Naima Morelli

Archive
Tag "indonesian art"

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Boedi Widjaja: the idea of place

What is a place? How do you feel connected to a place? Since moving from Singapore to Indonesia at age nine, artist Boedi Widjaja kept on asking himself these questions. My first encounter with Boedi Widjaja’s work happened in Rome. It was the day after the opening night of the 2012 Premio Celeste, an international prize dedicated to showcasing young talents from all countries. The building where the award ceremony happened was interesting in itself. A former power plant, the Centrale Montemartini was a unique example of industrial archaeology turned into a museum of classical statuary. The contrast couldn’t be any starker. Among the black steel levers, timers and dark machines, white marble statues emerged. The immaculate splendour of ancient Greek and Roman bust of Dyonisus and Apollo were juxtaposed to the steamy image of progress in the industrial age.

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feminismindonesia

My fourth piece for Culture360 – the webmagazine of the Asia-Europe Foundation – has just been published. It’s always a joy to see my words out there, also because I get to write about two of my favourite subjects: feminism and Indonesian contemporary art.

For this piece called “Feminism and women artists in Indonesian Contemporary Art” I have interviewed the amazing researcher Wulan Dirgantoro, art historian Farah Wardani and artist Samantha Tio (Mintio).

Here is the link to the piece

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supernatural2

For the Hong Kong webmagazine and collectors’ platform CoBo I usually write about Indonesian and Singaporean artists, and the dynamics of their art systems. It goes without saying that the two art environments are highly connected. Sometimes an event or a show happens which remixes the way the two art systems interact, and that’s precisely what happened with the Super/Natural show in Yogyakarta, by Gajah Gallery.

In this piece I look at this pioneering operation, talking with the gallerist Jasdeep Sandhu and the two curators, trying to ponder what this show meant, and if it can have a legacy for the evolution of both the Singaporean and the Indonesian art systems.

Here’s the link to the piece

 

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Tomtandio
CoBo has just published my interview with Indonesian collector Tom Tandio: “Is life about discovering oneself, or is it more about building oneself? If there is an activity which can respond to the evergreen nature/nurture question, that is art collecting.

In the process of grappling with their own identity through art, the best collectors understand that acquiring art is not simply an individualistic pursuit. It is rather about becoming part of an artistic ecosystem, which they can help nurture. Indonesian collector Tom Tandio exemplifies this attitude, modelling an ethic which makes the entire system grow.”

Here is the link to the interview

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Jimbo

CoBo Social has published my interview with Indonesian artist and member of MES56 Jim Allen Abel, also known as Jimbo. I interviewed him in Singapore during Art Stage 2017 and he shared about his background and art practice.

Here’s the link to the piece

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krisna
When all your favourite things come together, you can’t help writing about them. In the case of this interview with the great video art and new media pioneer Krisna Murti, which has been just published by CoBo, these things are contemporary art, Indonesia and martial arts.

Here is the link to the interview

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murni

I have just started a new series for the webmagazine CoBo about Indonesian contemporary painters. The first installment is Murni, recently celebrated in the show Merayakan Murni at Ketemu Project Space and Sudakara Art Space in Bali.

Here is the link to the article

 

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eddysusanto

Lately I haven’t written a whole lot of art critique in the real sense of the word, dedicating myself more to articles or interviews. Every so often though, I encounter artworks that I just can’t shut up about. This is the case with the latest pieces of Indonesian artist Eddy Susanto, who is one of my favorite contemporary artists ever; so I wrote this piece for CoBo, reading through the cross-references inside “Transhumanism Paradox (Dante’s Divine Comedy)” and “PANJI: The Linguistic Culture of Southeast Asia”, which will be realized for the upcoming Singapore Biennial. The first work was particularly interesting to explore as an Italian researching Indonesian art; it was the perspective of an Indonesian artist on what is a staple of Italian literature.

Here is the link to the piece

 

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Arahmaiani
Thanks to the amazing CoBo, little by little I’m getting to interview all my favorite contemporary artists! This time I chatted with Arahmaiani, a legend and a model of badassery in contemporary art and in life. The piece is called: “The Superheroine of Indonesian Contemporary Art”.

I have interviewed her for her new show at Tyler Rollins in New York, from September 15 to October 29. We talked about many different subjects, but the aspect I decided to focus on for the piece was her shift from criticism to activism in her work.

Since I first started researching Indonesian art, the political and social aspect of the art was the one that struck me the most. Over time I have asked artists if it is really possible to have an impact on society with contemporary art alone. Overall, Indonesian artists seemed to me much less romantic and much more hands-on compared to some of their European counterparts.

Here’s the link to the piece

 

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indomemory

The webmagazine/platform Cobo has just published my piece entitled “Three Indonesian Artists Between National History and Personal Memories”, featuring work by FX Harsono, Jompet Kuswidananto and Boedi Widjaja, plus a mention to an iconic piece by Dita Gambiro and Rifqi Sukma. As always, I have decided to mix artists that are staples of Indonesian contemporary art (such as Harsono and Jompet) with others that might not be household names yet!

For the rest, I’m in a blessed phase of working (almost) uninterruptedly on the third draft of my book on contemporary art in Singapore. When you concentrate on one single thing, ideas are connecting and synapses are snapping like never before! Writing this book is a great learning process for me and gives me the chance to expand on ideas I explored in my book on Indonesian art, seeing how these have evolved over time, with my experiences and chats with artists. But I’m digressing; below the link to the article on Indonesian artists and memory!

Here is the link to the piece

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IndoNature
My new piece “Five Indonesian artists that help us rethink nature” has just been published on Cobo. In recent years I came to feel very strongly about environmental issues and I’m a big believer that art can really help people connect with our planet on a deep level. Channelling the spirit of the times, contemporary Indonesian artists are tackling the theme of nature in a unique way.

Here’s the link to the piece

ps: Cobo has new flashin’ fb page, check it out!
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FahranSiki

A few months ago I met Indonesian artist Farhan Siki for his show “Trace” at Banca Generali, in Milan. We spoke about the exhibition and his approach to art. Hong-Kong magazine CoBo has just published the interview, along with a short video of part of our conversation.

Here is the link to the piece + video

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