Day 11: Jogja, Indonesia

Day 11, and I had started to get overwhelmed by the amount of galleries and artists we were visiting today even before the day had started. While it was great to be visiting all these artists, I was wondering if it had really been needed as we weren’t experiencing anything that made Jogja what it was. We visited Ace Market, a gallery/convenience store created by Ace House Collective, a group of young artists who experiment with ways art can be viewed. Along with artwork that could be purchased (such as drawings for example), other products that could be found in a normal convenience store were also considered “art” and they described the way in which Ace Market was also a performance piece.

Ace Market

Our next visit was to Krack Studio, a printmaking gallery and workshop, where we met one of the founders, Malcolm Smith. He talked to us about how the space was open for other artists to use. It was great to see yet another artist supporting others to produce work and get exhibited! We then visited Uji “Hahan” Handoko at his home and studio. It was interesting listening to how different the story of him and his girlfriend’s “success” were and it started to become clear to me that female artists in Indonesia experience the same sort of troubles female artists endure in other parts of the world. Why is success in the art world based on gender? People would be lying if they said it wasn’t, or closed-minded to not be able to see the discrimination women still face when it comes to “making it”. I was also disappointed by the conversation I had with some of girls at lunch over Luggas’s work. When I tried to explain the religious connotations I thought his work had, they shut me down and wouldn’t even bother to see my point of view. I sat there and nodded and agreed with what they were saying, even by telling them I had never thought of it that way, but then when my opinion came to the table it was wrong. I enjoy having an intelligent conversation where a good debate is welcomed, but being told that what I was saying was incorrect and not even bothering to open their minds and seeing it in a different way made me see those people differently. As students majoring in art, I thought others would be open to different interpretations, but I guess I was wrong.

That night Lisa and I made our way to Cemeti Art House gallery where I was really impressed by the quality of work shown, and it was great to see some more photography and video work. I enjoyed the video work of a model posing in the street as if her photograph was being taken, but instead it shows the moments in between the photograph, and it was quite awkward to watch. Having photographed people in public space, I know what those moments are like. The work also spoke about how a photograph is such a “finished” product, which I’m not sure I agree with as there is so much more work and thought that goes into making a photograph, that same sort that any other art work would take.

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