We came late tonight. The music group, Sinten Remen had just finished performing their catchy and cute songs. The surroundings were still crowded, when we want to enter the gallery, which we found similar to last year’s Art Jog. Crowded and long queue.
ART|JOG|12 was the 5th event. After last year’s ART|JOG|11 that was held without adopting a certain theme, ART|JOG|12 took ‘Looking East – A Gaze upon Indonesian Contemporary Art’.
‘This theme was taken as an effort to look for the eastern world, as in the past, the western countries were competing in their search for natural resources and raw materials in the eastern region, including Indonesia.’ Said Bambang Toko Witjaksono, the curator of ART|JOG|12.
Looking East, was the epitome of Focus Group Discussion result during the last ART|JOG|11. At that time Lorenzo Rudolf (Art Stage Singapore Director, ex director of Art Basel, Swiss) said:
‘In my eyes, Indonesian art is strong. First because it workd like a scene. It does not only filled with the artists. I think there is no art scene in Asia which is strong enough, in the context of quantity due to works accumulation of many artists. I can compare it with China and India. However, India is far more fragmented.’
Nevertheless in the eastern fine arts, (especially) Indonesia is still attractive, worth to be seen and considered by the westerns. Just as in the past where they sail through the seas to get to the eastern world in their ambitious search for the abundant natural resources.
Just like the prior years, art|jog|12 also exhibited commission works of three local contemporary artists who embodied unique characteristics in their creative process. They transformed Taman Budaya Yogyakarta (Yogyakarta’s Culture Park) into a different place. It was Angki Purbandono who will redecorate Taman Budaya Yogyakarta into a contemporary spooky park.
"The Ghost Park is the manifestation of the artificial tropical fineness. The artificial beauty I create to reassure that we still have the original beauty."
"Park is a decent place for the moon and the sun, the god and the goddess, the king and the queen, the mother and the child, the husband and the wife, the police and the criminal, the dog and its owner, the cigarette seller and the smoker, the artist and the collector, the pauper and the landlord, the boss and the subordinate, the Balinese dancer, the writer and the reader."
"Ghosts are spirits, could be seen and not. They are also given names to distinguish their type and history such as Pocong, Kuntilanak, Sadako, and Genderuwo. But in the oher hand, there are many highly-grossed ‘ghostly’ icons as a symbol of lifestyle—to mark the power and also the beauty which may not be accepted by everyone.” He explained.
Moreover, I Made Widya Diputra or known as Lampung presented a giant 3D elephant statue in front of Taman Budaya Yogyakarta gallery.
This work was based on his critics of the current condition of Indonesia. A rich country with vast food resources but not all of its people are prosperous yet, which goes well with the saying ‘Famine in the Food Shed’. Visually, the elephant is a symbol of power and the coconut presents the natural resources.
Joko Dwi Avianto will make a bamboo installation to cover some parts of Taman Budaya Yogyakarta’s facade. This installation is a symbol of the transformed or even missing forest vegetation. The constellation of clusters that shelters human activities such as the human social activity. When these shelters are gone, the activities are also altered, and even traditions are also gone.
The bamboo is the manifestation of the vegetation transformation from natural into a shaped material that turned into the new shelters.
A considerable artworks from 155 artists which were chosen from Open Call Application will be exhibited, after going through the screening process by the artistic team of ART|JOG which were led by the curator of ART|JOG|12. The first selection stages were based on the photo of the artwork and its basic concept, display appropriateness, and whether the artwork suitable to be presented with the other artworks.
ART|JOG|12 also showed works from two international well-known artists in the Special Presentation. They were Ashley Bickerton (USA artist, now lives in Bali) and Wim Delvoye (Belgium). Not only that, ART|JOG|12 also still have more interesting activities. Will be held at the Military Societet Building, Taman Budaya Yogyakarta at Sunday, 15th July 2012 14.00-17.00 PM Artist Talk with Ashley Bickerton and Wim Delvoye. The event will be moderated by Enin Supriyanto (curator, writer) and Nicola Trezzi (FlashArt Magazine Editor) and Wang Zineng (Christie’s Auction) as the panelists.
What missed is Damien Hirts’s involvement in this big event. ‘Damien said before he could attend and participate, but beside of his conflicting schedule there was also a miscommunication between the committee and his manager.’
The other interesting activity is the institution Visit series. Where the participants will be invited to see local fine art scene footsteps and watch the creative process of the Indonesian Visual Art Archive (IVAA) artists, by Ruang MES56 and Studio Grafis Minggiran. This event will be held at Saturday, 21st July 2012, 10.00-17.00 PM. For those who are interested, the registration is open from 14th - 20th July 2012 at the ART|JOG|12 receptionist booth by showing valid university student ID.
And after waiting for a long while, finally we got the turn to enter the gallery. Like the the curator’s said,
"This event shows how Indonesian artists are searching for their identities, back to the east. The question now is, why is this search is recur? Is this related to the nation’s mentality, which is still suppressed by foreign hegemony? Or is this because the search is ‘only’ a strategy to be ‘accepted’ in the whirl of global art streams?"
So, don’t forget to see this exciting search of the Eastern World through the exhibited works. This event will be held until 24th July 2012.