Art Radar introduces three young artists whose performance art is shaking up the Indonesian art scene.
Kelvin Atmadibrata, Aziz Amri and FJ Kunting exploit the body to explore ideas of identity, lived experience, and tangible and invisible boundaries in today’s world.
How can art function as a tool to communicate both microscopic and macroscopic ideas in relation to the body, space and life itself? Is there the potential to understand something new through an applied shift in perspective? Identity is a multifaceted composition, which consists of culminations of a lived experience through relation to boundaries made visible by demarcations – such as borders and legislations, among others. Regulations possess immediate amendment to understanding the way the body exists in the world, considerations of location-specific works, social practices and internalised ideas. These concepts are manifested in the multimedia boundary pushing works of emerging Indonesian artists Kelvin Atmadibrata, Aziz Amri and FJ Kunting.
The concerns of these artists living and working in Indonesia today are societal, personal, immediate and expansive. Social and participatory elements are core components of their works. Atmadibrata, Amri and Kunting all push beyond traditional materialisations in their art practice. This is evident in the incorporation of multiple media including painting, photography, sculpture and live performance pieces to explore the conceptual concerns central to their works. Each of the artists creates work domestically within the context of their shared home, Indonesia, as well as internationally. The international festival participation permits the exchange of ideas, methodology and approach, among others. A shared element of collaboration in these artists’ works are manifested on both the performer’s and the audience’s end.
1. Kelvin Atmadibrata: a dialogue in movement
Kelvin Atmadibrata (b. 1988) lives and works in Jakarta, Indonesia. He studied at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, where he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interactive Media from the School of Art, Design and Media. His interdisciplinary practice primarily incorporates performance and sculpture. He explores identity in relation to bodily shifts, as seen in puberty, as well as the societal in regards to the perpetuation of erotica and masculine ideology, among others. In his works he creates a dialogue rooted in movement. Atmadibrata’s work has a resonance far beyond the initial encounter of the performance. He pushes the limits of his body, through both physical and psychological applications. His actions are realised with an immense level of precision, graceful and contained. Despite the intensity of the physical tasks he takes on, the strain of his postures are somewhat masked by the serene expression on his face. The work of Atmadibrata urges the viewer to consider their own bodily relationship, specific to location of the encounter where he and the audience coexist. Recent performances include his participation in the Performance Art Resource Orchestrator (PARO) International Festival in Singapore (2017).
2. Aziz Amri: encounters between private and public
Aziz Amri (b. 1994) lives and works in Jakarta, Indonesia. He received his Bachelor of Computer Science and is pursuing his Masters in Design at the Institute of Technology of Bandung. Amri is also co-running Sepersepuluh, a gallery focused in showing performance. He is a multidisciplinary artist, working in illustration and graphic design, whose works often take form in live performance. Amri’s works are visually arresting, and deal with responsiveness to encounters where one comes of age and the silence around issues. The images provide the space for a viewer to contemplate life, death and moments in-between. He embraces the tension between private and public spaces, as he presents works both within the context of the gallery as well as outdoor venues. Through sharing photographic documentation of his domestic projects, his works can be experienced by audiences beyond Jakarta, sometimes in real time through live video feeds. In a recent durational project entitled Laurel Wreath, Amri exerts his body in diverse actions. Through the application of focus and balance, he is able to alter the viewer’s perceptions. The images are surreal and evocative of cycles in life, suggesting Amri’s coming to a new realisation, akin to a rebirth, or his move towards another phase in his life and practice.
3. FJ Kunting: endurance of the body
FJ Kunting (b. 1982) lives and works in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. His practice comprises performance and painting. He is most interested in experimental ways of working, such as the ideas that took on variant forms as seen from the artists in the Fluxus movement. His works are conceptually born, and are concerned with varied levels of relationships that the body can have at any given time and site. Dealing largely with identity and ideology constructs, Kunting utilises endurance as his primary tool in his live performance works. His works are realised in both gallery spaces or in the public squares to permit different levels of audience engagement. Over extended intervals of time, he repeats difficult actions, which are made more difficult as the work continues.
Evidenced in the documentation of his performances in the international festivals PARO, Performance Art Resource Orchestrator in Singapore, and KIPAF, Kolkata International Performance Art Festival in India, Kunting wore a plastic hat filled with bubble fluid and breathed into it through a straw device. It can be seen in these images that a large amount of breath was exerted. The result was the cause and effect relationship of the body to the object, which resulted in an overflow where the fluid bubbled over, down Kunting’s body and onto the floor. This is a poetic metaphor for sexuality and identity, among other references. There is a serene quality to the work. One can see the massive amounts of energy Kunting exerts to produce such a minute result, and for that, it becomes monumental.
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