LO­CAL ART SCENES

The birth of young artists also rep­re­sents the sus­tain­abil­ity of the art scene in a city. These art lovers ob­serve what is hap­pen­ing in the art scenes of Yo­gyakarta, Bali and Jakarta.

Harper's Bazaar Art (Indonesia) - - Table Of Content - By Brigitta Is­abella

as a city of art and the “mecca” to young artists in in­done­sia, yo­gyakarta holds a rep­u­ta­tion that has been em­bed­ded since the be­gin­ning of our na­tion’s in­de­pen­dence. in the book by claire holt, Art in In­done­sia, Con­ti­nu­ities and Change (cor­nell univer­sity, 1967), holt writes that in the mid 1950s, cul­ture in yo­gyakarta ex­pe­ri­enced a rapid devel­op­ment and in­tense dy­nam­ics. many artists move to the city to study in akademi seni rupa in­done­sia (in­done­sia’s fine art academy, now in­sti­tut seni in­done­sia, isi) and also be­cause the gov­ern­ment’s branch of­fice of cul­ture ac­tively or­ga­niz­ing ex­hi­bi­tions and pro­vid­ing sub­sidy to artists, was placed in yo­gyakarta.

over 50 years af­ter­wards, the pulse of this thrilling art life in yo­gyakarta still re­mains. the rhythm of art ac­tiv­i­ties is filled with nu­mer­ous reg­u­lar events, such as bi­en­nale Jogja and Fes­ti­val Ke­se­nian Yo­gyakarta (fky) that have been held since the 1980s. other than these big events, va­ri­ety of in­de­pen­dent art rooms, ei­ther sup­ported by huge funds or small ini­tia­tives, con­trib­ute in spin­ning the wheel of art in its own way. com­pared to the work­ing char­ac­ter­is­tics of artists in big cities like Jakarta and ban­dung, one of the big dif­fer­ences in the ac­tiv­i­ties of yo­gyakarta-based artists is their in­stinct to get to­gether as a col­lec­tive. this gath­er­ing strat­egy re­minds us of sang­gar sys­tem, a com­mu­nal study­ing ground for artists - young and old – to ex­change knowl­edge.

the en­vi­ron­ment con­trib­utes to the fact that most of art prac­tices by the young artists in yo­gyakarta to­day can­not be sep­a­rated from the col­lec­tive cul­ture of the artists from pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion. many young artists have started a ca­reer in dis­play­ing their work in al­ter­na­tive art spa­ces man­aged by artists, such as rumah seni cemeti, Kedai Ke­bun fo­rum, Vi­avia or mes 56 that were es­tab­lished in the 1990s-2000s. as time goes by, nat­u­rally these art rooms that were once con­sid­ered al­ter­na­tive have now be­come a pa­tron in­sti­tu­tion in the en­vi­ron­ment of con­tem­po­rary art in yo­gyakarta.

how­ever, we can also wit­ness the emerg­ing of new col­lec­tive art spa­ces ini­ti­ated by young artists like ace house, lir space, ketjil­berg­erak and lifepatch. sev­eral amongst these art col­lec­tives and spa­ces ap­peared in mid 2000s. they worked col­lec­tively and man­aged the space to hold ex­hi­bi­tions and art dis­cus­sions. yet, what is in­ter­est­ing is the ca­pa­bil­ity of these new art spa­ces to reach the young­sters who are not that fa­mil­iar to the cir­cle of yo­gyakarta’s con­tem­po­rary art. chal­lenges in these new spa­ces are ob­vi­ously dif­fer­ent to the con­text of the emerg­ing of al­ter­na­tive spa­ces be­fore them.

lir space was ini­ti­ated by the cou­ple mira as­rin­ingtyas (cu­ra­tor) and Dito yu­wono (artist) in medio 2011. lir space has a restau­rant and a small shop to sup­port var­i­ous art ac­tiv­i­ties. they usu­ally show­case young artists who have dis­played their first solo ex­hi­bi­tions. lir space runs the exlab (ex­hi­bi­tion lab­o­ra­tory) pro­gram that gives a chance for two to four young artists to process to­gether, be men­tored and at­tend work­shops with se­nior artists for three months to work on their solo ex­hi­bi­tion at lir space.

forms of in­for­mal art stud­ies for young artists

Last­ing, chang­ing and mov­ing: art prac­tices of young artists in yo­gyakarta

are also of­fered by ace house through three mus­ke­teers pro­gram. for three months, three elected young artists get as­sis­tance from ace house’s artists to share and ex­change knowl­edge about the pro­duc­tion process of their art. ace house was es­tab­lished in 2011 by a bunch of artists in their 30s who ac­tively started to make art in the 2000s. Works of the artists at ace house use youth cul­ture lan­guage to grab the growth of the lat­est pop­u­lar cul­ture.

the urge at ace house to be­come col­lec­tive ap­peared af­ter the re­flux of con­tem­po­rary arts in the mid 2000s that dragged along the young artists into the art mar­ket bub­ble. in 2014, ace house ran a non-profit space of­fer­ing an ex­hi­bi­tion pro­gram, dis­cus­sions with artists, and in­for­mal art stud­ies. ace house’s aware­ness to be­come col­lec­tive is clearly dif­fer­ent to the col­lec­tivism na­ture of the al­ter­na­tive spa­ces known be­fore. the in­sta­bil­ity of art mar­ket has made young artists feel the urge to work col­lec­tively in or­der to sus­tain their art prac­tices with­out hav­ing to fully de­pend on the mar­ket.

it looks like the ten­dency to build col­lec­tive­ness and al­ter­na­tive space in the young artists to­day marks the im­por­tance of art stud­ies be­yond for­mal in­sti­tu­tions. the need of space to learn to­gether comes from the fact that art schools like isi have not re­ally pro­duc­tively gen­er­ated crit­i­cal dis­courses about con­tem­po­rary art. Ketjil­berg­erak com­mu­nity, es­tab­lished in 2006, has fur­ther on tried to reach school year stu­dents to en­cour­age pub­lic art ac­tiv­i­ties with the pur­pose of build­ing crit­i­cal dia­logues about so­cial sit­u­a­tions in the so­ci­ety. mean­while, lifepatch, es­tab­lished in 2012, ad­mits it­self as the so­ci­ety ini­tia­tive in arts, science, and tech­nol­ogy. lifepatch fo­cuses on the ef­fort to bridge the col­lab­o­ra­tion of in­di­vid­u­als and com­mu­nity in de­vel­op­ing arts, tech­nol­ogy for the ben­e­fit of nat­u­ral re­sources.

be­yond the for­mal and non-for­mal in­sti­tu­tions like al­ter­na­tive spa­ces by young artists or art gal­leries man­aged com­mer­cially, there is an in­ter­est­ing phe­nom­ena ris­ing lately. since a few years ago, we could see the in­tense mo­bil­ity of the young artists par­tic­i­pat­ing in for­eign art res­i­den­cies. a few amongst them are ti­mo­teus ang­gawan Kusno and natasha gabriella tontey, who have com­pleted res­i­den­cies in Ja­pan and aus­tralia; elia nurvista in eng­land, ger­many, tai­wan and Ja­pan; rudi “at­jeh” Dhar­mawan in Viet­nam; yudha Kusuma fe­hung in tai­wan and Dito yu­wono in aus­tralia.

res­i­dency is a new al­ter­na­tive space for young artists, as we see that right now it is very rare that yo­gyakarta young artists hold solo ex­hi­bi­tions at art gal­leries. the wider con­text of so­cio-ge­o­graphic, un­fixed by where a per­son lives, has in­flu­enced the method and theme of work that is cre­ated in a res­i­dency pro­gram. for ex­am­ple, ti­mo­teus ang­gawan Kusno dis­cussed a lot about the his­tory and col­lec­tive thoughts in his work. in 2014, Kusno held the solo ex­hi­bi­tion Me­moar Tanah Run­cuk at Kedai Ke­bun fo­rum and ex­per­i­mented with the ethno­graphic fic­tional method to ex­plore the his­tory of vi­o­lence in the colo­nial era. in 2015, within three months of his res­i­dency in ibaraki Ja­pan, Kusno ex­plored the mem­o­ries of the peo­ple re­gard­ing the his­tory of Ja­pan af­ter the sec­ond World War and cre­ated a work ti­tled I For­got What I Re­mem­ber.

natasha gabriella tontey, an artist whose works of­ten take the theme of fear and hor­ror, ex­plored sto­ries of lo­cal ghost sto­ries in her two months res­i­dency in yoko­hama Ja­pan in 2015. Dito yu­wono, dur­ing his one month res­i­dency in Dar­win aus­tralia, showed the his­tory of space and the iden­tity of asia/aus­tralia in his solo ex­hi­bi­tion: The Ge­og­ra­phy of Here and There.

in 2000, the yo­gyakarta young artists who have the ten­dency to com­bine fine art and youth cul­ture are la­beled “Jogja agro pop” by cu­ra­tor rain ro­sidi. the work of this group adopts pop­u­lar cul­ture as amer­i­can comics, skate­board, rock mu­sic with nar­ra­tions of lo­cal cul­ture to read the so­cial sit­u­a­tion and their own iden­tity, so then when an artis­tic pat­tern de­vel­ops, it can be claimed as some­thing that con­tains the cul­ture iden­tity of “Jogja”.

the ac­tive mo­bil­ity of the young yo­gyakarta artists lately has shifted the mean­ing of iden­tity and ideas as res­i­den­cies cre­ate cul­tural re­la­tion that is more in­ter­chang­ing be­tween the lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional. We can see how the works of young artists flu­ently speak of his­tory, politic spa­ces and per­sonal nar­ra­tions in places far from their daily lives. res­i­dency pro­grams ide­ally open chances of di­a­logue be­tween cul­tures, de­mand­ing artists to be sharper in ob­serv­ing the so­cial sit­u­a­tions in the new en­vi­ron­ment and giv­ing a chance to the artists to com­pare and re­flect sit­u­a­tions in their home­town. how­ever, it is not im­pos­si­ble that the project of res­i­dency only con­sists of ar­ti­fi­cial views that tend to be touris­tic as it is done in a small amount of time. con­sis­tency in ideas and crit­i­cal re­flec­tion of the young yo­gyakarta artists that of­fer con­tri­bu­tion to the devel­op­ment of con­tem­po­rary art in in­done­sia is still some­thing we are wait­ing for.

Ti­mo­teus Ang­gawan Kusno, I For­got What I Re­mem­ber

Ace House, Ace­mart

Natasha Gabriella Tontey in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Rafaella Mcdon­ald, Angkot Alien.

Ace House, Komisi Na­sional Per­mur­nian Seni

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