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Jakarta Post
The Jakarta Post
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Manifesto #5 Messages beyond aesthetics

  • Cemara Dinda

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Thu, May 12 2016 | 09:31 am
Manifesto #5 Messages beyond aesthetics Menjadi Indonesia (2015) by Ronald Manullang (Courtesy of Galeri Nasional)" border="0" height="201" width="509">Menjadi Indonesia (2015) by Ronald Manullang (Courtesy of Galeri Nasional)

Entering its fifth year, “Manifesto” the contemporary art biennial hosted by the National Gallery in Central Jakarta reflects on urban flow in society.

Under the theme Arus (Flow), this year Manifesto presents a bold collection of paintings, sculptures, photographs, art installations, videos and murals from 35 established artists, including Agus Suwage, Entang Wiharso, F. Sigit Santoso, Ronald Manulang, Teguh Ostenrik and Yani Maryani Sastranegara.

From May 4 to 30, the public will get the chance to immerse themselves in contemporary works that deconstructs the notion of a non-utilitarian perspective of art, to an instrument of expression.

Asikin Hasan, one of two curators for the exhibition, said the selected artists express what troubles our society today and explore areas through which we can improve. This is especially unique in the rapidly expanding realm of technology, urbanization and mass media.

“This conviction contributes to a flow that has inspired them [and] to the potential role of art in that it is considered capable of encouraging a change either personally, socially and culturally,” he said.

 The other curator, Rizki A. Zaelani, said they had tried to arrange the artworks in such a way that the gallery space was maximized and thus allowed the different mediums to merge.

 “I try to see similarities in each and every [artwork and organize them] into a coherent narration of the theme, to create a flow,” he said during a press tour at the opening of the biennial exhibition recently.

In the exhibition, critical views on urban issues take center stage.

Untuk Dan Atas Nama Orang Ramai #9 (2016) by Diyanto (Photo by Cemara Dinda)Untuk Dan Atas Nama Orang Ramai #9 (2016) by Diyanto (Photo by Cemara Dinda)

The artwork Bandung Yang Semakin Sempit (Bandung Increasingly Cramped) by artist Isa Perkasa was created using patches and lumps of Bandung soil encircled by a cloth tape measure. Essentially, the installation work portrays Perkasa’s anxiety regarding Bandung’s cultural and land degeneration at the hands of development.

The painting titled Refleksi Pilar-Pilar Busway (Reflection of Busway Pillars) by Ivan Hariyanto, symbolizes progress using light as a main focal point. “It is a reflection of urbanization characterized by light, recorded in a painting,” Rizki said.

Likewise, Gigih Wiyono’s painting Ibu di Tanah Marah (Mother on Angry Soil) is a vibrant call to return to our roots. The color red is used in combination with figures of women, earthly elements like clouds and soil that results in a metaphor of life, coinciding with the word Ibu (mother) and the gift of child bearing.

The painting is a depiction of timeless wisdom such as mutual cooperation or gotong-royong, and an appreciation of culture and for the environment which are both slowly fading away.

“We are created from soil and, imagine, soil never rests to provide. Clouds never cease to provide blessings with rain,” Gigih said.

Head of the National Gallery of Indonesia Tubagus ‘Andre’ Sukmana hopes to raise awareness and appreciation of what has been achieved.

Siklus (2012) by Agus Suwage (Courtesy of Galeri Nasional)

PREMIUM Menjadi Indonesia ( 2015 ) by Ronald Manullang (Courtesy of Galeri Nasional)Entering its fifth year, “Manifesto” the contemporary art biennial hosted by the National Gallery in Central Jakarta reflects on urban flow in society.Under the theme Arus (Flow), this year Manifesto presents a bold collection of paintings, sculptures, photographs, art installations, videos and murals from 35 establish...

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