Naima Morelli

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Tag "indonesian art"

IvanSagita
Almost exactly one year ago in Paris, a dancer friend who had lived in Indonesia, told me of a great Indonesian artist who I should absolutely meet and interview. The artist was Ivan Sagita, a painter based in Yogyakarta whose work is charming and mysterious.

Ivan Sagita is one of the initiators of what has been called “Jogja surrealism”, a style that emerged in the 1980s in the Indonesian city of Yogyakarta. His painting and sculptures combine a strong social element to the spiritual realm – what the artist calls “the unreal”.

I finally met with the artists a few weeks ago and sat with him to discussed this concept, his background and the idea of spirituality in art. The interview has just been published on the webmagazine/platform Cobo.

Here’s the link to the interview

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SriAstari

Hong-Kong webmagazine Cobo has just published my interview with Indonesian artist Sri Astari Rasjid. Astari’s art is a great take on Javanese traditions and is highly empowering, a true elevation of the gutsy girl and the strong woman. I have admired the artist for a long time and it was great to get to talk with her.

Here is the link to the interview

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indonesianaples
Contemporary Indonesian art and literature have found a new home in the Italian city of Naples. I talk about it in this article called “Making Naples a home for Indonesian art and literature” for ASEF culture360. I have been a regular reader of this webmagazine – part of the Asia-Europe foundation – so I’m excited to have become a contributor.

For the piece I have interviewed Professor Antonia Soriente from Università degli Studi di Napoli and gallerist Vincenzo Montella who have contributed to promote the dialogue between Naples and Indonesia.

Here is the link to the piece

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indocollectorsmuseums
The Hong-Kong based webmagazine and platform CoBo has published my latest article called “Are Collectors Doing the Job of the Government in Indonesia?” In the piece I discuss the substantial role of Indonesian collectors in changing local art scene through the establishment of private museums – an act to substitute the role of local government’s in the promotion of contemporary art.

Here’s the link to the article
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Yesterday was the opening night of the show “Attualità Indonesiane” at Il Ramo D’Oro in Naples, Italy, featuring artists Balinese artists Made Bayak, Gede Suanda and Naples-based Setyo Mardiyantoro. It was a successful and interesting night where people from many different background come together to learn about art making in Indonesia and the value of art in helping to grow awareness. The interesting thing about il Ramo D’Oro is its non-elitist approach. Gallerist Vincenzo Montella doesn’t want his space to be accessible only by vernissage hoppers, but rather to people from every walk of life.

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LOCANDINAorientale

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 have just came back from two weeks in Paris. It has been an incredible time. I was there for the Art Paris Art Fair and the exhibition Secret Archipelago at the Palais De Tokyo – yet again on a reporting mission for Art a Part of Cult(ure), the Italian magazine I write for. My boss at Art a Part is the M to my Bond, the Charlie to my Angels, the Xavier to my X-Men, well, you get my drift! In Paris I’ve met with a number of interesting people and had chats with artists I wanted to talk to from a long time, including Eddie Hara and Richard Streitmatter-Tran.

The first week has been a whirlwind of interviews. I already knew what it means to do three interviews in a day – I did it before, and it was crazy! But five interviews in a day? That’s don’t-try-this-at-home insane! Luckily enough, I generally feel energized by working under pressure. Plus, all the artists and gallerists I talked with have been super nice. I can’t wait to share their interviews with you! In this situation it also helped to have the most amazing sidekick a journalist can ever had, a gorgeous Sorrentinian gal called Marta, who also hosted me in Paris. We jumped from metro to metro chatting endlessly about everything from Catilina (ancient republican Rome anyone?) to haircuts, all that while chewing a pan au chocolat (aux amandes, aux pistaches…) and rushing to the next interview.

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gceddysusanto

My article “Why must the East continue to be objectified? An interview with Indonesian artist Eddy Susanto” has just been published on the webmagazine Global Comment. This interview is part part of my reportage about contemporary art in Indonesia.

Here’s the link to the article

You can have more Eddy Susanto in my newly released book (in Italian)

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mella1

My interview with the amazing artist and Cemeti House co-founder Mella Jaarsma has just been published on the Aussie magazine Trouble with the title “Mella Jaarsma: Give me shelter” (a title who clearly echoes the Rolling Stones). This is the second interview from my reportage on contemporary art in Indonesia published on Trouble Magazine!

Here’s the link to the interview

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

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On Friday I had the honour to be invited by Professor Vito Di Bernardi to a conference on Indonesian art at Università di Roma La Sapienza entitled: “New research on Indonesian traditional and contemporary arts (music, dance, theatre, visual arts): an exchange between Indonesian and Italian perspectives”. It was the second time for me to speak about my research in an institutional setting (the first time was when I introduced the Melbournian art scene at an artists’ talk at Rome’s Art Academy) and I found out I really enjoy speaking!

In my paper entitled: “Indonesian Contemporary Visual Art: Origins and Recent Developments” I gave an overview of how contemporary art has developed in Indonesia, from Raden Saleh to Jompet Kuswidananto. Moving from painting in the colonial times I explored the role of art during the independence struggle (how could I have not shown the beautiful paintings of S. Sudjojono, Hendra Gunawan and Affandi?) I then focused on art under the Suharto regime and pointed out the importance of art movements like Gerakan Seni Rupa Baru and PIPA. I described the flourishing of independent art spaces at the beginning of the Reformasi period and evaluated the influence of the market on young artists.

The other speakers at the conference (here’s the complete program) looked at different aspects of the arts in Indonesia. While Prof. Vito di Bernardi analyzed the Javanese and Balinese theater of the twentieth century, Prof. Widyo Harsanto Prayanto explored the concept of Ethnophotography in West Timor. On the other hand, Davide Grosso, Lorenzo Chiarofonte and  Ilaria Meloni concentrated on different aspects of music and traditions in Indonesia. I have found particularly interesting Prof. Francesca Gallo’s paper, who delved into the concept of Orientalism in Italian Contemporary Art. Through the work of artists like Matteo Basilè and Luigi Ontani, she showed how the concept of exoticism has to be reconsidered in the postmodern era.

I’ve to say that the audience was just amazing, being composed by people whose interest in Indonesian art was not merely academic. Aside from the professors from the Indonesian Institute of the Arts of Yogyakarta, there were many young people who had traveled to Indonesia many times, researching different cultural aspect and mingling with the local community. It was great to get to know them and exchange contacts and information! Below some images from my presentation and the conference:

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Muchlis Fachri is a young artist based in Jakarta, who is also part of the street artist’s crew called TAS – TAS and the artistic collective Aspaleho. We found each other on Facebook and I was amused by his cartoonish and ironically splatter style, with many references to punk aesthetics and popular culture.
Muchlis explained me that he wants to make art accessible to people. I find this conception resonating very strongly with young Indonesian artist in particular (I remember talking about that a couple of years ago with Agung Kurniawan of Kedai Kebun Forum, one of the first galleries to push forward the idea of accessible art, right in the middle of the painting boom in Yogyakarta).
With his practice Muchlis embodies this democratic idea of art, alternating his graffiti practice with conventional painting and the production of merchandise. Indeed, together with his girlfriend Puji Lestari, he also founded the company JUNK NOT DEAD, producing a range of edgy and offbeat products, from posters to bags and dolls – the patches are definitely on my shopping list next time I’ll pass by Jakarta. With a pulp and excessive imaginary, Muchlis Fachri’s art is definitely an artist to keep an eye on.

Did you have a moment when you knew you wanted to be an artist?

I did actually. In senior high school, I would often made unusual things that were different from the ones of the other students, like bags made of a cardboard or I’d decorate my sneakers with drawings. During my third year I visited an exhibition in the Galeri Nasional and I was stroked by the art exhibited – that show has been fundamental to arouse my interest in painting. When I came back home from the exhibition I was so excited that I started painting on canvases and researching about artists.

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artribunebali

The Italian magazine Artribune has  just published my review of  the Bali Bulè exhibition at Museo Archeologico in Naples, featuring artists Bickerton, Ontani and Sciascia.

Here the link to the review

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