Gajah Gallery (Singapore) presents an introspection of Indonesian art after the 1998 Reforms era. 1998 saw the tearing down of President Suharto’s regime or what is usually named the New Order regime, after 30 years of largely uncontested power. This authoritarian and militaristic regime banned criticism of cultural and artistic expressions, censored all things deemed as threats to national stability and suppressed individual freedom. The hasty downfall of the government, although gradual and planned, caught an entire nation off guard, leaving everyone in an ambiguous state.
The effects on the artist were to say the least dramatic; a significant departure from social political art and also art that visually represented Indonesian art. The issue of Indonesian or Indonesian-ness no longer prevails instead what is distinct is the artistic individuality that is in the forefront.
Our exhibition in this year’s India Art Fair is to expose the nascent works of Post-1998 artists amid the confusion and relief of a country fresh out of reform, detailing the curious concerns and cautious excitement following a 30-year hiatus in the Indonesian arts scene.
I Nyoman Masriadi, Yunizar, M. Irfan, Handwiriman Saputra and Aye Tjoe Christine represent the breakthrough of Post-1998 Reform Indonesian artists from underground notoriety into mainstream media, molding the prototype for a new artistic revolution. Unique in his own right, each artist is recognized as a growing presence in the regional contemporary art world.