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ARTJOG ushers in new era with intriguing pieces

Bambang Muryanto and Sri Wahyuni

The Jakarta Post

Yogyakarta  /  Fri, July 26, 2019  /  04:40 pm
ARTJOG ushers in new era with intriguing pieces

Thought-provoking: Visitors view Andrita Yuniza Orbandi’s Whirlwind of Time at the opening of the prestigious art festival, ARTJOG MMXIX, on Thursday. This year marks a milestone, as the month-long event has rebranded itself as an art festival from its 2008 inception as an art fair. (JP/Tarko Sudiarno)

The month-long ARTJOG opened its doors on Thursday evening with some thought-provoking artwork to turn the page on a new chapter as Yogyakarta’s premier contemporary art festival.

One such piece is a tunnel made of bamboo that marks the exit to the ARTJOG exhibition space at the Jogja National Museum (JNM). Visitors can only pass through the tunnel in one direction.

“No, you cannot go back. You will damage the artwork,” a nearby guard told a visitor.

The tunnel, which resembles a traditional fish trap, is an installation art by revered artist Sunaryo. Titled Bubu Waktu (Time trap), the installation invites us to ponder our relationship with time.

A walk through time: A visitor walks through a tunnel-shaped bamboo art installation titled 'Bubu Waktu' (Time Trap) by Sunaryo at ARTJOG, which is being held at the Jogja National Museum in Yogyakarta.A walk through time: A visitor walks through a tunnel-shaped bamboo art installation titled 'Bubu Waktu' (Time Trap) by Sunaryo at ARTJOG, which is being held at the Jogja National Museum in Yogyakarta. (JP/Tarko Sudiarno)

Sunaryo is one of the five multidisciplinary artists taking part in the ARTJOG special project. The four others are artist Handiwirman Saputra, filmmaker Riri Riza, painter-sculptor Teguh Ostenrik and the Piramida Gerilya collaboration between artistic husband-wife duo Indieguerillas and award-winning product designer Singgih S. Kartono.

This year’s ARTJOG MMXIX marks a milestone, as the event has rebranded itself as an art festival from its 2008 inception as an art fair. Under this new concept, the festival aims to broaden its collaboration with artists of all backgrounds and to grow its engagement with the public.

“This is an extraordinary and timely move,” Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said as she opened the festival on Thursday evening.

A fashion presentation by noted Yogyakartan designer Lulu Lutfi Labibi and musician Dewa Budjana’s performance added festive flair the opening ceremony, during which ARTJOG conferred the Young Artist Award to Natasha Tontey, Andrita Yuniza and Enka Komariah.

Green concern: Renowned artist Handiwirman Saputra creates 'Taman Organik Oh Plastik' (Organic garden oh plastic) for ARTJOG. The artist recently returned from Italy where he showcased his works at the 58th Venice Art Biennale, making him the third Indonesian artist to participate in the biennale.Green concern: Renowned artist Handiwirman Saputra creates 'Taman Organik Oh Plastik' (Organic garden oh plastic) for ARTJOG. The artist recently returned from Italy where he showcased his works at the 58th Venice Art Biennale, making him the third Indonesian artist to participate in the biennale. (JP/Tarko Sudiarno)

Co-curator Agung “Jennong” Hujatnika said that this year’s theme, “Arts In Common”, referred to the collaborative process of creating an artwork between an artist and the community to produce new aesthetics. Meanwhile, the secondary theme of “Common | Space” was a metaphor for society and the Earth, as well as nature and everything in it.

“The common space we now live in needs new perspectives, definitions, repositioning, rethinking, reflection and criticism,” said Jennong, who curated the festival with Ignatia Nilu.

The featured artwork of 39 Indonesian and foreign artists attempt to provoke visitors to think about their relationships to the space they live in, particularly nature.

One such piece is the collaborative Artificial Green by Nature Green by Bagus Pandega and Kei Imazu that highlights deforestation. The work consists is an oil palm-powered painting machine, which is fitted with a device that converts the electric current from the tree to operate the painting machine.

Australian art consultant Cassandra Lehman, who attended the festival’s VIP preview on Thursday, said she was impressed with the featured works.

“This is a rich and exciting exhibition. I love it,” said Lehman, who has been a regular visitor to ARTJOG since 2009.

To live up to its new festival concept, ARTJOG is presenting daily shows involving a total of 88 performing artists and groups until the final day of the festival on Aug. 25.

At the opening ceremony, ARTJOG director Heri Pemad expressed his hope the government might provide more support for the arts.

“We would like the government to provide adequate infrastructure for [holding] art events,” he said. (ste)