A celebration of camaraderie
Andreas D. Arditya
The Jakarta Post
Dozens of artists with connections to Yogyakarta are participating in an exhibition titled 'ISI ISI' to celebrate their sense of community and togetherness.
The exhibition, presenting a total of more that 290 visual works of art by 139 artists, is being held at the Kemang 58 Gallery in South Jakarta from Feb. 19 to March 16.
Among the prominent artists participating in the exhibition are Soetopo, Kartika Affandi, Joko Pekik, Suwaji, Aming Prayitno, Bonyong Muniardie, Subroto SM, Nunung WS, Edi Sunaryo, Wiediantoro, Nisan Kristiyanto and Lugiono.
The works of younger artists are also on display from Cipto Purnomo, Dadlan Afrelno, Dgam Haryo, Joko Atmaja, Indra Dodi, Dewa Ngakan Made Ardana, Robert Kan, Agus TBR, Sigit Raharjo and Oetje Lamno.
The exhibition's organizer, D. Safitri A. of Talenta Organizer, said the participating artists came from various ages, histories, backgrounds and art genres.
'The spirit of togetherness and humility of the artists to come and collaborate is our basis for holding the exhibition. We hope the exhibition can encourage a spirit of unity among artists and color the Indonesian art scene,' Safitri said during the opening of the exhibition.
Some of the artists are alumni of the Indonesian Arts Institute (ISI) Yogyakarta, with others from other schools or institutions.
'Some are ISI, others are influenced by ISI. But it doesn't matter where they are from. More important is that they are here together,' said Suwarno Wisetrotomo, art critic and lecturer at ISI Yogyakarta.
Suwarno, in his curatorial note to the exhibition, explained the exhibition title to mean 'isen-isen', a Javanese term. Isen is derived from isi, which in both Indonesian and Javanese means 'content'.
Isen-isen means multiple content, but can also refer to filler forms in pattern of batik (Javanese traditional cloth). Isen-isen are small sized motifs that come in dozens of types and varieties, used to fill the main motifs of a batik pattern or fill space between the main motifs.
Suwarno said that like the multiple motifs, the exhibition had multilayered meanings, too.
'It's about the willingness of artists from different backgrounds to collaborate in a single exhibition in an effort to fill gaps in relationships and communication,' he said.
'The decline in togetherness and community cooperation are social losses, especially in Yogyakarta, where all people and all kinds of ideas can meet and empower each other,' Suwarno said.
Suwarno said the artists participating in the exhibition had gone through various experiences.
'Some of them are fighters, entering various arenas of thoughts and artwork. Some continuously struggle with possibilities of form, expressions and presentations. Some juggle ideas, art forms and cooperation. Some strongly believe in certain forms and expressions,' Suwarno said.
All the artwork presented is limited by size and presentation ' 35x35 centimeters and frameless.
'The size limitation has no philosophical meaning. It's all about practicality. The size limit makes the artwork medium-sized, easy to pack, easy to carry and easy to display,' Suwarno said.
Art curator-cum-collector Oei Hong Djien commented that the 'ISI ISI' put forward an out of the ordinary concept.
'What's being underlined in the exhibition is the companionship of Yogyakarta and ex-Yogyakarta artists and their pride in Yogyakarta,' he said.
Photos by JP/Nurhayati
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