Art Fair



    February 28, 2024 – March 3, 2024

    Booth D7, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai
    United Arab Emirates

    Gajah Gallery introduces its inaugural participation at Art Dubai 2024, a momentous step in its journey to engage with the dynamic and vibrant art scene in the Middle East. The Gallery will present the visionary works of six exceptional artists: Ashley Bickerton, Erizal As, Jane Lee, Rudi Mantofani, Yunizar, and Yusra Martunus. 

    The decision to showcase Gajah Gallery’s artists at Art Dubai is a deliberate one; recognising the region’s growing influence as a global hub for contemporary art and cultural exchange. Dubai, with its dynamic and cosmopolitan atmosphere, stands as a perfect platform for our Southeast Asian artists to connect with a diverse international audience. Participating in this fair, we aim to blend the distinctive perspective of Southeast Asian contemporary art with Dubai’s commitment to nurturing a vibrant arts scene. Given Dubai’s strategic position as a cultural gateway between the East and West, we see this as a unique opportunity to establish resonance between the two regions, transcending geographical boundaries.

    The presentation, Transcending Boundaries: Contemporary Expressions from Southeast Asia and Beyond, conjoins a diverse yet globally resonated visual language while staying rooted in the rich cultures and concerns each artist has towards and about their locales. It sparks dialogues about the complexity of contemporary art development that is not monolithic or exclusively West-oriented. 

    Ashley Bickerton’s bronze sculptures and hyperrealistic paintings reveal his scathing critiques of capitalism’s effects on his environment—a persistent theme throughout his career. After establishing a thriving career in New York, Bickerton moved to Indonesia, where he observed the transformation of a remote island to an international tourist destination. His works thus challenged the insidious effects of the ‘island utopia’ and its reality as a de-cultured touristic locale. His iconic shark sculptures that Gajah Gallery presents in Art Dubai evoke the power inherent in natural creatures. Presenting subject matters from the marine ecosystem, an ecosystem he was closely intertwined with for most of his life, he highlights nature’s harmonious, sublime, and delicate balance.

    Erizal As merges abstract expressionism with the colours and textures of his environment, conveying emotions that are otherwise impossible to translate into literal words or realistic works. Departing from the rich geological formation of his West Sumatra locale, his work delves into the profound realms of natural experiences and emotional landscapes, creating a raw and evocative visual language.

    Singapore-based Jane Lee is recognised for her wall-based works that blur the lines between two-dimensional and three-dimensional, with the core of her practice challenging the boundaries of painting. In Art Dubai 2024, she will unveil two new pieces from her most recent series. In A Floral Rhapsody – 3D, 2D, Morph, Emerge I, Jane Lee subverts old master’s technique of creating flat representations from voluminous objects by digitally modelling and 3D printing objects from paintings. In the artwork Artist Palette I, she adopts the form of a traditional plein air artist’s palette and transforms it into a sculptural and monumental form, replacing what would be the paint mixing area with a mirrored surface, reflecting both the paint and the audience themselves. 

    Indonesia-based Rudi Mantofani adopts a more conceptual approach, often blurring boundaries between painting and sculpture. Their work challenges perceptions, re-seeing poetry in the mundane, re-examining Western art history icons, and translating complex socio-political themes into intimate aesthetic visions. Through surreal, hyperrealist paintings, Mantofani responds to the deeper, complex meanings behind maps and countries and our understanding of a global world. In Cahaya Dunia #1 (Light of the Earth #1), he places a silver-plated world map against a painted pixelated backdrop. Peering closely, one can see their reflection distorted to fit the shape and boundaries of nations.

    Renowned for his childlike paintings capturing the psyche of ordinary individuals, Yunizar employs a spontaneous and effective approach to illuminate the essence and spirit of his everyday subjects. His work reflects a unique blend of innocence and depth, providing insight into the human experience. His venture into the world of bronze sculptures further solidifies his position in the contemporary art scene. In 2021, one of his oeuvres was selected to be part of the prestigious Frieze Sculpture, London. 

    In Yusra Martunus’s ‘minimalism,’ the interplay between geometric lines and shapes collides with unrestrained bursts of colour. Combining the precision of formalist techniques with the unrestrained flow of expressionistic painting, he avoids imposing rigid contexts or messages onto his artworks. As a result, the audience is granted the freedom to interpret their own experiences, allowing their attention to shift towards the spatial relationships and physical encounters with the artwork.

    These artists provoke audiences to rethink fixed ways of seeing, offering a richer, more fluid understanding that bridges past and contemporary expressions from Southeast Asia.

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