Culture / Art Republik

Art events in Indonesia: ART|JOG Yogyakarta celebrates 10 years of contemporary arts

ART|JOG returns this year with a new theme that provokes artists to bring fresh perspectives to their works in hopes of getting art closer to the public.

May 18, 2017 | By Art Republik
Iwan Effendi, ‘Finding Lunang’

Iwan Effendi, ‘Finding Lunang’, 2013, oil barrels, puppets, 8×5 (diameter) m, image courtesy of ART|JOG

ART|JOG is back again this year. The annual art fair that has made Yogyakarta a barometer for the development of Indonesia’s contemporary arts will return for its 10th edition this year from 19 May to 19 June. 74 artists from Indonesia and abroad are expected to exhibit hundreds of artworks for this year’s event that will take place for the second time at Jogja National Museum, following a successful exhibition at the same venue last year. Previous editions had taken place at Taman Budaya.

Agan Harahap, Bounty Hunter, 2016, Archival pigment print on aluminum protected with transparent acrylic, 155 x 100 cm, 3 edition

Agan Harahap, Bounty Hunter’, 2016, Archival pigment print on aluminium protected with transparent acrylic, 155 x 100 cm, 3 edition. Image courtesy of ART|JOG

Joining this year’s fair are top local artists like Agus Suwage, Angki Purbandono, Nyoman Masriadi Tromarama and Agan Harahap with each of them featuring new artworks for the event. Artworks that should not be missed include interactive guitar installations by Soni Irawan and knitting installations from artist Mulyana Mogus. There will be also several collaborations, including Angki and actor Nicholas Saputra, where they will show an artwork on an elephant sanctuary in Sumatra where Nicholas volunteers.

For this year’s commissioned work, the organiser has appointed young artist Wedhar Riyadi, known for his strong lines, bright colours with graphic pop/pulp imagery. For ART|JOG 10, he will build giant balloons installations that resemble eyes to be put in giant ponds. His piece is expected to change the main façade of the building where the event is held, a unique feature of ART|JOG since its inception.

In addition to local artists, ART|JOG will also feature a number of international artists from other countries like Singapore, Japan, Poland, China, US and Australia. ART|JOG curator Bambang “Toko” Witjaksono says the exhibitions of international artists were made possible due to cooperation with various galleries abroad.The foreign artists participating in this year’s fair are Alexandra Walizewzka from Poland, Geng Xue from China, Hiromi Tango from Japan, Robert Zhao from Singapore and Zen Teh from China. The highlight will be Geng Xue’s video artworks on ceramics.

Geng Xue_Mr. Sea_video_2014

Geng Xue, ‘Mr. Sea’, video, 2014. Image courtesy of ART|JOG

Both local and international artists will showcase their artworks under the theme ‘Changing Perspective’. Another curator, Ignatia Nilu explains that the theme was meant to encourage artists to dismantle old paradigms in their creative process so they could create artworks that would represent the public, thus attracting them to come to the fair. Nilu believes that generally artists’ current creative processes are still heavily influenced by two contradicting paradigms based on Western and Eastern perspectives that have somehow created distance with the public. “We bring this new theme ‘Changing Perspective’ because we want the artists to be able to clash their own perspectives so they can reveal paradoxical elements,” she says, “and come up with something creative.”

With the changed perspectives, Nilu hopes that the artists will deliver their artworks using more communicative languages that would relate with the public. “As the public becomes more connected with the art, the art event has become everyone’s event and not only for art communities, so in the end, more people will come to the event,” Nilu adds.

Laila Azra_Cerita Zaman_Mixed media on canvas_200x200cm_2017

Laila Azra, ‘Cerita Zaman’, mixed media on canvas, 200x200cm, 2017. Image courtesy of ART|JOG

In the local art scene, many artists tend to live in their own ideal creative bubbles, which has entrenched a detachment of their works from the public. Since 2015, ART|JOG has been trying to close this gap. Introducing the concept “art not for art only, but art for public”, the event has been holding various popular art events, involving celebrities and social media. This effort has earned ART|JOG a reputation as a popular art fair compared to similar events in Indonesia such as Jakarta Biennale or Yogyakarta Biennale. For this year, the organiser targets to draw at least 75,000 visitors, significantly more than the 50,000 people who visited last year. Implementing the spirit of art for the public, Bambang says ART|JOG 10 will continue targeting young people by arranging some exhibitions that would be of the interest to millennials. For the opening night, the fair will offer a musical performance featuring popular musician

Implementing the spirit of art for the public, Bambang says ART|JOG 10 will continue targeting young people by arranging some exhibitions that would be of the interest to millennials. For the opening night, the fair will offer a musical performance featuring popular musician Tompi. This year’s programme will also include the screening of Garin Nugroho’s silent movie ‘Setan Jawa’ (Java Satan). In addition to that, the organiser will hold Open Air Cinema, playing the best films for ART|JOG’s loyal audience to enjoy. There will also be the Merchandise Project, for which top artists like Eko Nugroho will create special merchandise to be sold during the event.

This article was written by Ika Krismantari and originally published in Art Republik.