The Jakarta Post
Visitors take a look at the undersea installation by artist Mulyana at ARTJOG 2018 at the Jogja National Museum in Yogyakarta. The exhibition, showcasing the works of 54 international and local artists, runs until June 4. (JP/Tarko Sudiarno)
The country’s biggest contemporary art event, ARTJOG 2018, kicked off at the Jogja National Museum (JNM) in Gampingan, Wirobrajan, Yogyakarta, where ARTJOG is being held from May 4 to June 4. The event offers a new look and curatorial concept compared to previous events.
Heri Pemad of Heri Pemad Art Management, the event’s organizer, said this year’s ARTJOG was indeed different from previous ones, especially in terms of appearance and curatorial concept.
“You will promptly notice it once you are here,” ARTJOG 2018’s curator Bambang “Toko” Witjaksono told The Jakarta Post on the sidelines of the VIP preview, which was held prior to the official opening ceremony on Friday afternoon.
Entering the venue, visitors will be impressed by the knitting work of this year’s commissioned artist, Mulyana. Titled Sea Remembers, the installation is placed in a dome-like exhibition room, creating a feeling of being in an undersea world with its colorful coral reefs and fish.
The hallway has a brand new look thanks to Nasirun’s Hutan Dilipat (Folded Forest) installation made of tissue, paper, yarn, spinning tools and video measuring 7.5 meters in length. It is installed on the hallway’s ceiling from end to end.
Bambang said to give the event a new look, his team also created a curved door leading visitors to the stairs heading to the second floor of the venue. The team even had to break down some walls for three new curved doors in the building to connect one exhibition room to another to ease the flow of visitors.
Participating artists, performers and merchants were asked to follow the theme of this year’s ARTJOG, “Enlightenment: Towards Various Futures”.
“All the participating performers and merchants have to follow the theme in presenting their respective [works],” Bambang said, adding that during the event, ARTJOG would present daily performances with three to four individual or group performers and merchant projects involving 80 participants.
Other fringe programs include curatorial tours, meeting the artists and young artist awards dedicated to participating artists under 33 years old.
Since its first inception in 2008, the annual ARTJOG has attracted not just local art lovers but also international ones.
Read also: Jakpost explores Yogyakarta
“It’s very cool. I for sure will not hesitate to return for ARTJOG in the future if I am given another chance to do so,” said Leni Marliza from Tanjung Pinang, Riau Islands province.
British expat Esther Lutman, who flew from Jakarta, and her visiting friend, Catherine Howell, expressed the same enthusiasm, saying the displays offered them inspiration as museum curators back in London, England.
“This is an amazing display of artworks,” said Howell, adding that she had heard about ARTJOG from a friend and decided to attend the opening event on Friday.
New Zealand print and collage artist Davina Stephens, who has been staying in Denpasar, Bali, on and off for the last seven years, quickly found her favorite artwork.
“I really enjoy the ones displayed at the first two floors. I especially enjoy Gilang Fradika’s paintings and illustrative artist Ronald Ventura’s works presenting great illustrations of the many faces of human beings, like half human, half animal,” she said.
Having visited Yogyakarta for ARTJOG for the third time, Stephens said she saw much progress in the organization of the annual art event, a sentiment that participating artist Mella Jaarsma concurred with.
“It’s been an interesting development with ARTJOG, especially in the way they are convincing young artists to come here to the event to see these artworks. This is really amazing, the spirit they have,” she said.
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