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Art What!: Residual Memory at Mizuma Gallery

Mizuma Gallery has announced Residual Memory, a solo exhibition by Indonesian artist Budi Agung Kuswara. Budi Agung Kuswara’s paintings celebrate the treasury of aesthetic and cultural influences on the Indonesian archipelago. Trained in kamasan painting, Budi retains the intricacy and delicate linework of this traditional art form in his contemporary works, marrying these baroque sensibilities with observations on social tensions and dynamics.

Budi Agung Kuswara, details of Defragmentation #2, 2021, cyanotype, acrylic on kamasan canvas, 200 × 145 cm

His new body of work continues his interest in archival images, in particular, images related to Indonesia’s history and culture. These documents of the past are retrieved from the public domain, and reworked into lavish still life paintings, bringing together vestiges from different eras into an assemblage that explores the varied facets of ‘Indonesian’ culture and identity, while simultaneously recalling the European tradition of memento mori or vanitas paintings.

Central to the spirit of Budi’s work is the use of cyanotype to create his images. This process, which relies on sunlight to bring images into being, is the artist’s way of connecting his work and his time, with the past eras of the images he works with, from the premodern kingdoms of the Singhasari and Majapahit, to more recent colonial histories. Through the sun — the same sun that has presided over thousands of years of human history – these older, ancient histories and past eras are all present in Budi’s contemporary re-telling: one of many arcs in a larger cosmic cycle.

Budi Agung Kuswara, Defragmentation #2, 2021, cyanotype, acrylic on kamasan canvas, 200 × 145 cm. © Budi Agung Kuswara, courtesy of the artist and Mizuma Gallery.

Residual Memory, the first solo exhibition by Indonesian artist Budi Agung Kuswara in Mizuma Gallery, will run from 27th November to 23rd December 2021. In conjunction with the exhibition, Mizuma Gallery will publish an e-catalogue with images of artworks by Budi Agung Kuswara and an exhibition text written by Tan Siuli.

Residual Memory runs from 27th November to 23rd December 2021 at Mizuma Gallery. More information available here

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