The Fictional Island by Keisuke Takahashi
The Fictional Island by Keisuke Takahashi
JIWA: Jakarta Biennale 2017 Talks About Humans’ Urge in Various Complex Perspectives and Medium

Everything has a soul, and that soul comes from within which later affects various senses, feelings, knowledge that reside within humans. This notion is tried to be captured into the artworks displayed on JIWA: Jakarta Biennale 2017 that has been opened since 4 November until 10 December 2017. The exhibition which is held once every two years in Jakarta returns in 2017 with a rather different take on the theme from the previous editions. On the first three editions, the curators and artists had an outward outlook that were poured into the arts, in which they tried to respond to Jakarta’s urban problem. Taking a different approach this year, with the theme JIWA, Jakarta Biennale present human’s urge by observing various relations that come afterwards. Performance artists Melati Suryodarmo is appointed as the Art Director of the exhibition. She was assisted by four curators which are Anissa Gultom (Jakarta), Hendro Wiyanto (Jakarta), Philippe Pirotte (Frankfurt), and Vit Havranek (Praha). Together, they picked 51 artists to display their artworks in three main venues of the exhibition there are Gudang Sarinah Ekosistem at Pancoran, Museum Sejarah Jakarta (Fatahillah) and Museum Seni Rupa dan Keramik at Kota Tua.

The theme was chosen as an emergency measure in times of fanaticism, intolerance, madness are growing stronger and stronger these days, especially in the capital city of Indonesia where culture clashes and facts are easily distorted. Albeit picking a theme that has more retrospective direction, that does not mean Jakarta Biennale becomes distant with the reality of society today. As explained by Ade Darmawan, the Executive Director of Yayasan Jakarta, JIWA: Jakarta Biennale 2017 aims to enrich the knowledge of art and entice the critical side of society with a more contemplative and sublime ways. Melati also stated that Jakarta Biennale acts as a window for people to know more about the existing local problems in the city. Culture and the product from culture like artworks have become a benchmark that could measure society’s development as she added. So, JIWA: Jakarta Biennale 2017 is hoped to become a measuring tool to assess whether the society is in good condition or not.

Jason Lim(Singapore)
Jason Lim(Singapore)

The exhibition does not only offer artworks viewing, but there are lots of other exciting programs which you could participate in. There will be performance arts happening in the three locations from local and international artists alike from 4 to 14 November 2017. On 5 November, there was also an artist talk and on 14 – 15 November there will be a symposium held at IFI Jakarta. A book launching from senior journalist, Bambang Budjono will also be held on 19 November 2017 as a follow up of Jakarta Biennale’s continuous art book launching. For more information regarding the event, head to their website and go to the exhibition while it lasts!

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