Figure 1: Remembering December II (2010) One of J Ariadhitya’s exhibit in “Ashes to Ashes”
As the art scene in many parts of the world continue their recovery from the 2009 financial super-storm, the Indonesian art market has been surprisingly resilient.
Exhibitions were commonly held and art selling prices dipped less than 50% last year. Such strong market sentiments have led Indonesia to become one of the largest Asian art market in 2010.
To me, I feel that this had its roots in 2007.
Development of art infrastructure in Indonesia accelerated in 2007 due to a boom in the art market. Galleries and private art collections sprouted across the archipelago, adding new dynamics to the entire South East Asian Art scene.
These shifts conferred great benefits to young artists today, and many are going on to become internationally well-known, and the trend remains.
The most notable is J Ariadhitya Pramuhendra (26 years old), who participated in Art Hong Kong 2010 under Platform 3, an independent art space in Bandung, Indonesia. His work “Ashes to Ashes” was among the most popular. In addition, he was also nominated for the ‘special project award’. Without a doubt, Art Hong Kong lent a great international boost to his career.
Another globe-trotting artist is art group – Tromarama.
The trio’s average age hovers around 25 years old. In July 2010, they held their solo show in Japan’s most reputable museum: Modri Art Museum, Tokyo.
Before achieving success in Nippon, they were at Singapore’s Biennale in 2008. They continue to travel around the world to exhibit their video installations.
Young artists are increasingly playing an important role in new styles of development.
For example, Wisnu Auri’s show at Canna Gallery, Darbotz—one of graffiti artists from Jakarta—in D Gallerie, Agan Harahap’s photography show at Vivi Yip Art Room, Arwinda’s show in Sigi Art Space and Banung Grahita and Duto Hapsoro at the Selasar Soenaryo Art Space in Bandung.
This list excludes the numerous photography and new media art shows in the international arena by more known artists like, Tintin Wulia, Wimo Ambala Bayang and Angki Purbandono.
Common traits between the younger generations of artist are their interest in popular culture and rapid development of technology. The current exhibitions we are witnessing now also underscore their extreme experimental nature in creating aesthetically arresting artworks.
Many have speculated that due to greater activity in Indonesia last year, 2011 will be a much more competitive year for younger artists. As one would expect gallery-initiatives to slow down, artists will face the pressure to explore uncharted waters by tackling difficult issues with fresh approaches.