National Gallery of Victoria opens RALLY. Contemporary Indonesian Art – Jompet Kuswidananto & Eko Nugroho

National Gallery of Victoria opens RALLY. Contemporary Indonesian Art – Jompet Kuswidananto & Eko Nugroho, on view 18 October 2012–01 April 2013.

RALLY: Contemporary Indonesian Art – Jompet Kuswidananto & Eko Nugroho will present two perspectives on modern Indonesia through the works of Kuswidananto; a sound, installation, and video artist, and Nugroho; whose colourful murals, paintings and embroideries will spill across the floor, walls and ceilings of the NGV.


Eko Nugroho (Indonesian 1977- ), The Republic Needs More Semeleh 2011. Installation at Ark Galerie, Jakarta, Indonesia, 2011. Courtesy of the artist and Ark Galerie© Eko Nugroho.

Both artists will exhibit in the contemporary art space on the ground floor at NGV International. In addition, Nugroho will utilise his street art-inspired aesthetic to create a specially-commissioned mural on the iconic NGV Waterwall and Kuswidananto’s The Commoners, which features nine figures playing mechanised drums, will be dramatically suspended in Federation Court.

Nugroho’s works are grounded in both traditional and modern Indonesia; fusing street art and popular culture with traditional embroidery styles and Javanese shadow puppetry. His humorous yet unsettling social satires express strong comments on Indonesia’s politically-charged climate in a dynamic and lively manner, often featuring characters that draw on comic book graphics and graffiti from the streets of his hometown of Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Kuswidananto creates installations and performances using musical instruments, video projection, personal computers and assorted found objects. His work combines visual and audio techniques to explore political and cultural identity, particularly about the people and history of Java. His works often adopt the forms of traditional Indonesian authority figures such as Java’s royal soldiers, clad in typical Dutch colonial costumes, to discuss the hybrid nature of Indonesian culture in its relationship to colonisation.

The opening weekend of RALLY: Contemporary Indonesian Art will be celebrated with RALLY at the NGV on Saturday 20 October. From 10am to 5pm, hear Kuswidananto and Nugroho discuss their art practice and learn about Indonesian art, politics and music from special guest speakers. Kids will also be invited to make their own Kuswidananto and Nugroho-inspired artworks. For the full program of events, visit ngv.vic.gov.au.

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