Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Gala

Photos: Ferintus Karbon

Alia Swastika, the curator, is delivering her speech accompanied by Tubagus P. Svarajati and Mella Jaarsma.

IT WAS hot and bright afternoon, Saturday 15, 2007, when some students entered the space. They, by seeing the exhibition-to-be-opened “The Past-The Forgotten Time”, spent their time before ‘buka puasa’, that is the time – usually a few minutes before 6 o’clock in the evening – when Mosleems are allowed to eat after a full-happy-day-fasting.

The surprising thing is the fact that they are not only Indonesian but also some students from abroad. They, according to Riris – student of IKIP PGRI who become a teacher, surely, when she has completed her study and directly gets job! – come from China, Vietnam, South Africa, and a list of countries I forgot. They are part of some students who are studying Bahasa in some Semarang’s universities. Well, it’s good to know we have some new audiences.

The exhibition was afficiated by Mrs Widjajanti Dharmowijono. Before her, I – Tubagus P. Svarajati – announced to audiences a brief explanation why such event was conducted here. And Mella Jaarsma, the artist who owned – with his husband – Cemeti Art House (CAH), gave her speech on the mutual cooperation between CAH and RSY. Then Alia Swastika, the artistic manager of CAH and the curator of the exhibition, delivered some notes on the background what the theme of the exhibition is, the reasons why the artists were chosen, and so on.

Mrs Dharmowijono noted that we Indonesian usually blame the past, the history, whenever we fail to construct our own. She said, we do not forget the past, but neither we hide before it. We could choose to write down our own history and probably that is what we called as freedom. In a way, whether we like it or not, Indonesian and the Dutch have shared history. It is cliché when we call that history equals to ‘his/her story’. But is that true history belongs to whom has the power to reign?

In the other part Mrs Dharmowijono said, “We in turn were not as passive viewers only, but also bring our knowledge, experiences and feelings to interpret ourself and to every art-works. This exhibition which involved six artists is amazing for it also comes from great ideas.”

After all there was an artists’ talks delivered by Wimo Ambala Bayang and Yuli Prayitno, two of six artists who are exhibiting. The curator also gave her speech. And the discussion was moderated by Seno Satrio Prakoso from Widya Mitra Foundation.***

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Past-The Forgotten Time

[“The Past-The Forgotten Time” is going to show at Saturday, September 15, and goes to October 8, 2007. The artists are: Agus Suwage, Eko Nugroho, Irwan Ahmett, Prilla Tania, Wimo Ambala Bayang, and Yuli Prayitno. Mrs Widjajanti Dharmowijono, a doctor candidate of Amsterdam University, will officiate the exhibition and it followed by artists’ talks then. The management of Rumah Seni Yaitu welcome art lovers to enjoy this exhibition with no admission.]

DURING 1930-1960 the social, political and cultural lives of Indonesian sities cited changed. Some scholars from Gajah mada University researched these changes with the help of Netherlands Institute of War Documentation/ NIOD, Amsterdam. The project is called “Indonesia Across Orders: The Reorganization of Indonesian Society, 1930-1960”.

On the cultural level, the reality of urban symbolism in Indonesia belongs to its past historical process. How the changes happened from cities with colonial-culture symbolism to become ones with the Indonesian-cultural signs at the era before 1960? Are the images and the symbolic cultural identities of postcolonial urban Indonesia truly different than what they were proviously?

This exhibition is interpretation of six Indonesian artists on the research. Those artists are selected by the management of Cemeti Art House, as the producer of the exhibition, for the reasons what they are doing is based on research processes besides their strong visual aspects.

“The Past-The Forgotten Time” was exhibited at Artoteek Den Haag-The Hague, NIOD-Amsterdam, Cemeti Art House-Yogyakarta, and Erasmushuis-Jakarta. Then it is going to BizArt-Shanghai (Nov 2007) and Singapore Fringe Festival 2008.***

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Great Hamad!

Hamad Khalaf (center), Mr Deddy Irianto (left), and Mr Alexander Ming (right) at the Opening.

Photo: Ferintus Karbon

Hamad Khalaf, the Kuwait born artist, delivered his speech in Urban and Environment Dept., Post Graduate Program, of Soegijapranata Catholic University, Semarang, Friday (7/9). He shared his ideas based on his art works. These, in bare words, are about ‘the art and the war’.

"Boot" by Hamad Khalaf
2007 - acrylic, enamel on canvas - 130X130 cm

Some lecturers, students, and persons who are interested on arts enthusiastically attended his class. For some people it’s quite strange to know a Kuwait citizen being a contemporary artist of which Kuwait has famous reputation as a rich petroleum country in Gulf Coast. But, truly speaking, Khalaf is an exception.

He also an exception in the recent Indonesian art scene for the reasons that he was invited exhibiting his works at some leading galleries and alternative art spaces in the same time. He did exhibited at Gaya Fusion Gallery, Nadi Gallery, ITB Soemardja Gallery, and Rumah Seni Yaitu. And next October he is going to show his works to public at Kedai Kebun Forum, Yogyakarta. The other reason is he achieved excellent reviews from Indonesian big medias, such as Kompas, Media Indonesia, Jakarta Post, and also Suara Merdeka. Some critics mentioned that Khalaf’s works are interesting and unique.

Khalaf is exploring historical artifacts – such as the ones from Gulf War e.g. military helmets, uniforms, gloves, gas masks, flasks, and others – and painted them with ancient Greek mythology. “Khalaf blows life into these Iraqi military items with artistic gusto,” says senior art writer Carla Bianpoen.

Krisna Murti, a senior Indonesian artist who is working with video, enjoyed Khalaf’s show at Rumah Seni Yaitu, Friday afternoon (7/9). Mr Murti, who is also known as an influential art critic, was very pleased to see Khalaf’s works.

And Mr Murti is going to show his premier solo exhibition next March. Definitely he is exhibiting at Rumah Seni Yaitu.***