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Art What!: Broken White Project – Tropenwelle at Mizuma Gallery

Mizuma Gallery is pleased to announce Broken White Project: Tropenwelle, an exhibition featuring eight Indonesian artists, organised in collaboration with Ace House Collective.

Broken White Project is an initiative by Yogyakarta-based artists-run Ace House Collective that works with artists to conduct comprehensive readings of creative processes while optimising the potential for interconnectivity between spaces and artists. Presented as a series of exhibitions, the project focuses on dialogues related to the creation of ideas and artworks, fostering creative processes through a collective work style. These dialogues, networking, and spatial partnerships with artists are an effort to find a methodological framework and to discover a formula for nurturing the creative process of artists and sustaining their artistic works.

Prihatmoko Moki, Betaljemur Adammakna, 2022, engraving and acrylic on cowhide, 68 × 98 × 10 cm © Prihatmoko Moki, courtesy of the artist and Mizuma Gallery.

This time, Ace House Collective collaborates with Mizuma Gallery to present Broken White Project: Tropenwelle, an exhibition that envisions the Singapore art scene as one of the main pillars of contemporary Asian art today. The activation of inter-spatial networks is crucial in order for us to observe the extent of art’s potential in reading the phenomena and in responding to ideas and changes in our everyday life.

Dian Suci Rahmawati, Beauty: Struggle for a Moment, 2022, oil on canvas, 138 × 179 × 4.5 cm © Dian Suci Rahmawati, courtesy of the artist and Mizuma Gallery.

The conceptual outlines carried out in the works exhibited in Broken White Project: Tropenwelle stem from history and collective memory as the foundation, gallery networks as the basis for the areas of practice, contemporary art as the work model, and cultural approaches as the themes. We are currently witnessing the ongoing process of reading and reconstructing of historical records and cultural practices on a public as well as a domestic scale, in order to explore the challenges of the future of Asian contemporary art. This process takes forms in the work practices of artists working with past issues, especially those related to the modes of knowledge, repertoire of local material, cultural productions, and the regional politics tightly related to the decolonization discourse. The jumbled intersection of issues and discourses of contemporary art that converge with global culture has given rise to significant changes and tensions to the intrinsic realm of artists’ studio work. Engaged in an effort to confront cultural amnesia, this exhibition presents eight artists in a variety of conceptual works and creations.

Meliantha Muliawan, Silent Prayer #1, 2022, ink on plastic print, yarn, 90 × 90 × 8 cm © Meliantha Muliawan, courtesy of the artist and Mizuma Gallery.

Meliantha Muliawan documents her family’s historic memories and trauma by replicating artefacts of prayer and ritual practices, while the theme of understanding and responding to trauma is raised by Dian Suci Rahmawati through a series of self-portraits dramaturgy. On the other hand, Prihatmoko Moki excavates the myths in literary stories of cultural and religious acculturation which he portrays as counter-discourses on radical religious politics that are developing in today’s society. In a similar vein, Restu Ratnaningtyas highlights socio-political narratives in various portraits of expressions of public escapism in a naive local language. Readings on how the impact of cultural globalism will affect generations is the basis for Wisnu Auri in creating visual interpretations of songs and lyrics that represent his personal history, as is the case with Riono Tanggul Nusantoro who utilises the ‘cut n remix’ logic typical to pop culture as a method in concocting his visuals on canvas. In Widi Pangestu’s work, we see his struggle with paper along with local knowledge-based processing technology to open up new possibilities for creative materials, in the same way Rudy ‘Atjeh’ Dharmawan who re-examined the tatah sungging (carving and decorating) technique of wayang kulit (traditional Javanese shadow puppet) as a cathartic method in creating his works.

Riono Tanggul Nusantoro, Many Sources Series, 2022, acrylic and spray paint on canvas, Ø 120 cm © Riono Tanggul Nusantoro, courtesy of the artist and Mizuma Gallery.

Broadly speaking, these eight artists explore new possibilities in their work methods by continually building perspectives and paradigms on every contradiction between oneself and the soul of the era (zeitgeist) by arranging their personal works on the spectrum of social practice.

Broken White Project: Tropenwelle will run from 2nd July to 31st July 2022. In conjunction with the exhibition, Mizuma Gallery will publish an e-catalogue with images of artworks by the artists and an exhibition text written by Hendra Himawan. More information available here

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