Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Fresh Equals to Honest

Happy New Year 2009!
New Year is always identified with reflection, contemplation and introspection on what we have achieved during the previous year. It always begins with new hope, dream and spirit, and so does the 39th visual art exhibition in Jogja Gallery. As a mark of our step to enter the beginning of 2009, this exhibition will raise a simple theme and free every artist to explore themselves on their works. What is going on today? Things concerning ourselves, our dreams and hopes, our closest neighborhood, our fine art issues up to the issues about the latest global discourses color the theme of every work that will be exhibited from 23 January to 22 February 2009.
This exhibition wants to start this New Year by exhibiting our artists’ new works, new ideas, new way of exposition and new technique. Theme that seems to be simple is seriously responded by the participating artists. Talking in term of technique, AT Sitompul presents his work that constitutes a revival of his painting work after for a long time he focused on printmaking technique. In his biodata, the last time he made painting exhibition was in 2003. According to him, one of ways to make our minds and souls refreshed is by doing something that is beyond our habits and works.
It is different with Daniel ‘Timbul’ Cahya Krisna who still sticks to printmaking art and expects to be able to bring something new amid the affluence of painting works. Due to his consistence, recently he has been awarded as a young artist who is very dedicated to printmaking (Academic Art Award #2, 2008). It is also important to record the existence of Kelompok Simponi, which was formed in 2007, consisting of 4 female artists who were born in 1980s, and have set off from different backgrounds of art major interests. Simponi, which stands for Sindikat Monster Poni (Syndicate of Monsters with Bangs), explore media of textiles and fibers to create interesting and amusing works that seem not to have distance with the audience.
Similarly, the works of Antoni Eka Putra, Andrew K. Jack, Dedy Sufriadi, I Ketut Teja Astawa, Pramono Pinunggul and Yusron Mudhakir put forward the main elements of artworks, namely color, line, texture, shape, space and composition. Antoni Eka Putra for this occasion is simpler in playing with line and color. Yet his work still looks impressive. Routine at times can imprison us; existence shall live without monotone but with mobility. That is Antoni’s statement. Almost similar, as far as I know, Yusron Mudhakir is consistent in emphasizing and discussing the quality of colors. However, he seems to put softer colors in his work titled Risalah Warna #2. Meanwhile, Dedy Sufriadi and Agus ‘Baqul’ Purnomo put texts as main element in their works. Andrew K. Jack, the only foreign artist, from New Zealand, wants to appear again and enrich the dynamics of Indonesian fine art after his last solo exhibition in the end of 2002 in Jakarta. For those knowing Andrew, theme related to fish is not a new thing for his works, but the way he finishes his works with resin is something that we rarely see in works of painting.
The presence of surrealism work belonging to Gusmen Heriadi and two abstract works belonging to two Balinese artists, I Made Supena and I Made Mahendra Mangku, shows a similar theme. It is about reflection and time. Request to retrospect on the significance of the values of opportunity, space and time is well described in their modest and harmonious works.
Take a look at the works of Agus Yulianto, Ahmad Sobirin, Asmualiawan, Erica Hestu Wahyuni, Heri Purwanto, Ida Bagus Komang Sindu Putra, I Nyoman Triarta, Niko Siswanto, RM Soni Irawan, Solichin, Komroden Haro and “Otje”. They have found and taken their inspirations from what is happening within them and in their closest neighborhoods. They are not boasting and talking about things that are so complicated. They just stick to the daily problems, rotation of the wheel of life, state of when one sustaining the other, and struggle to survive. These are symbolized by one of vehicle parts. Despites its little shape, it is very important because it can move and stop the other parts. See the work of Fransgupita, Engine Stop.
However, some of our artists still have idea to create works departing from political issues that are heating lately like the global economic recession and conflict in Middle East region which has become the world concern. The works of Abdul Fattah, Agus ‘Baqul’ Purnomo, Farhansiki, Khusna Hardiyanto and Robi Fathoni tell about the domination of United States of America, which has impacts on most countries.
This exhibition wants to bring new surprises following the abundance events during 2008 up to the beginning of this year. Surprise or freshness is certainly relative and subjective. My being fresh must be different with yours, and so must be with the freshness of the 31 artists participating in this visual art exhibition, FRESH 4 U. Hence, this exhibition indeed gives us new artworks with new significance. Although most of the artists and I agree that a fresh work is a work that is inspiring for its audience, what is more important is that the work must be honest.
We try to present this FRESH 4 U exhibition due to our anxiety of the situation and development of Indonesian fine art today. We would like to challenge the artists to be able to produce and exhibit artworks that are really different and refreshing. Is it right that our fine art is experiencing stagnancy? Is it right that our art market is depressing following the profusion of transactions in every corner of exhibition space in this country? An installation work of Tisna Sanjaya entitled Mobile Seniman (Mobile Artist) satirizes this assumption. Are we honest when creating work? Are we honest when talking? And, are we honest when doing transaction?
Nunuk Ambarwati
Program Manager of Jogja Gallery
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