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Exploring the Humanistic Side of Art at Jogja Artweeks 2015

Jogja Artweeks 2015 accepts diverse art styles in order to promote openness and simplicity in enjoying art. "Embrace! Past & Future At Present" is chosen as the theme of this firstly held event. Picture from
Chiara Anindya
Written by Chiara Anindya

“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” — Edgar Degas

Three talented artists coming from three different backgrounds entered their concepts to Jogja Artweeks (JAW) 2015. Combining various mediums, their artwork concepts is a hybrid of classic and contemporary art with deep humanistic meanings and interesting visual displays. “Through their work, they present art in a fresh way,” said a JAW 2015 committee.

JAW presents “a month full of diverse art events” which take place in June 2o15. JAW is created through the voluntary work of various art workers, art lovers, art doers and art observers. As seen in their official websitethe main event which is the JAW artwork showcase will be held at various places on June 9 – 27. Pusat Kebudayaan Koesnadi Hardjasoemantri (PKKH) UGM is chosen to be the main showcase space. JAW 2015 accepts artwork concepts from diverse art fields, such as visual art, performance art, music and sound art, installation art and literary art.

Untitled Infographic

Meet Katia Engel, a senior artist mastering visual and performance art. Having experienced in said field for more than 20 years, Katia presents an eye-opening concept through a dance piece which combines visual, sound and performance art. Her recital was created through cooperation with Ari Ersandi, 25, a dance student of ISI Yogyakarta and Ki Pono Wiguno, a mask carver from Sewon, Bantul. Through the piece titled “From Starting to Cut the Wood,” Katia calls out to modern society who has been too absorbed in technology that they forget the feeling of being “human.”

“The recital shows the lack of communication caused by technology. Humans forget the sacred nature of rhythm that shapes their lives,” Katia said during an interview session at Dusun Jogja Village Inn on Wednesday (13/05). Alongside her argument, Ki Pono Wiguno, otherwise known as Pono, argues his perspective on the recital, saying that, “People are too busy in ‘carving’ others, that sometimes they forget that they too are being ‘carved.’”

Similar to Katia, Nur Hardiansyah Zalkoto highlights the various personas humans create, especially in the online world. This final year student of ISI Yogyakarta has participated in several exhibitions before, including one international exhibition in Korea on 2013. Through his concept titled “Biomimicry,” Dian, his short name, carries on with the tagline Intimitation, which stands for intimate and imitation. Under the field of visual and installation art, he questions the true face of humans.

A series of Dian's work, themed "Intimation or Imitation?"

A series of Dian’s work, themed “Intimation or Imitation?”

“I use ceramic for my work. I combine the shape of humans with plants and animals. I want to show that there is much more than meets the eye,” he explained during an interview at PKKH UGM on Saturday (23/05). He also adds a mirror in his installation, in order to give a visual touch while at the same time symbolizing a “self-reflection.” Art lovers are served with two sides of his work: the physical and the reflected appearance.

Coming last in line is Ferry Edwin Sirait, a documentary filmmaker who has steeped into art before. His anxiety of seeing social and political problems being under looked by society led him to submit his artwork entry in order to present “heavy” topics of documentary films in an easy to understand way. His work is a collaborative work, where he combines pictures and videos took by the sand farmers of Kulonprogo to create a mini-story, presented through a holographic prism. Ferry introduces a new way in enjoying documentary films.

“I have always been engaged to journalism since I was young. I become anxious when I see a problem unconscious to society. I express my thoughts through film,” said Ferry at his studio on Monday (01/06). Documentary films, said Ferry, can be challenging because they deliver a real-life problem. The idea of using hologram was proof of Ferry’s concern to present the struggles of the sand farmers so people can be aware of what they don’t know.

Highlighting basic problems society faces today, these three artists display a critical point of view presented in a satirical, comical and yet interesting way. “Hopefully, this first JAW artwork showcase will be able to provoke, invoke and evoke thoughts and emotions of the audience,” exclaimed Pono.

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About the author

Chiara Anindya

Chiara Anindya

Stuck between being a journalist… or a lecturer. I write and research things related to media and journalism.