Contributed by Marie Le Sourd
Indonesian contemporary art has started since a few years to be better known in France through some landmark events: Eko Nugroho and his blue version of La Sucrière at the Lyon Biennale in 2009, the invasion of the Espace Culturel Louis Vuitton in 2011 by 11 Indonesian artists, Eko Nugroho and its solo exhibition in the Musée d’art moderne de la ville de Paris with the support of the Sam Art Projects. To end this year and hopefully not this series, one can highlight the exhibition “Manis” at the Centre Intermondes in La Rochelle with the artists Bagus Pandega and Octora.
The exhibition started on 6 December 2012 and will run during two months, showing in the beautiful Renaissance building of La Rochelle the works of Bagus Pandega and Octora, both young winners of the Bandung Contemporary Art Awards. The story of these residencies and final exhibition went very fast and was initiated through a culture360.org project. While doing the mapping about funding opportunities for Asian artists and cultural professionals, an email exchange started with the organisation Art Sociates Bandung in charge of the Bandung Contemporary Art Awards, whose award consists in funding residencies and exhibitions abroad, and in particular in Europe. Its director Andonowati was willing to connect with France and email contacts to the director of the Center Intermondes of La Rochelle, Mr Edouard Mornaud were provided as the latter had not welcomed Indonesian artists yet. Two travels from Bandung and two residencies later, the exhibition has already opened. It represents an important step further in making Indonesian contemporary artists better known all the more since La Rochelle has established since many years important educational links with Indonesia, through l’Institut Universitaire de l’Asie-Pacifique Université de La Rochelle, which focused in particular on Indonesia with its director Mr Philippe Grangé.
The story behind this event also implies that, beyond funding issues, contacts, connections and access to information are very much needed to enhance the diversity of art forms presented and the mobility of artists. The story does not end here since the plan is to continue the exchange by sending in 2013 the French artist Laurent Millet for a residency and a project in Bandung.
The opening of this exhibition was preceded on 4 December 2012 by another event organised by the Indonesian embassy in Paris, which introduced the Indonesian Government plan to open in the near future Indonesian cultural Houses (Rumah Budaya Indonesia) in France (Paris), but also in other countries such as The Netherlands, Germany, Turkey, Japan, East Timor etc. This may definitely help raise the understanding about Indonesian arts and culture worldwide as long as more contemporary forms of expressions are also supported.
Others link to check about Indonesian cultural houses: