Conversations on Lack and Excess


    August 9, 2018 – September 2, 2018

    Gajah Gallery Yogyakarta

    Curated by Liza Markus, the exhibit features nine upcoming artists working in Indonesia and Singapore, departing from a prevailing dialogue on “lack” and “excess” in two distinct artistic environments. Exploring concerns from the personal, local, to global perspective, the exhibit sheds light on the overlooked nuances and complexities in contemporary Singaporean and Indonesian art.

    “Lack and Excess. These two words came to mind as I recall a lecture marking the end of a residency programme. It discussed how the Indonesian arts scene compared to its Singaporean counterpart. The lecture, as with many others like it, seemed to suggest that the ecosystem of both countries has succumbed to stereotypes. It is discomforting to discover that an extreme imbalance between the two has been left to co-exist and interact for the sake of maintaining distinctiveness. A frustration towards the status quo, how one exists in scarcity and the other excess, becomes the point of departure for this exhibition.

    Conversations on Lack and Excess was intended as a test-site for alleged stereotypes and myths, to uncover if uniqueness and distinction are dependent on unregulated imbalance. This show is not meant to undermine the influences or visual inclinations of the two art scenes; rather it is to question if the differences are felt by the artists, as well as to ask if it is valid to be satisfied with the way things function in the present.

    Against my expectations, the artworks touched on varied topics, in different scopes – personal, local, and global. Many did not directly deal with issues in the art scenes. I was mistaken to think that less militant artworks were unaffected or ambivalent and that fruitful discussion and conclusion could not be derived from these works. A romanticized notion of victimized artists before the institution would not help clear the perpetuated myth. Hence, the execution of this show in itself embodies the concept of this discourse.”

    – Liza Markus