Following its monumental 20th Anniversary exhibition, Gajah Gallery is proud to present a solo showcase by Indonesian contemporary artist Mangu Putra. In his most recent paintings, Putra re-examines historic archival footage of the Dutch colonization in Bali in the early to mid 1900s. This follows the artist’s decade-long research interest in uncovering the stories of Indonesian veterans and the surviving fighters of Indonesia’s revolution: a generation of men who have been marginalized by history. Using archival colonial photographs published by Dutch institutions, Putra re-imagines historic scenes, changing the emphasis by placing the Balinese people at the center.
The eleven works presented in “Between History and the Quotidian” also display Mangu Putra’s affinity for hyper-realism, and an uncompromising attention to detail. The exhibition catalog will feature critical essays by Professor Adrian Vickers and Jim Supangkat, author of Indonesian Art and Beyond, co-founder of the Gerakan Seni Rupa Baru (New Art Movement), and one of the most respected curators in Indonesia.
“Mangu Putra shifts his attention towards the degradation of the natural world and the neglect of those who made Indonesia, as part of a search for spiritual meaning. He brings a dark perspective to this quest for meaning, one that is critical not just of the wider nature of Indonesian politics, but also of those who contribute to the neglect of the environment and of history.”Professor Adrian Vickers, Director of Southeast Asian Studies at the University of Sydney, Australia
Born in 1963 at Sangeh, Central Bali, Mangu Putra was trained in Yogyakarta at Indonesia’s premier art school, Institute Seni Indonesia (originally ASRI, the Akademi Seni Rupa Indonesia). He majored in Design and Visual Communications and worked as a graphic designer until 1997 when he began to pursue career in the Fine Arts. His works have been presented in solo and group exhibitions in Indonesia as well as internationally in Singapore, China, South Korea, Australia, and the United Kingdom.