Agugn, "Nircenggami", 81x91 cm, Linocut reduction print on handmade paper, 2013
Theo Frids Hutabarat,
Theo Frids Hutabarat, “The Death”, 200×150 cm, Oil on canvas, 2011

Chabib Duta Hapsoro is well on his way paving another unique exhibition. He asks the participating artists to comment on the other artworks in sequence.
The worry over the creative process of artists in Bandung is the motive of Chabib Duta Hapsoro, a curator, in initiating this exhibition. He arises from the “just the usual” condition regarding the creative ambiance of artists in Bandung.

He observes the declining graphic of exhibitions and the low bar of artists’ discussion in Bandung as a fine arts measure of Indonesian fine arts. The fine arts in this region should be thriving, in terms of exhibitions and artworks.

He utilizes the approach of Pierre Bordieu, a sociologist, in placing fine arts in Bandung as a place of art with perspective, way of thinking, and fine arts’ principle specially employed by the agents. The quality of the artists is the disposition received by the artists as the agents. This disposition is acquired through tradition as the manifestation of institution of education, habits, way of thinking, and discourse made by the agent and been done through generations over the years.

Based on this idea, Chabib creates a discussion for the artists. This discussion is the intended mutual commentary, artist A is being commented by artist B, then Artist B is being commented by artist C, all around through an orderly manner. This creates a critical situation in producing the artworks exhibited in Lawangwangi Creative Space, from 22 October to 12 November 2013.

This exhibition is one of the many exhibitions under Contemporary Bandung, with 16 young artists as the participants. They are Agugn, Ahmad Munir, Anis Annisa Maryam, Aulia Ibrahim Yeru, Kireina Windiah, Michael Binuka, Muhammad Zico Albaiquni, Mulyana the Mogus, Patriot Mukmin, Rega Ayundya, Tandya Rachmat, Theo Frids Hutabarat, Wastuwidyan Paramaputra, Windi Apriani, Yudi Triadi, and Zaldy Armansyah.

Agugn, “Nircenggami”, 81×91 cm, Linocut reduction print on handmade paper, 2013

It resulted in multiple dimensional artworks with sides of commentary from other artists. First, the commentary may turn out to be helpful for the visitors. Second, the commentary may become a mean of reflection tool, both for the commentator and the commented.

“This is a step of experiment in my curatorial to lift various preferential of artists. Curators are usually the directors of the artists, though in this curatorial I let the artists free, give them some spaces of discussion between the artists,” said Chabib Duta Hapsoro.

Let’s take a look at “The Death” (2011) of Theo Frids Hutabarat, sized 200×150 centimeters and made of oil on canvas. This is a painting of someone painting a figure of dead body. There is a contrast from the body with the figure of male painter. The body appears to be unfinished with red bruises on the neck, a sign of probable crime victim. We have no idea. We only see the paintings of living and dead figures. There is an impression of the two’s placing when one’s glancing up at the somber painting.

Besides the painting, a commentary from other painter, Kireina Windiah, regarding the background of graphic design in the making of a client’s order or just producing arts. Discussion takes a different turn when Kireina discusses criticism in two-dimensional medium, similar to what she does due to her graphic design background. This later turns into an insight for the visitors in seeing and appraising the painting from the medium side.

Nircenggani (2013), an 81×91 centimeter painting, is the artwork of Agugn using a wooden mold to create a picture of a person riding a horse. Both the horse and the human are not in their real forms, but they are portrayed as skeletal figures. These are not frightening, even playful as the horse is brightly colored with shades of light yellow-blue.

The colors get even brighter with the signature ivory color of skulls and skeletons. Wastuwidyawan’s commentary is nestled at the side of the painting, containing comment regarding the natural mystic of prolonged subject of interest. This painting, surprisingly, entices people to see despite the heavy and mysterious theme.

The artwork of Muhammad Zico Albaiquni, that is titled “To Be in the Fork Path”, is an installation combining two-dimensional plastic material. The 215×385 centimeter artwork is a form of provocation by inserting the plastic in the middle of the painting, therefore inserting the material into the painting. At the right side of the canvas, a figure of a young man is riding a horse, whilst at the opposite side a figure of painter is painted sitting, fully equipped and seeing the figure on the right side.

In between, a plastic dangles long, until it reaches past the bottom of the canvas. The material is both separating and uniting the two figures. Aulia Yeru’s commentary of the artwork rang true: “How does Zico’s painting turn into the crucial element of the installation? How effective will it be if a painting is treated as the forming elements of the intended situation?

Anis Annisa Maryam,

Anis Annisa Maryam, “Sur Mon Visage”, 10:30, Video Performance, 2013

The artworks of the participating artists are varied. Mulyana the Mogus presents knitted doll titled Mogus World (2012), Ahmad Munir presents three ink-on-paper paintings, all in 2013, such as Touch of Land whose size is 70×52 centimeter square, Touch of Air whose size is 72×52 centimeter square, and Touch of Water whose size is 73×53 centimeter square. While Anis Annisa Maryam presents a 10.30-minute-video artwork titled Sur Mun Visage, Ibrahim Yeru presents After Malida, made of mirror and acrylic whose size is 46x46x10 centimeter square.

Then, Kireine Windiah presents Natural Beauty’ Advertizing, a digital print above a box neon whose size is 100x50x8 centimeter square. Michael Binuko, another artist, presents two paintings on paper made of pen strokes titled Sale Type Neuron whose size is 40×60 centimeter square and Spinal Sponge whose size is 82×52 centimeter square. Both of them are made in 2013.

Chabib himself does not state clearly whether what the curator wants has gone to the furthest extent. The discussion is sometimes stilted, with no significant impact in the artistry process. What shall be highlighted though, is the bravery of this young curator in appeasing anxieties over the dimming creativity of Bandung’s artists.