Harper’s Bazaar Indonesia launches this year’s Art Jakarta on 28 July 2017, gathering exhibitors within the 7,500-square-metre Ballroom of The Ritz-Carlton.
Art Radar takes you through the first-established and biggest art fair in Indonesia and looks at 5 galleries from 5 different countries.
At its ninth edition, Art Jakarta opens to the public on 28 July 2017. With an attendance of more than 45,000 and 42 participating galleries last year, the Indonesian fair retains its position as one of Asia’s most exciting art events for the season.
Art Radar previews 5 gallery presentations at this year’s edition of the fair.
1. Pearl Lam Galleries (Hong Kong/Shanghai/Singapore)
Korean master painter Kim Tschang-Yeul (b. 1929, present-day North Korea) will make his Indonesian debut at Pearl Lam Galleries’ booth this summer at Art Jakarta. The artist is best known as one of the leaders of the Korean Art Informel movement, which gained traction during the 1950s and 1960s. Pearl Lam Galleries will be presenting one of his signature “water drop” paintings, known for their heightened photorealist qualities. In Waterdrops, an oversized, single, solitary droplet trails down a narrow brown canvas.
The trauma and grief experienced during the Korean War became the motivation for creating the waterdrop paintings, as Kim sought relief from the continuous act of painting the droplets over and over again. He has had solo exhibitions mounted at institutions such as the Gwangju Museum of Art, Gwangju (Korea), National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (Taiwan) and Busan Museum of Art, Busan (Korea). In 2016, the Kim Tschang-Yeul Museum of Art opened in Jeju island, Korea to honour the artist.
Other works to check out at Pearl Lam Galleries’ booth include those by two seminal Chinese artists: Zhu Jinshi (b. 1954, China) and Su Xiaobai (b. 1949, Hubei, China). Part of a generation of internationally educated Chinese artists during the 1980s, both artists furthered their art studies in Germany. Eventually, however, both artists returned to China, bringing with them their respective art practices that dealt with abstraction. Zhu Jinshi’s Non-Calligraphy (2016) is a good example of his later work, featuring thick impasto strokes of colour. Both Zhu and Su have been widely exhibited. Zhu has held solo exhibitions at the Yuan Art Museum (Beijing) and Inside-Out Art Museum (Beijing), while Su has had solo exhibitions at the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (Taiwan), Langen Art Gallery (Germany) and Today Art Museum (Beijing), among others.
2. Yavuz Gallery (Singapore)
A newcomer to the fair, Yavuz Gallery’s first presentation at Ar Jakarta showcases two artists: Indonesian-born, Singapore-based Boedi Widjaja (b. 1975, Solo City, Indonesia), and Paris-born, Istanbul-raised SARP (b. 1991, Paris, France).
Boedi Widjaja’s Lay Down Your Weapon, Follow Me (2016) is constructed out of 28 pinhole cameras in four tiers of seven, held in place by a central brass ring. Covered by pecis, the pinhole cameras produce negative print images of the former president of Indonesia, Sukarno, delivering speeches in various locations. Inspired by the peci as a symbol or emblem of national identity, Widjaja’s work ruminates over the Indonesian identity from the standpoint of one who spent a large part of his life away from his birthplace. Widjaja spent a large part of his formative years away from his parents, and, as he puts it, often “rotating amongst stranger-families”. His works probe themes regarding belonging and diaspora. His work is also being currently shown at the Diaspora Pavilion at this year’s edition of the Venice Biennale.
In his photographic works, colourful patterns featured in tourist publications produced by the Turkish government, as well as patterns found from popular landmarks such as the Hagia Sophia, have been scanned and projected onto human hands. Lütuf (2017) and Dua (2016) are large-scale archival prints from the artist’s “Masallah” series of works. The series features highly stylised geometric and decorative art that had developed, in part, from the restriction against depicting human figures. However, by projecting these patterns onto human hands, SARP evinces the tension between modernity and tradition in his works. In Turkey, rhetoric often turns towards projecting an idealised view of what is slowly becoming a more authoritarian political system drawn from older Ottoman values. Investigating disenchantment with current political discourse within this context, the artist challenges the political development within Turkey today.
3. Galerie Joaquin (Philippines)
With long, thin necks, oversized heads and traditional garb, Dominic Rubio’s (b. 1970, Laguna, Philippines) trademark figures evoke Philippine’s colonial past. Drawing on genres and techniques of painting that developed during the years of Spanish colonisation, such as the Tipos de Pais style of painting created by seminal Filipino painter Damian Domingo, Rubio often depicts his figures in idyllic, recreational family settings.
Rubio’s works seem to romanticise the years of Spanish colonial history; yet, upon closer inspection, Rubio speaks to the nostalgia surrounding the past. His works stylise, almost to the point of making it surreal, common Philippine notions of their collective past, building on traditional drawings created by painters such as Domingo that lend the Philippine colonial years their distinct visual identity in books and other popular media.
Rubio has held shows in New York, Hong Kong and Singapore. In 2016, he unveiled a mural entitled The Great Promenade of Philippine-American Friendship that has become a landmark feature at the Philippine Embassy in Washington DC.
4. Sun Contemporary (South Korea)
Cheong Kwang Ho (b. 1959, Daejeon, South Korea) has built an oeuvre of delicately wrought iron and copper sculptures. His sculptural works are often exercises in spatial relations, where they are often seemingly two-dimensional upon first glance. Moreover, his sculptures often cross the boundary between fine art and everyday, mundane objects: pots, leaves and other items have been subjects of his works. At Art Jakarta, his work The Letters (2010) is a brass wall sculpture, depicting various Chinese characters winding their way across. His works have been collected by the National Museum of Modern Art in Kwacheon, Seoul Museum of Art, Leeum Samsung Museum of Art and more.
Also at Sun Contemporary’s booth is Yoo Hwasu’s Unrealistic Space (2017). Made out of fabric and oil on canvas, this work depicts doll-like figures and knights on horses cavorting amongst tall grass and leaves. Yoo’s artistic practice revolves around creating such utopia-like scenes, using art as a means of creating this fictitious world where it is “filled with narcissistic fantasy”. Her works often carry a quality of decorative artificiality, narrowly crossing into artifice.
5. La Lanta Fine Art (Thailand)
With four Thai artists, La Lanta Fine Art is a booth not to be missed. Emerging artist Pannaphan Yodmanee (b. 1988) will be presented at La Lanta Fine Art’s booth. Yodmanee’s works often revolve around Buddhist philosophy and concepts, creating works that incorporate found objects, rocks, minerals and other material that are arranged into beautiful abstract works. At Art Jakarta 2017, her work The Powerful Emotions of the Ocean (2016) depicts a rolling ocean, resembling a marbled texture that conveys the strength of the ocean waves. Yodmanee investigates the human phenomena of loss and devastation, as well as notions of karmic cycles of life. Questing towards reason and truth, Yodmanee has received several accolades, including the 11th Benesse Prize at Singapore Biennale (2016), top prizes in the Thai Traditional Painting Awards (2013), as well as the Young Thai Artist Awards (2006 – 2007).
Also at the booth will be a work by Chamnan Chongpaiboon, an artist with a flair for colour and a loud graphic style. Influenced by pointillism and Aboriginal dotting techniques, Chongpaiboon forms a unique visual language through the merger of these two distinct styles. His works often incorporate continuous streams of dots into upbeat, pop art works that often depict women in fashion-inspired images.
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