibition features senior Singaporean artists together with young, up-and-coming Indonesian artists.
"Indonesian artists who studied in Singapore, they come back with a different way of looking at things," Iskandar told The Jakarta Post.
Here are three Indonesian artists featured at the exhibition. They studied art in Singapore.
'Self Portrait - Through the Looking Glass' ( 2017 ) by Naufal Abshar. (JP/Liza Yosephine)
At 24 years of age, Naufal Abshar is one of the youngest artists to participate in the event.
Naufal has three pieces on display, namely a compilation of several canvases for his Self Portrait: Through the Looking Glass, a pair of two paintings titled Golden Anniversary and a single piece on his view of Singapore entitled Merlion, which he said he completed in four days.
Naufal says he never begins with a sketch, explaining that his aim is to capture the moment on the spot as he paints. When asked which of his paintings he was most proud of, the young painter pointed to his self-portrait.
"Because it's about myself and it's, like, reflecting myself, questioning my existence as a human being, also as an artist. And the reason why I'm proud of it is because I can exhibit it and share it with people," Naufal said of his piece, which he finished in two weeks.
Naufal's work was exhibited at Art Stage Singapore in January 2017 and at the recently concluded Art Stage Jakarta in August.
A designer by training, 28-year-old Kendra Ahimsa is a Jakarta-based artist with a pyschedelic visual style whose work features bright bold colors and symbolism with strong references in Japanese visual art, 1960s psychedelic music, pop-culture and obscure cinema.
Kendra has two digital illustrations on display, namely April in the Phantom and The Sun is My Enemy.
While he views Singapore as a neatly integrated city and one of the regional hubs of culture in Southeast Asia, Kendra says he enjoys being an artist in the Indonesian capital, as he finds inspiration in "messy" Jakarta.
"It's more alive. Singapore has its own charm too. Lots of its own charm," Kendra said.
Kendra owns a graphic design studio in Jakarta, where he handles projects connected to music.
Born in 1987, Irfan Hendrian is currently based in Bandung. He has just recently completed a Master’s in Fine Arts from the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB).
Irfan practices in art, graphic design and the printing industry. With a fascination for paper, Irfan has worked with the material for seven years, seeking ways to transform the fragile material into something strong and rigid.
Irfan has four pieces on display at the exhibition, each a minimalist presentation involving the use of paper on a board. (kes)