ArtJog up, up and again
Paper Edition | Page: 22
Elephant in the room: The entrance to Taman Budaya Yogyakarta features commissioned works by Joko Dwi Avianto and I Made Widya Diputra. JP/Carla Bianpoen
The fantastic bamboo covering of the facade of Yogyakarta’s cultural center Taman Budaya Jogja and the huge leather elephant lazily lying on a mount of coconut in front of the entrance of ArtJog are works of art that may be interpreted as metaphors for certain situations.
But, relating to the art fair, they signify the great effort of the Artjog management and the artists who worked together for the art fair that has no equal in the world.
Joko Dwi Avianto (b. 1976) used 1,700 bamboo poles to cover the building, making incisions in each pole to enable it to bend.
I Made Widya Diputra (b. 1981) needed the skins of 13 goats to create a giant elephant and 8,000 coconuts to make the mount on which it stands.
Inside the building, Angki Purbandono (b.1971) created a “Ghost Park” measuring 20 x 12 meters in which images made with a scanography technique evoke a ghostly sense, something that lies between belief and fiction.
Aside from these commissioned works, 195 pieces of art were selected from 150 artists to participate in this year’s ArtJog.
The fifth edition of the annual fair shows the ever improving quality of the works and their display techniques. No research has been done yet as to how the fair has impacted the improved quality of young artists, but there is no denying that most of the works on show at this year’s fair are of an international standard.
Conceptual thinking is also part of the remarkable art on display, particularly highlighted in works by Aditya Novali (b. 1978), Tintin Wulia (b. 1972) and Recycle Experience.
Aditya Novali in Imagining the Mass of Things explores the physical presence of objects and their mental landscape.
Presenting just the frame of an object and the frame of a painting, he tries to link memories that are invisible to objects that are visible. He asks, what is more powerful?
Tintin Wulia, who has explored borders and passports for some time, is showing a video titled Falling, in which the ground on which passports stand is falling apart like loose sand, rendering the fallacy of the document considered the most important to travel the world.
Recycle Experience presents a giant toy with all the attributes of today’s robots, bringing together Super and Hero, while wondering whether the balancing power of a superhero in the past still holds in today’s political world.
Taking a ride with would-be religious believers, Idi Pangestu in his work I Love the Way You Are writes in would-be Arabic script flanked by kris made of pete (parkia speciosa), a popular vegetable with a strong smell.
Blurring the lines between low and high art, craft and fine art, is one of the features of contemporary art, particularly seen in Agustina Tri Wahyuningsih’s installation of handmade dolls titled Wayang Lakon Terwelu Girl Band.
Erianto, who was one of the award winners of the first Bandung Contemporary Art Awards when he pushed the boundaries of painting, now presents a realistic bicycle but with octagonal wheels to criticize the lack of space for cyclists.
Eddy Susanto’s painting Occidentalism: Speculations about Monalisa features the world renowned image as a commentary on ArtJog’s theme “Looking East”. This is confusing, he says. Why should we look east? WE ARE THE EAST.
With so much creative energy from young emerging artists, the new developments of the more senior artists are equally fascinating and particularly visualized by Mella Jaarsma and Sri Astari.
Mella explores human relationships in an installation featuring suggestive figures through male costumes and realistic deer feet. This is combined with a wall covered with magazine covers with article titles in bold, such as “The Second Sense”, “The Sensor”, “Non Sense”, “The Scent”, etc.
Astari who is known for her Javanese culture-based explorations for her contemporary work, presents a surprisingly different feat in a stirring installation titled Wild Woman and The Beast. Exploring the female psyche in its correlation to nature, she provides insight into the maturing of woman, whose wisdom goes back to nature and its inherent behavior.
Pintor Sirait’s giant plane hung at the beginning of the show is covered with articles from various newspapers and his iconic bullet traces. He explains that it represents the stagnation in our country and the lack of continuity both in the creative and the productive sphere.
All in all, ArtJog, organized by Heri Pemad Art Management with curator Bambang Toko Witjaksono, is an artist’s art fair and provides proof that ArtJog can be professional and match contemporary international standards without leaving out its unique, local features.
through July 28
Taman Budaya Yogyakarta