Naima Morelli

Archive
Indonesia

Finally my piece on the Venice Biennale 2022 has been published by Plural Art Mag. While the piece was written in the aftermath of the opening, it came out just now, given the webmagazine’s editorial schedule.

The article is a report, as well as an overview, and it is focused on the Southeast Asian presence, which this year was much smaller compared to previous years.

Here is the link to the piece

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There is but one truth spoken in many different languages. This belief lies at the core of Indonesian artist Eddy Susanto’s practice. With his artworks that examine the cultures of Europe and Java, he signals to us that while the forms, protagonists and settings of each culture’s mythologies differ, they ultimately convey similar fundamental truths about humanity. 

Over the years, Eddy Susanto has reframed how the East and West meet. The Jakarta-born, Yogyakarta-based artist is on a mission to uncover the culture and seminal texts which are the patrimony of the Javanese. However, some of these have been forgotten over time, due to reasons such as the limits of oral transmission, the impact of colonialism and, later on, mass culture.

I have written about Eddy Susanto’s show I have curated in Venice for Plural Art Mag.

Here is the link to the piece

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One of my favourite Southeast Asian artist, Eddy Susanto, is currently having his first solo show in Europe, and it’s in Italy, Venice, in parallel with the 59th edition of the Venice Biennale. Called “Allegory of Hell, from Borobudur to Dante ”, the show is taking place in Venice from July 28th to September 4th.

This is particularly relevant, considering that this year Indonesia doesn’t have its own national pavilion, so we thought of Eddy as a representative for the country. The show was sponsored by Artsociates, and I’m glad to say that I co-curated it with Valentina Levy at GAD, Giudecca Art District.

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There is a sincere enthusiasm when Mulyana speaks about his work and his intention of producing works on a larger scale, as I speak to him in Yogyakarta alongside Fragile Ecologies’ curator, New York-based John Silvis.

The playful and joyous elements of Muluyana’s practice have much deeper roots. At the beginning of his art practice, Mulyana knitted his works by himself and viewed it as a meditation; a way to unite with a greater force animating the universe.

Here is the link to the piece

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Podcasts have been my constant companions since their inception, so I was thrilled when artist and journalist. Joana Alarcão interviewed for her “Insight of an Eco Artist” podcast.

In the interview I spoke a ton about researching Southeastasian contemporary art, my writing about art in the MENA region and even a little about my graphic novels, so the interview was divided in two parts.

Here is part 1 of the podcast

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In Southeast Asia, several artists are looking deep into local traditions and narratives, giving the mythical and historical figures obscured by colonialism, patriarchy, and consumerism, their rightful place.

Their works challenge Western-centric and patriarchal narratives, opening up new interpretations for the viewers. Each artist is bringing forth a different yet very relevant narrative.

I wrote about four of my favourite artists from the region working on these themes for CoBo Social, but truly I’m thinking to write an entire book on the subject, or at least curate a show! In the meantime, here is a taste of it.

Here is the link to the piece

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The Singaporean art magazine Plural has just published my latest piece called “Is there a silver lining to the lack of tourism for the Balinese art scene?”

Here I’m interviewing the directors of three different art spaces, Cush Cush Gallery, Kayu, Ketemu and V-Room, to garner their experience with the pandemic shifts in the art scene, and how this is affecting artists and art spaces alike.

Here is the link to the article

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Andonowati at home with a work by Tisna Sanjaya in the background. Courtesy of Andonowati.

It was an honour and a privilege to start my collaboration with Larry’s List with this interview with one of the people I admire and respect the most in the art world: Andonowati.

She is not only a extremely savvy collector with a heightened sensitivity for art, but also an accomplished mathematician, a collector, a gallerist, a business person, an art initiator, and entrepreneur and also an incredibly compassionate and kind human.

I first met her through my research on Bandung-based artist Eddy Susanto and learned about her gallery and foundation Lawangwangi Creative Space in Bandung. In 2010, Andonowati launched the Bandung Contemporary Art Award (BaCAA) — one of the most prestigious art awards in Southeast Asia, which I took part of as a judge in 2019.

Here is the link to the interview

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It’s always a privilege to be able to interview cultural figures I have been admiring for a long time. Since my first inception to Singapore, I wowed at the green architecture of the firm WOHA.

Thanks to a virtual show at Gajah Gallery, I have found out WOHA’s founder Richard Hassell is also an art lover and collector. He curated the show Complex Humour highlighting works by I GAK Murniasih and Yunizar.

Both artists present humourous works overlaid with much more difficult themes, as well as tribal elements.

Here is the link to the interview

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From dirty riverbanks to the shores of Venice, Yogyakarta-based artist Handiwirman Saputra tells us the story of our objects.

My interview to Handiwirman has just been published on CoBo Social.

Here is the link to the interview

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For my second collaboration with the magazine Qantara I have interviewed Indonesian writer Feby indirani. I loved her book “Not Virgin Mary”, which has been recently translated in Italian by Prof. Antonia Soriente and published by Add Editore. The book provided a light-hearted and almost zen perspective on Islam in Indonesia.

I met Feby in Rome during her European book tour. I have found out she is not only an excellent writer but also a lovely person; we had a wonderful conversation.

Here is the link to the interview

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SEAPavVenice2019

Hong-Kong based website and platform for collectors CoBo Social has just published my review of the Southeast Asian Pavilions at the 2019 Venice Biennale. I looked at the different national propositions with interest and a bit of a critical eye as well.

Here is the link to the review

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