ArtJog 2018: Enlightening Engagement

Story By
Cita Arsita Farani

With the theme of “Enlightenment: Towards Various Futures”, this annual contemporary art event left an engaging impression.

Stepping through the entrance dome of ArtJog 2018, visitors were welcomed by something they would go on to feel throughout the exhibition: the urge to participate, explore and look closer in order to be enlightened. The specially commissioned knitted installation “Sea Remembers” by Mulyana, perfectly evoked those feelings. Bright and filled with details that offered a different view from every angle, the process behind the work itself was one of enlightenment as to the artist, where he overcame the struggle within himself, built a network with the people who helped him, and used the knitting technique which relies on meticulousness. The underwater-themed installation revealed what is beneath the surface, inviting visitors to dive deeper and reminding them of the choice between looking after or destroying the beauty that they find.

“Healing Garden” by Hiromi Tango encouraged further participation. It focused on creating safe, nurturing spaces made of crepe paper flowers inspired by local plants and flowers with healing and nurturing properties including rose, jasmine, amaryllis and kenanga. When you stepped into the room, you were given one of the flowers to be placed anywhere you wanted. Now and then, assistants played the role of gardeners and took care of the garden.

Another installation worth noting was “Vertical Horizon” by Jim Allen Abel which offered some alternative ways for the audience to enjoy the work. At first glance, one’s attention was caught by the light circles on the ceiling. But the mirrors placed on the floors allowed you to look down in order to enjoy the view above.

A humorous take on an increasingly alarming hoax phenomenon could be seen on the works of Agan Harahap, “Childhood Memories #2”. The rapid and unlimited exchange of information in this day and age has brought a significant change to the meaning of the word ‘fact’. Most people believe the information displayed on their gadgets without necessarily checking for the truth, a situation taken advantage of by irresponsible parties with agendas ranging from harmless to harmful. The artist introduced a batch of convincing yet irrefutably untrue stories, complete with whole articles and edited photos displaying public figures.

ArtJog2018 presented daily performances and curatorial tours along with merchandise projects by artists and creative workers. Meet The Artist facilitated a dialogue between public and the artists involved in the event, while the Young Artist Award was held for the best participating young artists aged 33 years old or less.

ArtJog 2018 was held on 5 May to 4 June 2018 at Jogja National Museum.