Not just another Jakarta gallery
Paper Edition | Page: 22
Vivid and vibrant. Colorful and brave.
Those were the first impressions from the artwork showcased in an exhibition at Gallery Rachel, which opened to the public about a month ago.
Named after the owner, Gallery Rachel presents itself as a unique space that does not only display paintings but also installations, movies, mixed media and digital prints.
Most of the art on display is eye-catching, each with their own color composition, materials used and even sound effects that were echoing throughout the rooms during one visit.
The gallery focuses on contemporary art, and when asked why, Rachel said, “I chose contemporary and not any other art movement because I live with the contemporary. I was still a little kid when the modern art movement came in, so I did not really understand the meaning behind the artworks. I can learn, but art is not something abstract. You cannot really learn it without comprehending the meaning behind that conceptual work.”
“I grew up with contemporary artwork so in a way I appreciate and acknowledge their value,” she said. “I feel that by living in the era of an art movement, you can not only understand more, but you can also relate and identify yourself within these pieces.” The gallery features many fascinating works by local artists, with each of the creations displayed in the gallery unique and different from one other.
HONF (The House of Natural Fiber) from Yogyakarta, for instance, presents Holyshit!, a neon tank that is home to a lobster and plant. Beneath the tank is an engrossing video displaying a microscopic view of the feces produced by the lobster and plant. Sound effects are added to reinforce the naturalistic point of view the artists are trying to convey.
Another work, the watercolor A Very Suffocated Environmentalist, depicts the journey of a cyclist that uses his bike to commute around Jakarta for a month.
The artist paints the lung condition of the biker each day, with the figure eventually dying at the end of the month after breathing in too much pollution.
“The main concept of the exhibition is ‘Celebration’, which is why we have so many various artworks with different materials and themes laid out in the gallery. These artists ‘write’ in their artworks, they narrate a story or an opinion, so the viewers may seem confused by all the different stories the painting describes,” Rachel explained.
“We want to celebrate our opening, introducing the gallery to the public, and so people may love it or they may hate it, we accept all comments. The main point is no matter what they think, at least more and more people are becoming aware of the gallery. Let this festivity bring us to the public.”
In the future, Rachel plans to exhibit artwork that is more associated with the applied concept. “I work together with curators to see how these works of art will deepen our notion of the exhibition. It’s true that subjective judgment is inevitable, but we try to judge the artwork based on our vision of what we’re trying to portray in the gallery, whether or not the artist has integrity in the world of art, and whether the artwork is appropriate to be displayed in the gallery. Because after all, although the name is Gallery Rachel, it’s not for me, it’s showcased for the public interest to purchase and collect these artworks.”
For their next show, the gallery is planning a solo exhibition by M. Reggie Aquara, a well-known artist from the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB).
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