The current global situation’s uncertainty is so all-encompassing that one is economically, politically, and medically insecure; some are even unsure about their ability to continue life itself. Abdul reflects on these uncertainties of life by entertaining the idea of immortality.

The Ingredients for Immortality Elixir poses a question, does humankind truly desire immortality or merely fantasise about infinite continuity of the present in fear of the unknown?

Bahan Elixir Keabadian (The Ingredients for Immortality Elixir)
2021, Stoneware, Glass, Wood, and Metal
40 x 40 x 150 cm each

Inspired by the fantasy literature and art genre, Abdul hypotheses a reality where immortality is attained through an elixir. Since immortality is fantastical, therefore the ingredients for the immortality elixir should be fantastical as well. 

In his practice, Abdul highlights the imperfections of handmade objects, the unpredictability of the firing process, and the mark left by his human gesture. The resulting artworks are often organic, raw, imperfect yet possess a unique aesthetic. His floral-inspired ceramic sculptures are placed in a lit-up pedestal, mimicking the way lab Petri dishes look, insinuating that in this fantasy dimension, the elixir for immortality is developed in the lab. The clinical display method juxtaposed with the raw, grotesque, and organic sculpture reminds one of the current real-life situation, where humankind collectively puts their hope to control the uncontrollable nature through medical and scientific advancement.

Abdul J. Nugroho
(b. 1996, Klaten, Indonesia)

Abdul J. Nugroho is a recent graduate from Institut Seni Indonesia Yogyakarta (Indonesian Institute of Arts, Yogyakarta). His practice combines the unpredictability of the clay medium and his human gestures to express the beauty of imperfection. Nugroho is also part of the Bakar Tanah Lab, a ceramic artist collective that recently participated in the Terracotta Triennale, Jatiwangi.

As a promising young artist, Nugraha actively participates in numerous exhibitions, including KM14, Rj Katamsi Gallery (2021), Fragile Society, Kopiratan, Yogyakarta, (2021), Abirama Art Exhibition, Unicorn Creative Space, Surabaya, (2020), and Nandur Srawung #5 Bebrayan, Taman Budaya Yogyakarta, Yogyakarta, (2018).