SYDNEY. 22 OCTOBER – 17 DECEMBER 2016.
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.
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 2016, 2014, 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.
All images: Document Photography