A CROSS-CULTURAL EXHIBITION BY GAJAH GALLERY 6 Dec – 21 Dec @ Gajah Gallery, Singapore
Gajah Gallery is proud to present, INTERSECTIONS, a premier 2-part cross-cultural exhibition between selected Southeast Asian contemporary artists and five distinctive Cuban artists who have mainly exhibited in the West. Previously exhibited at the Sangkring Art Space in Yogyakarta in October 2014, INTERSECTIONS is now travelling to Singapore, and will open at Gajah Gallery from 6 Dec – 21 Dec 2014.
Besides offering a rare insight into the intellectual discourse of contemporary art between these two factions of artists, the exhibition also reveals surprising connections between Southeast Asian and Latin American culture. The juxtaposition of artworks coming from dissimilar geographic locations creates a distinctive dialogue through the exploration of creative cultural processes. The show additionally examines the social, cultural and political locales by utilizing the global languages and concepts of contemporary art. Cuban art is often time identified with the symbolic story of a country affected by its political and social environment that is an inherent part of its history. This is also akin to Indonesian art which still commonly serves as a personal voice that offers a critique of the current power structures and struggles which have been prevalent since the waning years of the Suharto period in the 1990s.
The collective of five Cuban artists’ that include renowned artist Yoan Capote, his brother Ivan Capote, multidisciplinary artists’ Douglas Arguelles and Adonis Flores, and Europe-based Cuban artist Maykel Linares, constitute the Cuban dialogue of the exhibition. The Southeast Asia selection which comprises of leading contemporary Indonesian artists; Yunizar, Handiwirman Saputra, Ugo Untoro & Putu Sutawijaya, along with acclaimed Malaysian artist Ahmad Zakii Anwar; as well as Singaporean artist Suzann Victor highly prominent for her installation works widely exhibited around the world.
[CUBAN ARTISTS] Adonis Flores (1971) Adonis Flores is a Cuban multidisciplinary artist who lives and works in Havana, Cuba. He holds a degree in Architecture from the Universidad Central de Las Villas, 1997. His artistic practice includes photography, video, installation, performance and interventions in public spaces. As an artist he has found in his actions and interventions the possibility to engage in tactical actions triggering different reactions in such places. Douglas Arguelles Cruz (1977) Douglas Argüelles is a contemporary artist who was born in La Habana, Cuba. Throughout his works which range from paintings, drawings, installations, video art and public interventions; he represents his avid obsession with the subversion of biological processes. He strongly believes in the notion of life after death, even for useless, discarded or deceased matter; and this concept transpires in the creation and development of his art which is known to take after the abstract style.
Ivan Capote (1973) Capote has exhibited extensively in Cuba, the U.S., and France and his works are part of public and private collections in the U.S. and Europe. His mechanical installations and sculptures are documentations of laborious processes that explore the way history is created and erased. The works often encourage the communication of viewpoints in a public space thereby enabling a collective dialogue within a network. Additionally, his oeuvre includes paintings, drawings as well as public performances that have won him much acclaim as a contemporary artist. Yoan Capote (1977) Born in Pinar del Río, Yoan Capote is a Cuban sculptor who currently lives and works in Havana. His oeuvre encompasses a wide range of mediums that include paintings, photography, performance sculptures as well as installations. Over the years, he has collaborated extensively with his brother, Iván Capote, also a contemporary Cuban artist, on a series of exhibitions. The concepts behind Capote’s works are often deeply provocative and reflective; while the physicality of the works often play with developing three-dimensional and multi-sensory possibilities. Maykel Linares (1979) Maykel Linares is a Cuban artist who has been residing in Europe since 2004. The value of his work is fed with an unstoppable vitality that gives dignity to the everyday view of his experience. He opts for a dissident version of reality, the version not directly related to the reference point, the distorted view of “what is real”, to trace a line of investigation.
[SOUTHEAST ASIA SELECTION] Handiwirman Saputra (1975) uses regular everyday materials including cotton, human hair, plastic wrap, wood etc., which he then repositions in a manner contrary to convention in his works. He studies the relationship between the extraordinary and the mundane, and more specifically, how the power of perception can seize imagination and alter one’s impression of the ordinary. Perception gives forms their meaning and meaning is always open to interpretation. He works in both paintings and sculptures and they mysteriously evoke a faint recognition of something that had been seen before but is essentially unidentifiable.
Putu Sutawijaya (1971) Hailed as one of the most important young artists to watch out for, Putu Sutawijaya’s canvases are highly charged with the energy, or “qi”, that is suggestive of Chinese calligraphy masters. While Chinese calligraphy influences his technique, his subject matter captures the essence of Balinese religious and tribal rituals. The visual impact of his canvases is explosive yet contemplative. They reflect the mutual desire for harmony in order and chaos, a oneness with the universe. Man as the centrifugal figure in paintings is distinctively ‘Sutawijaya’ and continues to be prominent in his works.
Ugo Untoro (1970) graduated from the Indonesia Institute of the Arts in Yogyakarta, where he has since been living and working. He is regarded by many to be one of Indonesia’s most established artists, and has received considerable attention for his signature energetic, raw style. His affinity for the street culture and graffiti art of the city has profoundly shaped the development of his artistic philosophy, infusing it with an edgy quality that is manifested through all his works.
Yunizar (1971) Yunizar spent his formative years at the Indonesian Institute of Arts in Yogyakarta – a school of national pride in the heart of progressive art-making in Indonesia. Yunizar’s training reveals itself in his sophisticated expressive style, articulated through a playful composition and subtle palette. Executed primarily in acrylic and pencil, his works stand out in terms of texture, colour, brushwork and rhythm. A restrained palette of cool colours- yellows, browns and greens- is deliberately dirtied and smudged in his working and reworking of the canvas. The result is a highly tactile work that entices the viewer to feel the piece.
Ahmad Zakii Anwar (1955) A graduate of the School of Art and Design, MARA Institute of Technology Malaysia, Ahmad Zakii Anwar began his career as a graphic artist, producing some of the leading advertising graphics of his time before turning to fine art practice. Zakii came to attention for his virtuosity and command of a spectrum of media from charcoals to oils, building a reputation for stunning photo-realist still-life paintings and expressive portraits. He is lauded for capturing not just city motifs and urban features but also a distinctive psychological dimension and cinematic quality in these scenarios.
Suzann Victor (1959) A recipient of numerous grants and scholarships, Victor graduated with a B.A. Hons. (First Class), an M.A (Hons) and a Doctorate at the University of Western Sydney in 2008, after gaining an Associate Diploma of Fine Arts from the LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts in Singapore. She is well known for her ability to articulate complex ideas into grandeur forms, often incorporating kinetic mechanism and technology in her installations. Victor was also awarded the prestigious New York-based Civitella Ranieri Foundation fellowship in 2009 and exhibited widely at shows such as the 49th Venice Biennale, 6th Gwangju Biennale and 2nd Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art.