Naima Morelli

Tag "heri dono"


Indo Pop Painting draws influences from comics and graffiti. In this essay for the Hong Kong-based webmagazine CoBo I analyze a style that goes beyond a simple market trend. From the “fathers” of the style, such as Eddie Hara, Heri Dono and Agung Kurniawan, to the “older brothers” Uji ‘Hahan’ Handoko and Eko Nugroho, and the plethora of younger 20-something artists, Indo Pop is here to stay.

Here is the link to the article



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Great news! I have been invited by Prof. Antonia Soriente, professor of Indonesian language and literature at Università degli Studi di Napoli L’Orientale, to give a presentation on Indonesian Contemporary Art.

It’s a great honour for me – L’Orientale is the oldest school of Oriental Studies in Europe and the main university in Italy specialized in the study of non-European languages and cultures. It is still regarded today as one of the most prestigious universities regarding Asian cultures and languages.

Moreover, it’s going to be super interesting to chat with the students and find connections between Indonesian art and literature. It’s going to happen on December 15 at 2.30pm at Palazzo Mediterraneo, where l’Orientale is located. If you’re in Naples, don’t miss it!

Here is the Facebook event


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I’m back home after five days in Venice for the 56th Biennale di Venezia, reporting the event for ArtsHub and realizing interviews for Art a Part of Cult(ure). I had a great time, meet  with extraordinary people and lost myself in the maze of narrow streets. Venice is so beautiful it cannot be. Between the pavilions, the “All the World’s Futures” show and the collateral exhibitions, the Biennale was overwhelming. So much great work around you couldn’t believe! I didn’t nearly get to see everything I wanted to see. Just like everyone, at the end of this tour de force I had my feet completely broken and I laid sick in bed for a couple of days. But even then, the spirit was high and I now I feel incredibly energized, happy and ready to take on the world! While you’ll see my articles about the Biennale coming out in the next few days (my personal selection for ArtsHubthe Indonesian pavilion on the Manifesto and the Australians in Venice are already out) here’s the visual counterpoint.

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Uk/Aussie webmagazine ArtsHub has just published my highlights from the 56th Venice Biennale. With so much good work around and so many interesting shows it has been difficult to narrow down my selection to ten… but here we go!

Here’s the link to the article

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My article on Voyage Trokomod, Heri Dono’s work for the Venice Biennale, has just been published on Alias – the special edition of the Italian newspaper Il Manifesto – with the title “Between horse and Komodo dragon – the bestiary between east and west”. It is a great honour for me to contribute to Il Manifesto, which had such an important history! If you live in Italy I recommend you to grab a copy of Alias in the newsstands; this edition is all about the Biennale. I’ll be off to Venice next week and look forward to meet Heri and the curators from the Indonesian Pavilion in Venice.

Here’s the link to the online version of the article

For a thorough introduction to Indonesian contemporary art, have a look at my book (in Italian). Find more about it here.


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The summer of 2012 is not a long time ago , but from my perspective and for all I have experienced in this two years it feels like decades ago. Back then I just graduated from the Art Academy with a thesis on the “Popolo” in the arts and, at the beginning of the year I started to became intrigued by Indonesian art thanks to the exhibition “Beyond the Est” at MACRO, curated by Dominique Lora. I began researching about contemporary art in Indonesia and in a few weeks I was a regular visitor of the Castro Pretorio library in Rome. I would go there every week sourcing and memorizing everything I could find related to art in Indonesia and South East Asia. I would fill notebooks on notebooks and start planning to go to Indonesia. At that time my partner in crime Lucas Catalano was eager to go back to Bali to work on a photoessay and he offered me his help with the project.
I mailed Barbara from Art a Part of Cult(ure), the magazine I was writing for from three years, asking if she would be interested in a reportage of the art scene in Indonesia. She said yes, of course! I started sending emails around to the artists and fix interviews. Once in Indonesia, everyone was super nice, open and welcoming. Every interview gave me not only fundamental insights into the art practice of the artist and his context, but it was also really good fun! Here some pictures that give you some glimpses of the field-research that I did for my upcoming book “Arte Contemporanea in Indonesia”. There are no captions; let the images do the talk! Then of course, if you are already accustomed to the arts in Indonesia you will certainly recognize all the faces. (And of course, don’t miss the updates for the release “Arte Contemporanea in Indonesia”)

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The one thing I have in common with Hans-Ulrich Obrist is that we have both interviewed Indonesian artist Heri Dono. Well, that interview (mine, not Hans’!) has just been published on Trouble Magazine with the title “Heri Dono: Making Fun of The King, The Gods and The People”. The interview, accompanied with my pics from Heri’s studio, is part of my reportage about contemporary art in Indonesia that… guess what? Is going to have the shape of a book pretty soon!

Here’s the link to the interview

Here’s the link to the online version of the magazine

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 Looking at the sheets of my Indonesian reportage stained with Java tea I really start missing Yogyakarta.

In these days I’m in my hometown Sorrento surrounded by mandarini’s smell, writing the first draft of my book about Contemporary Art in Indonesia.
I’m trying to recollect the memories of these days in Yogya, from the amazing studio of Heri Dono to the taste of the Pisang Goreng, the fried banana with melted javanese sugar and chocolate.

We don’t have original Java tea here in Sorrento; I’ve to content myself with the Lipton version.
Whatever, tea is tea. As Proust teaches: “As long as you have a madeleine, a pancake or a fried banana to be dipped in tea, you could recollect memories”, or something like it.
I feel like adding to Proust’s statement that all the contemporary art starts from a substantial breakfast. Definitively I’m on the good track.
Actually, can I have extra chocolate on my Pisang Goreng?

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Luogo di coordinate 0:0, probabilmente in un fumetto.

Legata ad una sedia, in mano a scagnozzi mettiamo, chessò, russo-mongoli appassionati d’arte, pronti a scazzottarmi, sono costretta a rivelare cos’è, o meglio cosa ho scoperto, di quest’arte contemporanea indonesiana.

“Ma come faccio a dirvelo maledizione santa! L’arte contemporanea non si presta a definizioni, è fluida, non deve essere ingabbiata, non può…”
Il primo cazzotto arriva e quasi mi fa saltare i denti.
“Ci sono tanti artisti diversi, ognuno con la sua poetica, la sintesi, la sintesi cari signori, è depauperazione!”
Non capiscono la parola.
Gli sembra troppo scolastica.
Te lo chiedo un’ultima volta…
“Con le buone immagino…” rispondo sputando saliva vermiglia
… cosa cercavi in Indonesia?

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