Gajah Gallery Jakarta presents the second edition of Navigating Entropy – a group show gathering artists who have partnered with Yogya Art Lab (YAL), Gajah’s art space and foundry set in Indonesia’s vibrant artistic and cultural capital, Yogyakarta. In November 2020, Gajah Gallery Singapore staged the first edition of Navigating Entropy, showcasing the diverse and innovative three-dimensional works of renowned Southeast Asian artists. The second edition in Jakarta similarly turns the spotlight on artists across Asia who have long been making sculptures, or have recently expanded to three-dimensional forms through the foundry.
Founded in 2012 by Gajah Gallery’s director Jasdeep Sandhu and the Yogyakarta-based artist Yunizar, YAL is a rare platform for artists to experiment with unconventional mediums, and work closely with expert craftsmen. Constantly evolving based on the needs of the artists, the team at YAL has worked with materials ranging from paper, aluminum, ceramics to Fresnel lenses, and specialises particularly in bronze. For 10 years, YAL has empowered artists to explore new forms in their work. Artists who had previously focused purely on paintings have been challenged to create bold, sculptural pieces that have since marked crucial expansions in their oeuvre. Artists who had largely worked in the isolation of their studios learned to partake in the process of collaboration and involving many hands in the creation of a work.
For this show, Yunizar presents a significant collection of recent and past bronze sculptures, revealing his range in a form he’s been exploring with YAL for a decade now. From his expansive, symbolically-charged Garuda sculpture to whimsical animals that blur the line between predator and prey, the works are testaments to the artist’s ever-expanding imagination. Ashley Bickerton is showcasing two refined cast bronze sculptures entitled Double Helix Hammerhead and Shark, which reveal the graceful lines and curves of manta and hammerhead sharks. Building on his nuanced commentaries on the environment, these works speak to the harmonious chain of life and how each member of the environment uniquely affects it, and on a larger scale, the world. Suzann Victor continues a motif she has been exploring since the early 1990s: phallic brinjals. Using the aluminum medium to capture the fine details of the decomposing fruits, Victor captures the beauty in their “imperfection and abjectness”. Other artists who are presenting critical, intricately crafted works in the show are Jane Lee, Wei Ligang, Jogen Chowdhury, Handiwirman Saputra, and Uji ‘Hahan’ Handoko Eko Saputro.
As they collaborated with the foundry to create these works, the artists ultimately embraced a philosophy that embraces risks and uncertainties, the organic transformations of materials and forms, and the chaos that informs some of the most fruitful creative processes. While the participating artists come from different contexts and artistic traditions across the region, what ties them together is that by partaking in residencies at YAL, they have all, in varying degrees, navigated entropy.