Jumaldi Alfi


Kokok P. Sancoko

Lie Fhung

Muhamad. Irfan


Pande Ketut Taman

Putu Sutawijaya

S. Teddy Darmawan

Tisna Sanjaya

Arie Smit




17 MAY 2012, 7-10 PM
17 MAY - 17 JUN, 2012
52-54 SAI STREET, CENTRAL, HONG KONG, TEL: (852) 2858 5072
Asian Art
Sin Sin Fine Arts proudly announces Earthly Evocations: Indonesian Art Now, a specially curated exhibition of painting, sculpture, installation and performance art featuring some of the most dynamic artists on the Indonesian contemporary scene today: Jumaldi Alfi, Hanafi, Kokok P. Sancoko, Lie Fhung, M. Irfan, Nasirun, Pande Ketut Taman, Putu Sutawijaya, S. Teddy D., Tisna Sanjaya, and the venerable émigré artist Arie Smit, whose work has rarely been exhibited in Hong Kong. Each of these exciting artists represents special strengths and characteristics of the Indonesian contemporary art scene, and their coming together in a group exhibition constitutes a rare and newsworthy event in Hong Kong.

The theme ‘Earthly Evocations’ reflects a common thread that runs deeply throughout Indonesian art-making and is present in the work of each of the exhibiting artists, however diverse their visual language might be: an artistic consciousness deeply rooted in the connection between the individual and the Indonesian ‘earth’. This ‘earth’ is both a physical and metaphysical presence: it is informed and affected by the power and the fragility of Indonesia’s natural landscape, the socio-political ecology that relentlessly shapes and changes it, and the collective cultural memory of its people, which sustains, rebuilds and celebrates those things of enduring value that are in danger of being shaken or cast off in the eruptions of progress and globalization.

Tisna Sanjaya (b.1958) has long been known for his powerful paintings, etchings and activist performance art, often bearing witness to the challenges facing Indonesia’s villages and their way of life. For the Earthly Evocations exhibition, Tisna will debut his new multi-media work ‘neo moi indie’, with a special live performance at Sin Sin Fine Arts on opening night.

Jumaldi Alfi (b.1972) —widely known simply as Alfi—first came to national attention in the mid-1990s as one of the founding members of the influential Jendela Art Group. Since then the painter and sculptor has created a personal iconography of visual signs reflecting existential and spiritual experience, on both a personal and collective level. Using a code of images from the natural world, including stones, skulls, cacti, Afli creates paintings whose language is at once intimate and mysterious.

Hanafi’s (b.1960) beautiful, abstract paintings are infused with a gentle Balinese aesthetic and present another kind of vision of the Indonesian earth. Their elegant, muted palettes have a luminosity akin to that of natural light, while the organic arrangement of space and sensuous forms are like sensory maps of the felt experience, within the physical presence of the natural world.

M. Irfan’s (b.1972) meticulously constructed paintings are mesmerizing fusions of aesthetic formalism in the painterly quality of his brushwork, and of photo-realism in the precise imagery of his compositions. In recent works the painter has brought his gaze to man-made structures supporting movement and transition—whether steel-girded bridges, trains, or airplanes—infusing them with the iconic quality of a monument.

Kokok P. Sancoko’s (b.1974) large-scale, breathtakingly coloured figurative paintings juxtaposing images of the common people--—the farmer, the street pedlar—with characters from Western classical paintings and shadowy presences that seem to emanate from the painter’s own psyche, creating a complex, compelling psychological montage of the painter’s inner world.

Lie Fhung (b.1969) creates delicate sculpted works and installations in materials such as porcelain and woven metal thread. Her kinetic installation Freedom Is a Collaborative Effort is a light-hearted interactive work with a serious message at it core. The work makes its Hong Kong debut in this show.

Nasirun’s (b.1965) exuberant artistic presence is felt in every aspect of his work, from his brilliantly coloured paintings to his wildly imaginative sculptures, constructions and installations. In his freewheeling approach to appropriation, he incorporates everything from flea market purchases to cultural references, often inserting his own self-portrait into magical reinterpretations of traditional wayang kulit (shadow-puppet) narratives or mythologies of his own making.

Pande Ketut Tama’s (b.1970) deeply spiritual connection to the earth is a tangible element of his sculptures and paintings. His wood sculptures of tiny human figures emerging from the trunk of a tree, and semi-abstract paintings of figures that have the quality of rocks or stone, are at once earthy, solid and vulnerable.

S. Teddy D (b.1970), painter, sculptor, and showman extraordinaire, is known for his flamboyance as well as a playful sense of irony. For this show, S. Teddy creates assemblages that are like micro-stages for the strange dramas of daily life. His paintings, executed in ink on paper, comprise lightning-fast articulations of his own self-portrait, positing his leading role in the creation and questioning of life’s dramas.

Putu Sutawijaya (b.1971)—painter, sculptor and performance artist—also embodies the multi-media, cross-disciplinary element of Indonesian contemporary art. His concern for the earth and joyful celebration of life is materially demonstrated in a series of figurative sculptures made of salvaged machine parts and scrap metal. The incredible dynamic energy coursing through the cast-off materials of which these figures are shaped is a powerful reminder of the artist’s potential to re-claim and re-energize.

Arie Smit (b.1916), who turns 97 this year, has been living and painting in Indonesia since 1938. Active until just last year, Smit has created a rich body of landscapes and scenes of everyday Indonesian life that are infused with a fauvist sensibility but transformed by his roots in the Balinese landscape. The colour palettes and textual treatment are uniquely Smit’s own and reflect the reciprocal influence between the ‘Indonesian earth’ and this émigré Dutch painter whose art has evolved and matured within the framework of a life-long relationship.

About Sin Sin Man
Hong Kong-born Sin Sin Man is a clothing, textile and jewellery designer, a photographer and an adventurer, as well as the founder of Sin Sin Fine Arts. Sin Sin has been travelling to Indonesia for almost thirty years, and has a particularly strong connection to Bali and Yogyakarta. In celebration of the ‘Earthly Evocations’ exhibition, Sin Sin has created a new collection of cotton clothing naturally dyed and embellished with batik designs of her own creation, based on animal motifs often seen in Indonesian handicrafts including butterflies, birds, and fish. Sin Sin is dedicated to expanding the use of traditional Indonesian batik techniques in contemporary design, creating a bolder graphic approach and a fresh colour palette of vanilla, vivid blue, wine red and deep black. She will debut her new batik collection, executed in Bail in collaboration with master batik artisans, during the exhibition period.

About Valerie C. Doran (guest curator)
Valerie C Doran is a Hong Kong-based curator and critic specializing in the field of contemporary Asian art with a special interest in cultural crosscurrents and comparative art theory. In addition to ‘Earthly Evocations’, her recent curatorial projects include STIGMATICS, a cross-disciplinary project with visual artist Angela Su, musician Ah-Kok Wong and cultural historian Sander L. Gilman (Hong Kong, 2012); the multiple-media installation ‘HOPE & GLORY’ with artist Simon Birch (Hong Kong and Beijing, 2009-10); and the acclaimed exhibition ‘Looking for Antonio Mak’ at the Hong Kong Museum of Art (Hong Kong 2008-09). In November 2009 Valerie was awarded the Certificate of Commendation from the Hong Kong Home Affairs Bureau for contributions to arts and cultural activities in Hong Kong.