UNSW Art & Design Presents at 4A: A History of Art Collectivism in Indonesia


4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art will close our office and galleries from Wednesday 18 March to ensure the health and wellbeing of our staff, creatives, audience and wider community. 

4A staff will be working from home in this period and we are working to make sure that our program will return to our gallery and partner spaces better than ever, and that you can stay engaged with and support the important work of our creative community in this time of isolation. 


From Wednesday 18 March, 4A will suspend all planned public programming and performances (at both the 4A galleries and external partners) with a look to reschedule these programs upon reopening and deliver additional digital content where possible.

UNSW Art & Design and 4A welcome Indonesian independent historian, artist and author Antariksa to 4A Sydney for his keynote presentation A History of Art Collectivism in Indonesia.

Over the last 20 years, the international art world has turned its attention to art collectives in Indonesia. Artist groups such as Apotik Komik, Taring Padi, Ruangrupa, Kunci, House of Natural Fiber, Forum Lenteng, Mes56, Lifepatch, Tromarama, Jatiwangi Art Factory, Serrum — are routinely invited to be involved in forums, residencies and art projects globally. This culminated into the appointment of Ruangrupa as artistic director of documenta 15, 2022. Hundreds of artists, researchers, and curators come to Indonesia year after year – they are eager to know, learn, and experience the practice and the everyday of the art collective in Indonesia. Why the Indonesian art collectives? What is so appealing about forming collectives? In this talk, Antariksa will discuss the contemporary practice and collective life of artists in Indonesia through a historical perspective: the history of art collectivism in Indonesia began with the final years of Dutch colonisation in the late 1930s, its legacy is permanent and changing, sustained and disconnected, and consistent and contradictory.

The talk will be moderated by Prof. Paul Gladston, followed by a Q and A with the audience.

Antariksa is an independent historian and co-founding member of KUNCI Study Forum & Collective and Bumi Pemuda Rahayu ecological art center in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. He is the author of Tuan Tanah Kawin Muda: Hubungan Seni Rupa-LEKRA 1950–1965 (The Relation Between Art and the Institute of People’s Culture in Indonesia 1950–1965) (2005). Antariksa is the 2017 laureate of Global South(s) du Collège d’études mondiales/Fondation Maison des sciences de l’homme fellowship, Paris. His primary research is on art and mobility of ideas in Japanese-occupied Southeast Asia. His recent works have been exhibited at, among others, the Sharjah Biennale 2018/2019 (UAE) and The Asian Art Biennial 2019/2020 (National Museum of Fine Arts, Taiwan).

Paul Gladston is the inaugural Judith Neilson Professor of Contemporary Art at the University of New South Wales and was previously Professor of Contemporary Visual Cultures and Critical Theory at the University of Nottingham. He has written extensively on contemporary Chinese art with regard to the concerns of critical theory. His monograph Contemporary Chinese Art: a Critical History (2014) received ‘best publication’ at the Art Awards China (2015). His most recent monograph, Contemporary Chinese Art, Aesthetic Modernity and Zhang Peili: Towards a Critical Contemporaneity (2019) has been described as “a landmark work both in terms of cultural-criticism and art-historical analysis.” He was founding principal editor of the peer-reviewed Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art (2014-2017) and an academic adviser to the internationally acclaimed exhibition Art of Change: New Directions from China staged at the Hayward Gallery-South Bank Centre, London (2012). He is currently the lead co-editor of the peer-reviewed book series Contemporary East Asian Visual Cultures, Societies and Politics.