Art Stage Jakarta 2016


ART STAGE JAKARTA 2016     Stand D18

Public Hours:
6 August, 1–9pm     7 August, 11am–9pm

Sheraton Grand Jakarta Gandaria City Hotel, Jl. Sultan Iskandar Muda, Jakarta 12240, Indonesia

Oil on French linen

ANTONY MICALLEF (b.1975), Raw Intent No. 14, 2016, Oil on French linen, 130 x 110 cm

Jakarta—Pearl Lam Galleries is delighted to announce its participation in the first edition of Art Stage Jakarta, Indonesia’s first boutique art fair, taking place from 5–7 August. As one of Asia’s leading galleries, with spaces in Hong Kong, Singapore and Shanghai, Pearl Lam Galleries will present a range of international contemporary artists.

Works by leading contemporary artists from both within and beyond Asia will be shown at the stand. Presenting a selection of some of the most significant moments in art in the contemporary era through the works of both familiar and emerging names, Pearl Lam Galleries proposes that the discussion, engagement and production of art is without borders. Artists on show include Chun Kwang Young (b. 1944, South Korea), Jenny Holzer (b. 1950, United States), Lee Sea Hyun (b. 1967, South Korea), Antony Micallef (b. 1975, United Kingdom), Pino Pinelli (b. 1938, Italy), Gatot Pujiarto (b. 1970, Indonesia), Yinka Shonibare MBE (b. 1962, Nigeria / United Kingdom), Su Xiaobai (b. 1949, China), Yang Yongliang (b. 1980, China), and Zhu Jinshi (b. 1954, China).

As part of a legendary generation of artists who left China in the 1980s, Zhu Jinshi is widely considered to be a pioneer of Chinese abstract art. During his time in Berlin, Zhu was exposed to Western art movements and experimented with performance, installation and conceptual forms. His wall-hung works, executed in the mature period of his career, present themselves as low reliefs. The paint is applied with shovels and other heavy-duty implements and the works themselves take several years to dry. Deliberately spaced within the stand, Zhu’s paintings contrast and direct the dialogue with the other works.

Other artists creating sculptural effects on painting include British artist Antony Micallef (b. 1975). In his latest series of paintings, Raw Intent, he explores the mechanics of paint and its potential to express emotions. Beeswax is blended in with acrylic paint in order to produce the thick, visceral effect that touches the viewer in a bodily manner. Micallef first came to the attention of the international art scene when he took second prize in the BP Portrait Award 2000, then quickly established himself more widely with his visually charged paintings, which have gradually become less figurative. Though initially guided by his own face in the mirror, the Raw Intent series is not meant to be read as portraiture. The face only acts as a conduit for exploring the hidden potential of the medium. In Raw Intent No. 14 (2016), a distorted figure stands in front of a muted background. While photographically flat, the figure is composed of thickly layered paint. When seen in person, a tension is created between what is seen by the eye and what is experienced by the body.

The works of Chinese artist Yang Yongliang (b. 1980) and Korean artist Lee Sea Hyun (b. 1967) take inspiration from the classical landscape paintings of their respective cultures. Negotiating the “rational” nature of new media with the “emotional” nature of traditional work on canvas, Yang’s works incorporate themes of urbanisation and cultural memory. His choice material on canvas of acrylic paint mixed with cement juxtaposes the harsh perception of a concrete jungle with his beautifully painted mountainous forms that highlight the medium’s surprisingly fluid nature. On the other hand, Lee Sea Hyun’s contemporary landscapes appear at first glance to depict a timeless utopia, yet closer inspection reveals vast pools of blankness and floating terrains that illustrate the artist’s memories of the Korean Demilitarised Zone (DMZ), when he was posted to survey the landscape wearing infrared goggles while serving his time in the military.

British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare MBE (b. 1962) also touches on memories, albeit those of a happier nature. The sculpture Boy Balancing Knowledge (2015) is inspired by his childhood spent in Lagos, Nigeria. Shonibare recalls long car rides with his lawyer father where he is instructed on what he should be reading as part of his childhood. A stack of vintage books relating to themes of travel and colonialism is piled on the chest of the boy, who arches backward in a movement of inertia and balance. The boy accepts but is not overwhelmed by the information that he receives, maintaining his own against the force of authority. The sculpture also features familiar motifs from his larger body of work, such as the signature globe-head, vibrant Dutch wax-printed fabric and Victorian costume.

Standing in visual contrast to the work of Shonibare is the work of Su Xiaobai (b. 1949), who enrolled himself at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in 1987 and has spent decades living in Germany. Having been exposed to Western avant-garde practice, Su sought ways to integrate its methods, techniques and language to his aim of articulating a quintessentially Chinese perspective. In 2003, he found his answer in lacquer, which soon became his medium of choice. His works focus on essential qualities like colour, shape, and texture, which in various combinations produce unique surfaces that range from smooth and sensuous to carved and abraded. Each piece exudes its own history, character, and independent presence. The stand will feature OT (2015–16) and Magnanimous-Blue (2016), two of Su’s larger works in vibrant, jewel-toned hues.

Also challenging contemporary understanding of painting are works by Italian artist Pino Pinelli (b. 1938), an artist heavily influenced by Italy’s Zero movement. Reflecting on the essence of painting in his Pittura series, Pinelli decreased the size of his canvases, resulting in works that are reminiscent of a microscopic view of the stroke of a paintbrush, or even scattered fragments of a larger canvas that has exploded. His canvases are devoid of brushstrokes. Instead, they look as if they have been sugar-coated in pure pigment, shimmering in red and grey. Their velvety surfaces are marked by regular lines and crevices that create and declare depth and form, emulating the act of brush painting on top of the canvas which has already been painted.

The Galleries will also showcase works from Korean artist Chun Kwang Young’s (b. 1944) Aggregation series, which combines his early experimentations with Abstract Expressionism with his mastery of mulberry paper, a uniquely Korean material, in his search for a culturally authentic mode of artistic expression. Wrapping individual triangular pieces of polystyrene in hand-dyed mulberry paper, Chun creates the highly textured surfaces of his mesmerising wall-hung assemblages. Where his two-dimensional works emulate painted gradients of colour across individually dyed pieces, his three-dimensional pieces are often monochromatic, allowing only tonal changes in colour in order to highlight the individual triangles of mulberry paper that protrude from every angle.

Based in Malang, Indonesia, Gatot Pujiarto (b. 1970) is part of a small but growing group of artists in that area. His work is inspired by uncommon events and unexpected occurrences from collected stories and his own personal experiences. After a pivotal residency at Selasar Sunaryo Art Space, Bandung, Indonesia, Pujiarto began to integrate textiles in earnest into his mixed media collages, creating undulating paintings and tapestries that confront their viewers and present multi-dimensional views. The Galleries’ stand will feature a new tapestry work, Crazy Night (2016), by the artist, only the second figurative work he has created in this medium. Pujiarto makes bold use of the fabric meant to be his canvas, exposing its edges and allowing it to become a sculptural element through an unconventional installation 15 centimetres away from the wall. Stitching and collaging coloured and textured pieces, the tapestry extends the artist’s commentary on the modern pursuit of a hedonistic lifestyle.

Two LED signs by American neo-conceptual artist Jenny Holzer will be illuminating the exterior of the stand. Known for her Truisms series, Holzer’s subversive work often blends in among advertisements in public spaces. Her loaded use of mottoes, quotations, and idiomatic phrases have appeared on T-shirts, posters, marble benches, and even condom wrappers. They have also been light-projected onto the facades of government, corporate, and community buildings around the globe. The two LED screens at the stand feature text crawling and blinking across the screen in traditional Chinese script.

“We’ve enjoyed great success at Art Stage Singapore and are delighted to be participating in this first edition of Art Stage Jakarta. Jakarta is an important hub for art and artists in Southeast Asia and we are bringing with us a number of top international contemporary artists, including Indonesian artist Gatot Pujiarto, and are excited to be presenting them to collectors and the public”.

—Pearl Lam