Jogja Calling


Jogja Calling examines the long-standing links between the artistic communities of Australia and Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Over the past few decades Yogyakarta has become a leading destination for Australian artists looking to expand their practice and undertake residencies in Indonesia’s leading contemporary art city. Abdul Abdullah, Briony Galligan and Reko Rennie have all completed residencies in the last ten years where they have developed networks, collaborative partners and friendships. For these artists’ their approach to art making has been markedly influenced by their time in Jogja and, in particular, by the work of Leonardiansyah Allenda, Arwin Hidayat and Uji Handoko Eko Saputro aka Hahan. These artists’ provided entrée into the tight-knit local art community enabling them to meet artists and artisans, participate in late-night artistic debates and venture on back-seat moto rides where long-term working relationships and friendships were formed. Jogja Calling brings these six artists together framing their works as extensions of their friendships.

Jogja Calling places the work of these artists in conversation where their somewhat disparate practices are encouraged to converge. Within this framework Rennie and Hahan’s playful but critical examinations of Australian and Indonesian culture reveal landscape to still be a defining influence. While not natural companion pieces the kinetic sculptures of both Allenda and Galligan appear as echoes of each other inviting viewers to consider the precarious balance and imbalance of relationships. The final duo of Abdullah and Hidayat reveal a return to collaborative work with artisans – where traditional techniques of embroidery and batik can support critical contemporary commentary.

Exhibition opening:

Saturday 22 October 2016



Abdul Abdullah (b. 1986 Perth, Australia) is an artist from Perth, currently based in Sydney who works across painting, photography, video, installation and performance. As a self-described ‘outsider amongst outsiders’, his practice is primarily concerned with the experience of the ‘other’ in society. Abdullah’s projects have engaged with different marginalized minority groups and he is particularly interested in the experience of young Muslims in the contemporary multicultural Australian context. Since 2009 Abdul received numerous awards across Australia. He has been selected as a finalist in the 2016 Basil Sellers Prize and the 2016 Sulman Prize. He was an Archibald Prize finalist in 20162014, 2013 and 2011, and has been a finalist for the Western Australian of the Year Youth Award, the Blake Prize and a Sovereign Art Prize amongst many others. Abdullah has works in the collections of National Gallery of Australia, The Art Gallery of Western Australia, The Gallery of Modern Art, The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Artbank, Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, Murdoch University, Islamic Museum of Australia, Bendigo Art Gallery, Campbelltown Art Centre and the Town of Victoria Park. Recent exhibitions include HERE&NOW16/GenYM at the Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery and Coming to Terms at Mossgreen Sydney, Painting, more painting at ACCA, and Public Body 1.0 at Artspace. Abdul completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Curtin University of Technology and is currently completing a Masters entitled Terms of engagement: examining the rhetoric of radicalisation at UNSW Art and Design.

Leonardiansyah “Leo” Allenda (b. 1984 Banyuwangi, Indonesia) is an artist whose research spectrum focuses on the identification of material’s value in relation to space. His installation Private Number explores the complex exchange of cultural values through hybrid aesthetics that questions traditions and the collective and personal myths that evolve with society-binding values. Solo exhibitions of his work were presented at Cemeti Art House, Yogyakarta, Indonesia (2014); Inkubator Asia, Jakarta, Indonesia (2012). He has participated in some group exhibitions including Jakarta Biennale (2015), Jakarta, Indonesia; Fukutake House Project, Sodoshima, Japan; Biennale Jogja XII, the Equator (2013), Yogyakarta, Indonesia; National Ceramic Museum of Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia. He also participated a number of residency programs including HotWave #3, Cemeti Art House, Yogyakarta, Indonesia; Britto International Residency, Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is currently a resident artist at Rijksakademie, Amsterdam.

Briony Galligan (b. 1983 Hobart, Australia) is a Melbourne-based artist working with textiles, installation, video and performance work. Galligan explores points where personal, social and art histories collide. Her work is concerned with how the construction of the past, in archives, buildings and gestures, is continually remoulded and revolving through collective and individual bodies. Briony has presented new installation and performance works at the Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne in Dancing Umbrellas (2016), She imagines a city and with artist-run space, Comfort Station in Chicago, USA. Recent exhibitions include Nothing incarnadine, St Heliers Gallery, Abbotsford Convent, No I couldn’t agree with you more TCB Art Inc., Body language does not have a grammar, The Substation and Movement behind the Backdrop with Rafaella McDonald in The Kaleidoscopic Turn at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne 2015. Briony completed a BFA (Hons) at Monash University 2014, at the Institut Seni Indonesia, Yogyakarta (2012) and at Rhode Island School of Design (2014). In 2015, she completed residencies at Chicago-based ACRE and Ox-Bow, associated with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Arwin Hidayat (b.1983, Yogyakarta) creates small works on paper, mostly black and white, sometimes stained with grey washes. Their graphic, 2D nature recalls both batik patterning and comics that refer to symbols that incorporate the ordinary with the explicit. Hidayat is an alumnus of the ISI Yogyakarta, Faculty of Fine Art. Since 2000 he has exhibited in exhibitions such as Kobe, Japan in 2006, Neo Folk in IKKAN Gallery in Singapore, Asia Print (Crack Project) in Sydney, Australia and Artjog14 Legacy of Power in 2014. Hidayat also held his first solo exhibition Flash Show Drawing in West Brunswick, Melbourne, Australia in 2012 and Solo Exhibition Bau Powder Blues at Via Via Cafe Yogyakarta in 2013. He recently won the Red Base Young Artist Award from Jogja Gallery, Yogyakarta and exhibited as part of MASKS, at Diesel Art Gallery, Shibuya, Tokyo.

Reko Rennie (b. 1974 Melbourne, Australia) is an interdisciplinary artist who explores his Aboriginal identity through contemporary media. Through his art, Rennie provokes discussion surrounding Indigenous culture and identity in contemporary urban environments. Largely autobiographical, his commanding works combine the iconography of his Kamilaroi heritage with stylistic elements of graffiti. Merging traditional diamond-shaped designs, hand-drawn symbols and repetitive patterning to subvert romantic ideologies of Aboriginal identity. He has shown internationally including Paris, Berlin, Italy, Jakarta, Shanghai and USA. Recent highlights include solo shows Visible Invisible at Blackartprojects, Melbourne 2016, I Was Always Here Blackartprojects at Sydney Contemporary 2015 and group shows ‘Painting. More Painting’, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne 2016, Venice Biennale 2015 and No sleep till Dreamtime at the Art Gallery of NSW, 2014. He won the National Indigenous Art Awards in 2015 and was a resident at Cemeti Art House in Yogyakarta in 2014. He lives and works in Melbourne.

Uji Handoko Eko Saputro aka Hahan (b. 1983 Kebumen, Indonesia) creates works characterised by an ongoing tussle between ‘high art’ and ‘low art’, blurring realism with decoration. His works illustrates a point of contact that exists between urbanization and agrarianism, the East and the West or between the local and the global. Hahan incorporates film, music and street culture into a distinct visual language, creating a sense of movement and spontaneity in what can be described as a topsy-turvy reality steeped in satirical humor. Since 2003, he has participated in numerous group exhibitions in Indonesia and abroad. His works have been collected by several art museum including Queensland Art Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) Brisbane, Australia and National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) Melbourne, Australia. He also one of the founders of Ace House Collective, a young artists’ collective and initiative space based in Yogyakarta which trying to capture the culture of Indonesian contemporary society through multidiscipline work process, collaboration, and research.  In recent years, he attempts to display an art with the concept that emphasizes on the interaction with the visitors and relate it with the development of art in global as well as its society. By showing metaphorical atmosphere yet full of satirical humor. The mapping of production/consumption matter of cutting-edge art market and its gleaming, and also the ironies which are then packed with alluring spirit of artistic exploration.


Before the Rain


Yuan Goang-Ming, Sarah Lai, Ellen Pau, Sampson Wong and more to be announced.

Before the onset of a downpour there is a moment of heavy humidity that hangs low in the air. Building over time it signals the inevitability of a deluge that will interrupt and intercept patterns of normality. For Hong Kong, a city defined by humidity, the deluge that began on September 28 2014 was the result of a long and steady buildup of uncertainty, anxiety and the long held need to articulate a cohesive identity for the city.  Before the Rain addresses the tensions that precipitated the recent political and civil urgency in Hong Kong and the city’s pressing need to reimagine its future.

The exhibiting artists frame the conversation from a multiplicity of perspectives presenting the complexity and concerns of a city facing a future planned by others. They approach the city with an intent to protect it; their works may appear as warnings but they are underpinned by a need to safeguard.  Commissioned for the exhibition is a new work by Sampson Wong that transforms the entrance gallery into a narration of the Umbrella Movement. Ephemera taken from the streets, continuous loops of CCTV and news footage, blogs, tweets and newspapers will populate the gallery inviting the viewer to sift through the materials and navigate their own opinion of a city in flux. Before the Rain responds to a continuously evolving discourse thats shifts and tangents are proving to be one of the most critical events in South East Asia’s recent history.


Edge In


To work from the edge in is to trace and place. For Annie Gobel working from the edge in reflects her childhood creative endeavors that always started with a thick, bold outline. Performed as an overture this line crafted a space in which she could experiment and create. Today this line has become an edge; as her work has lifted from the page and into sculpture the emboldened black edge has now become form. In this body of work Gobel presents her wearable sculptures in Sydney for the first time. Bounded by memories they appear in candy coloured enamel and invite recollections of play, of toys and of childhood adventures. It is memories such as these that have been intrinsic to Gobel’s process as she seeks to ensure that the inherent freedom of childhood remains a part of the adult everyday.

Nurfitria S. Gobel (Annie Gobel) (b.1991 Jakarta, Indonesia) is a Melbourne based Jeweller. She recently exhibited at the Japan International Enameling Show at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan, Hero Worship in Craft, Melbourne and 5×7 at Gallery Funaki, Melbourne, 2016. She participated in the show Colourfast Guaranteed with Marcos Guzman at Rubicon Ari Gallery Melbourne and sPin at Australian National Capital Artists Gallery’s 5th Annual Exhibition Of Miniature Wearable Artworks, ANCA Gallery, Canberra. Gobel had a solo show Re-Played at Dia.Lo.Gue Artspace, Jakarta, Indonesia in 2015. She completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Gold and Silversmithing at RMIT University, Melbourne in 2013 and was a Fresh! awards finalist at Craft Victoria, Melbourne. Gobel recently completed her Graduate Diploma in Arts and Cultural Management at Melbourne University in 2016.

The People’s Currency


The People’s Currency is a new performance work by Melbourne-based artist Eugenia Lim. The work takes its name from Renminbi (China’s currency) and explores the social impacts of globalisation on those who seek their fortunes in the factories of China – or the ‘workshop of the world’. When almost everything is now ‘Made in China’, how are we all implicated as consumers, in the labour conditions of the production line? Dressed as a gold Mao-suited ‘ambassador’, Lim will inhabit a factory printing counterfeit currency of her own design. Presiding over the printing of money, Lim will also act as floor manager to a ‘factory’ of workers. The public is invited to enter into short-term ‘employment’ on the factory floor. In exchange for basic menial work, the ‘employee’ will be remunerated in The People’s Currency. The People’s Currency turns a site in Melbourne’s CBD into ‘Renminconn’, a closed loop ‘special economic zone’. In Lim’s project, mass-production and money-printing become strategies for contemplating the human impact of the ‘long march’ of global capitalism.

Eugenia Lim (b. 1981 Melbourne, Australia) is an Australian artist of Chinese–Singaporean descent who works across video, performance and installation. Interested in how nationalism and stereotypes are formed, Lim invents personas to explore the tensions of an individual within society – the alienation and belonging in a globalised world.

Conflations between authenticity, mimicry, natural, man-made, historical and anachronistic are important to the work. To this end, Lim finds inspiration in sites and objects that are both ‘contemporary’ and ‘out of time’, embodied and virtual. Model homes, suburban sprawl, CCTV, online chat rooms, fake food, historical parks and the Australian landscape have all featured in the work. Counterpoint to these sites, Lim has performed the identities of Japanese hikikomori; a Bowie-eyed rock star; the cannibal Issei Sagawa; a suburban beautician; Miranda from Picnic at Hanging Rock and currently, a gold Mao-suited ‘Ambassador’. This dialogue between place and performance reflects the push-pull between Australian and Asian, the mono and the multi-cultural.

Lim’s work has been exhibited internationally at venues including the Tate Modern, GOMA, ACMI, HUN Gallery NY, and FACT Liverpool. She has received a number of Australia Council for the Arts grants and residencies, including a residency at the Experimental Television Centre NY and exchange at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). She is currently an artist-in-residence at Bundanon Trust. Collaboration, artistic community and the intersection between art and society informs her practice: in addition to her solo work, she co-directed the inaugural Channels: the Australian Video Art Festival, is a board member at Next Wave, the founding editor of Assemble Papers and co-founder of interdisciplinary collective Tape Projects.


Performance X 4A at Art Central.

HONG KONG. 20 – 25 MARCH 2017.

Tobias Gutmann, Anida Yeou Ali, Uji Handoko Eko Saputro aka Hahan and more to be announced.

4A returns to Art Central Hong Kong with a performance program with a series of diverse and compelling works. These leading performance artists are all working to question and challenge expectations of the norm – they ask you to imagine yourself in a different form, challenge you to rethink your expectations and invite you to speculate on a spectacle. Through the six days of the fair these artists will perform new iterations of some of their most lauded works. Tobais Gutmann’s face-o-mat returns to Asia after adventures in Papua New Guinea and Japan to refigure and redesign your face, Anida Yeou Ali’s Red Chador will weave through the crowds alongside you as you browse the booths and Hahan will invite you to hack the art market. Check back closer to the date for final artist announcements and performance times.

Venue: Art Central Hong Kong, 9 Lung Wo Road, Central, Hong Kong.

Image by Tania Palmier Gherardi courtesy of Anida Yeou Ali.


Familiar Stranger

SYDNEY. 7 APRIL – 21 MAY 2017.

Veer Munshi and more to be announced.

The reconciliation between memory and reality plagues the act of returning. There is no resolution between the two. Memories are etched into the psyche hinged on topographical monuments, whispered words and subconscious everyday patterns while reality erases such symbology through the passing of time. Familiar Stranger examines this third, non-existent space that plagues the returnee as they seek to retrace their memories in places that have been rebuilt or reinscribed. With familiarity reduced to invisible archaeological sites the returnee searches for recognition and legitimacy in a now unacquainted geography.

The exhibiting artists examine the negation and erasure of familiarity by presenting place as a space defined by uncertainty. There is a continue shift between points of view that begets the collapse of spatial certainty and becomes defined by its own instability. For the migrant the idea of returning becomes an implicit part of their identity; the constant oscillation between the possibility and impossibility of return a daily taunt. In Familiar Stranger the moment of return is the focal point where, for some, it is a wistful hope and for others a violent decimation of expectancy. Resisting melodrama, the artists turn to the familial archive and the personal memorial to bring form to the constant internal struggle between what is and what was.

I don’t want to be there when it happens


Raj Kumar, Sonia Leber & David Chesworth and Adeela Suleman.

I don’t want to be there when it happens brings together artists who explore the psychology of contemporary trauma. Recent works by Raj Kumar, Leber & Chesworth and Adeela Suleman all confront the larger socio-political realities of Pakistan in the era of contemporary warfare. Through video and installation, the artists address the experience of the individual in the midst of a continuous state of war. By scanning the landscape with nonsensical logic, futilely seeking to document destruction, and questioning the appropriation of religion, the artworks in the exhibition avoid resolution and closure. Instead, they highlight the individual’s inability to comprehend the expansive uncertainty of combat, and the impossibilities of representing the trauma of conflict.

I don’t want to be there when it happens presents truth as a precarious oscillation between fiction and reality. The artists resist literal or documentary approaches to their subjects, relying instead on speculative, symbolic, ambiguous and unstable modes of representation. In doing so, they emphasise how the individual’s attempts to understand and comprehend the reality of contemporary conflict are equally characterised by uncertainty and irresolvability. I don’t want to be there when it happens also seeks to acknowledge and present a multiplicity of perspectives on the ongoing conflicts in Pakistan and its region—perspectives which are all too easily overlooked or obscured by Western media and political interests.


Adeela Suleman’s work to be shown in I don’t want to be there when it happens has been co-commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art and The Keir Foundation.


On a raft, at sea, at night


On a raft, at sea, at night is a group exhibition of work by artists from across Australia and the Pacific whose practices explore the movement of cultural practices and commodities throughout the region. It focuses on a group of artists for whom artistic production develops out of a complex and interlaced constellation of references from across the globe that are used to navigate their local conditions. Strategies of piracy, bootlegging and appropriation are deployed by these artists in an attempt to contribute to a visual language that is at once responsive to their local conditions but able to circulate within a global context. The artists negotiate new notions of originality and authorship through developing a network of collaborators as both producers of and consumers of cultural output. On a raft, at sea, at night speaks to how artistic practices can become tools to navigate the  complexities of exchange where networked realities blur regionality.