From October 10th 2017 to January 21st 2018, the arts biennial EUROPALIA focuses on the traditional and contemporary culture of Indonesia through artistic exchanges, new creations, exhibitions, dance, music – with a special focus on gamelan -, literature and film.
An international symposium takes place in Tervuren and Leiden on 19 & 20 October:
The symposium will seek to enrich and deepen an understanding of Indonesian modern and contemporary art and its internationalism. The terms of engagement, exchange of ideas and practices of art are all overlaid and confronted with colonialism, modernity and nationalism. Critical dialogues are still needed to reexamine these histories and connect them together, and artistic works are often useful keys to uncovering links across time and space that are not immediately apparent.
Discover the three main exhibitions of the festival
Ancestors & Rituals – 11 10 ’17 > 14 01 ’18 @ BOZAR
An immense archipelago of more than 13,000 islands spanning no less than 5,000 kilometres from east to west, Indonesia has nearly 255 million inhabitants, 300 ethnic groups and more than 700 languages. These figures alone give an idea of the diversity of this country and the variety of cultures composing it. Nevertheless, the majority of these cultures share one thing in common: the importance they ascribe to ancestors. From Sumatra to Papua, via Java, Borneo and Sulawesi, to the tiny Lesser Sunda and Maluku Islands: ancestors played and often still play a leading role in Indonesia. The exhibition Ancestors & Rituals also focuses on exchanges with other cultures and religions down the centuries that have influenced the arts, identities, and even the worldview of Indonesians.
Power and other things. Indonesia & Art (1835-now) – 18 10 ’17 > 21 01 ’18 @ BOZAR
Power and other things explores the recent and often turbulent history of Indonesia, seen through the works of 21 Indonesian and Western artists. The Dutch colonialist period and Japanese occupation, the status of women and immigration are among the themes this exhibition tackles in order to understand contemporary Indonesia. Curators: Riksa Afiaty and Charles Esche.
Archipel – 25 10 ’17 > 21 01 ’18 @ La Boverie
This exhibition-event, the fruit of collaboration between Indonesian, Belgian, French and Dutch institutions and scientists, retraces the history of a region of the world that is rich in spices, gold and precious wood, and yet often misunderstood.
Most of the works come from the National Museum of Indonesia in Jakarta, exceptional national treasures of which many are making their first ever journey outside Indonesia. They are complemented by rarely exhibited works from the Musée Royal de Mariemont and the Musée national de la Marine in Paris, as well as from private collections.
On the occasion of this exhibition, carpenters from Makassar will construct a life size traditional boat according to the ancestral method of sewn planks.