FLOW – Indonesian Contemporary Art (curated by Rifky Effendy)



Press release

Galerie Michael Janssen is pleased to present Flow - Indonesian Contemporary Art, a group exhibition curatedd by Rifky Effendy with works by established as well as emerging Indonesian artists whose practices range from painting, sculpture, installation, performance and video.

Agung Kurniawan (*1968) reproduces images from family and press pictures with iron bars mounted directly on the wall. Reminiscent of trellis used as support for climbing plants the metal bars overlap with their own shadows and constitute a poetic statement about the fragility and vagueness of memories and offer a path to fragments of past actualities.

Erianto’s (*1983) trompe l’oeil paintings are created with a meticulous hyperrealist technique and resemble cardboard packages and wooden crates used to transport artworks. They make reference to the social realm of Indonesian art and its relation to the global art market pushing the boundaries of what painting can be.

Yuli Prayitno’s (*1974) installations and sculptures confront social issues such as gender and identity through a hybrid and humorous remix of forms and signs. In their unusual form of fetishism they recall Dadaist and Surrealist western avant-gardes and transform reality into staged scenarios.

Titarubi (*1968) reflects a passionate concern over problems of society through various mediums and creative paradigms. With the body as the main focus of her practice her oeuvre addresses the evolution of female self-perception.

In her practice Dita Gambiro (*1986) talks about different issues around her - a young woman experiencing contemporary urban culture in Indonesia. Her objects of braided synthetic hair and brass address the ambiguity related to domestic life and human relationships.

Melati Suryodarmo (*1969) creates powerful images captured and reiterated in long time performances that combine the ancient and the modern, the traditional pride and the condition of women in Indonesian society today. She creates icons that excavate the most intimate and atavistic origin of women’s instincts and seem to give a new role and meaning to the „feminine“.

In his videos Yusuf Ismail (*1983) explores various aspects of comedy and the humorous. His work often makes use of popular idioms from information technology circles and mass media. By using humor as a strategy, he delivers criticism and makes fun of certain sociological situations in which patterns of contemporary society have changed with the development of information technologies.

Influenced by his biographical interests J. Ariadhitya Pramuhendra’s (*1984) charcoal paintings explore the conception of the philosophical „self” and present momentary petitions for recognition by constantly emphasizing on re-assessing the “self” in relation to what constitutes identity, the moral and social in contemporary Indonesia.

Parallel to their individual practices Erika Ernawan (*1986) and Erik Pauhrizi (*1981) share a collaborative work based on issues of the involvement of the body. Their different experiences and backgrounds provide a challenge in making a collective body of work in which the transfer of life experiences and the physical body are the themes they foster and explore.

FLOW is a presentation of contemporary art from Indonesia featuring the works of 10 artists and represents a variety of themes as well as numerous artistic explorations that occurred in the last five years in Indonesia.
Without any doubt the globalization of the contemporary art market in the 21st century has finally came to a point in which the absorption of works of art from regions previously called „non-western“ or „peripheral“ has taken place. Preceded by the boom of the Chinese contemporary art market followed by India, it has now turned to Indonesia. In spite of the turmoil of the world economy and considering the lack of local infrastructure, Indonesia assumed the ambitious role to become a dynamic center for the development of contemporary art in Southeast Asia.

The works in the exhibition reflect the various problems that envelop Indonesian contemporary artists today that range from the turbulent memories of the country’s past history to the personal struggles with the current socio-cultural events and the outlook to the future amidst the paradox of global pessimism. The works represent an attitude of resistance to break away from the boundaries of the norm, dogmas, history and values of the constant flow facing changes.

Rifky Effendy, curator