Equator art Projects
The sister gallery to Langgeng Gallery, one of the top galleries in Indonesia and affiliated with Langgeng Art Foundation (LAF) - Yogyakarta, Equator Art Projects aims to be a platform for art that is intelligent, sensuous, and “of-this-moment”, regardless the medium. Equator Art Projects also shows the works of emerging and mid-career artists from Indonesia, Singapore, The Phillipines and Malaysia. The gallery seeks to contribute to the study of Southeast Asian art history through its extensive program of exhibitions, talks and publications. Equator Art Project was established in year 2012 by Deddy Irianto, a well-known art dealer, now based in Yogyakarta, also directed by Tony Godfrey and curator Rifky Effendy.
One of the art societies whose activities are supported by Equator Art Projects is Neo Pitamaha. Established in the early of 2014, Neo Pitamaha is a group of arts which holds on to the root of aesthetics discovery of fine arts, started from understanding Balinese Paintings as the basic exploration. Balinese painting which is also recognized as classic art and tends to be referred to traditional art, is a long trail of history of Indonesian art development. Later in the colonialism era, its status as “picture” of religious dedication was changed into art paintings and then being kept by the collectors in the colonial period.
In 1930s, a group called Pita Maha came into existence. It became a starting point where the first community of art in Bali emerged, a community which was founded by Tjokorde Agung Sukawati, Rudolf Bonnet, Walter Spies, Gusti Nyoman Lempad, and some other names of local artists and abroad. Nowadays, the local painters who mingle with the other national painters start thinking about the themes such as national movement, social democracy, and other themes related to the spirit to fight. And it seems that Balinese painting is ruled out from national discourse and called as “traditional painting”. The fundamental power of Balinese Painting relies on its drawing. A well-maintained drawing skill is definitely needed in creating lines on each layer of Balinese painting, started from when the work began until it has done-or at least it is assumed finish. Craftsmanship drawing is the main key in the Balinese painting’s element. Neo Pitamaha consists of four artists who use Balinese painting as the aesthetics discovery of fine arts; they are Gede Mahendra Yasa, Tang Adimawan, Ketut Moniarta, dan Kemalezedine. They truly realize that a movement of awareness is needed, started in constructing history, thematic, and implementation in executing works. The development of contemporary arts which is widely hit the world, tends to show its homogeneous and lack of identity. Consequently, Neo Pitamaha wants to re-boost the new spirit of art society by digging the local identity under the context of contemporary arts that frequently making reflections regarding the paradigm of Bali contemporary paintings.
Clockwise (from above): Balinese Painting After Photography by Ketut Moniarta; Neopitamaha 1965 series II by Kemalezedine; Macan by tang adimawan.