Ismes Z. E. bersama Ira Irianto, 'Threesome Human, and Myth, Sex', Paper on Board, 135x200x10cm, 2013
Tiarma Dame Ruth Sirait, Hippy Hi, costume made from telephone cards, covered by fancy paper, 2004-2005
Tiarma Dame Ruth Sirait, Hippy Hi, fancy costumes made of telephone cards covered with fancy papers, 2004-2005

The majority of ‘paperwork’ (paper artwork) in the exhibition brings out the present problems in many shapes.

Right after the entrance of The Bandung Paper Art Show at its opening in Museum Sri Baduga, Isa Perkasa’s art performance greets the visitors. He takes corruption as the starting point of his artwork.

Paper mice are laid out on the floor. The artist himself also burns some papers. The smoke wafts at the corner of the room. His art performance ends with strewing powders on the black-paper mice. It is silent, save Isa’s actions.

The paper medium is not a monopoly of Isa Perkasa’s art performance. Paper is also the main topic of other artworks courtesy of other 27 artists exhibited from 1-14 November 2013. The exhibition titled Paperium: Perspective Creativity is curated by Setiawan Sabana, M. Dwi Marianto, dan Wayan Seriyoga Patra.

Artworks are created as responds to various problems with paper as the prime medium. The paper is used to celebrate the expression of fine arts. Taking place at the second floor of Museum Sri Baduga, this exhibition contains groups of two-dimensional arts, three-dimensional arts, and video arts.

Haryadi Arwinda, 'Rahwana', laser cutting & acrylic on paper, 2013
Haryadi Arwinda, ‘Rahwana’, laser cutting & acrylic on paper, 2013

“This exhibition is comprised of paper artworks responding to contemporary present and tradition. The future of paper and creative perspective are visible here,” said Setiawan Sabana as the curator.

Multiple themes are brought forth by the artists from Bandung, Yogya, Jakarta, Bali, South Korea, Malaysia and the Indonesian artists residing in Australia. A huge part of these artists are concerned about the latest parts, and this is visible from the artworks.

Take Dhyani Wodoyanto Hendranto’s artwork, for example. She brought paper sculpture and a video art titled Archive of Displacement (2013) forward. Hers is a group of both short and long-stemmed white paper flowers, displayed on 2.5 meter black fabric covering the walls and a part of the floor.

There is not a single human in the video, other than white paper flowers moving from one land to another. The flowers are going up and down through the sandy land meant to be a desert, going just like that all the time. Though, the story of the paper object slowly moves forward. There is something that prods at the rolling paper flowers, unidentified.

‘Paper as an Ideology Medium’ (2013), an artwork of Hilman Syafriadi, comprised from three bicycles covered with newspapers. This artwork reminds us of the pastimes when electronic media was not as powerful as today. Newspapers were still the main breadwinner in matters of politics talk.

Setiawan Sabana, 'Bumi Kertas', menggunakan Kertas - Lesung - Boboko - Bubu, ukuran variatif, 2013
Setiawan Sabana, ‘Bumi Kertas‘ (Paper Earth), using Papers – Lesung (Mortars) – Boboko (bamboo rice container) – Bubu (bamboo fish cage), varied sizes, 2013

mortar, bamboo fish cage (bubu), bamboo rice container (boboko)

This way, we are able to reflect on the independence of this nation. Newspapers and bicycles imply a moving idea for particular goals of politics. Newspapers convey ideas, whilst bicycles symbolize movement or struggle.

The artwork of Ismet Zaenal Effendi comprised of processed paperwork, stacked on a board.  The artwork title Threesome: Human, Myth, and Sex, whose size is 135x100x10 centimeter (2013). The manifestation felt terrorizing, since the picture on the board is three human skeletons having sex with each other.

It is not a lust that exist, but the tragic human nature. The skeletal figures in this artwork are nothing more than expressions of happiness caused by temporariness and a celebration on the tragic human nature itself. The papers gummed on the board itself are also temporary. Hence, the message of this artwork emits strongly, from both ideas and the materials.

Most artworks in this exhibition are none other than responds to the present problems. There is only an artwork among others that is a form of respond from traditional values. The artwork is an installation titled “Paper Earth” of Setiawan Sabana. The artwork takes no less than three meter square as the place.

The artwork takes no less than three meter square as the place. There are mortar, bamboo fish cage (bubu), bamboo rice container (boboko), and papers. There are also three people play three traditional musical instruments beside the artwork.  The white papers are strewn on the floor, hanged on the ceiling, and hanged on the wall beside the artwork.

Ismes Z. E. bersama Ira Irianto, 'Threesome Human, and Myth, Sex', Paper on Board, 135x200x10cm, 2013
Ismes Z. E. with Ira Irianto, ‘Threesome Human, and Myth, Sex’, Paper on Board, 135x200x10cm, 2013

The artwork displays a spiritual condition taken from Sundanese local wisdom. Mortars, bamboo fish cages (bubu), bamboo rice containers (boboko), and papers is the main tools in fulfilling the eating needs of this local people.

The tools signify the Sundanese needs of agrarian culture with thick land culture. Nature indirectly exists in those tools, also transcendental situation from the hanging white paper.

“My artwork is an extraction from Sundanese tradition regarding spirituality,” said Setiawan Sabana.