„Whilst Indonesia is one of the biggest countries in the world it remains young. With a population of 250 million people, more than half live on the island of Java. Consisting of hundreds of ethnic groups that were united as a nation at the denouement of WWII, Indonesia comprises many languages and many religions. Diversity is officially recognized, but high density living generates cultural and urban tensions which erupt in different ways. Indonesia lies on the equator, is tropical, and rich with natural resources, arts and traditions – culturally and environmentally stimulating.
Following the financial crisis of 1997/1998 Indonesia encountered economic difficulty in both its domestic markets and international economic relationships. In the generation following the crisis Indonesia has risen to an important status within ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), attracting burgeoning foreign investment and economic partnerships. However, the integration of Indonesia into the global political economy can have destructive environmental and social consequences, as in the case of Sumatran rainforests being increasingly utilized by European nations in the production of “bio gasolin”. One of the main purposes in my artworks is to demonstrate the impact of environmental disasters caused by exploitation of nature.
Despite the economically upward global mobility of Indonesia now, there is still one serious problem: poverty. Following the financial crisis and subsequent shifts to stabilization, a rapidly growing “middle class” emerged in Indonesia, which, in major cities, now often dominates political agendas. Despite this, however, appearances are deceiving, as the majority of Indonesians remain poor. With limited opportunities and little by way of structural support, the informal sector of employment is alive and well in Indonesia, comprising 75% percent of non-agricultural labour yet contributing nothing to job security or stability. Abounding from this are a myriad of sad and tragic individual stories, the complexity of which I attempt to highlight in my artworks.
The new “democracy” of Indonesia sounds good on the agenda of all political parties. Under this semantic veneer, however corruption and cronyism continue to dominate. The implications of this in everyday life are overwhelming and confusing. As a result, the citizens of Indonesia can be susceptible to persuasion from small political groups which often tend toward fundamental religious ideologies, or they feel numb toward their participation in the democratic process. I want to show how the Indonesian people are caught in a cage of disillusion despite democracy.
Finally, my art tries to catch the ways Indonesian people try to integrate modern and western culture. From my artistic perspectives, more or less I want to show what happens day-to-day in life in Indonesia in the 21st century. How Indonesian struggles to deal with the globalization and modern culture. What really happens under the fat old Indonesian sun.“
Address : Nitiprayan No.94 RW.20/RT.03, Tirtonirmolo, Kasihan Bantul, Yogyakarta, Indonesia. 55283
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