dna project 05:

P(L)E(I)SURE PRINCIPLE: new works on paper from Indonesia

Official launch and reception for the artists: Tuesday 11 December at 5pm,

by Professor Adrian Vickers, University of Sydney.

Exhibition dates: Friday 23 November - Friday 14 December. WED - FRIDAY 11am - 5pm.

Artists: Amalia Kartika Sari, Endang Lestari, Ismanto Wahyudi, Soni Irawan, S.Teddy D, Jumaadi, Tohjaya Tono, Yustoni Volenteero. Curated by Sujud Dartanto with assistance from Jumaadi. 

Ismanto Wahyudi, untitlled 2012

Ink on paper

Yustony Volenteero, untitlled 2012, Mixed media on paper

Curatorial Statement


In the Freudian sense 'pleasure principle' is basic to the making of a subject. 'Pleasure principle' is a counterpart to the concept of 'reality principle' and the interaction between the two is based around the contrast between suspending and giving in to gratification. 'Pleasure principle' can also be understood as a kind of pretext, a basic or ground element for the text. The theme of this exhibition is based on a combination of the words 'pleasure' and 'leisure': p(l)e(i)sure. Leisure time is meaningful. How can pleasure and leisure be visualised through these works on paper? The works of the artists can be taken as an index of many coded realities, reality principle in their everyday lives.

These eight Indonesian artists from Indonesia are based mainly in Yogyakarta and Jakarta. Endang Lestari, Ismanto Wahyudi, S.Teddy D, Soni Irawan and Yustoni Voleentero all studied in the Faculty of Visual Arts at the Indonesian Institute of the Arts (ISI). The exceptions are Jumaadi who studied visual art at the National Art School in Sydney and Amalia Kartika Sari who graduated from the Bandung Institute of Technology. They represent different generations and disciplinary backgrounds and interests but have come together to explore the meanings of pleasure and leisure in an Indonesian context.

Freudian thought tells us that pleasure drives human life and from this we can deduce that the space between play and art making is blurry. There is a critical aspect to leisure derived from the socio-cultural context. Most of the works on display are responses to the ordinariness of life.  But this ordinariness is a product of many coded realities, informed by popular and traditional culture, urban and rural spaces and the techno and media scape. Pleasure and leisure have floating meanings between those coded realities.

These artists have responded with many aspect of language including satire, irony and parody. Amalia has used the symbol of cat as a representation of intimacy because in comparison to fellow humans animals are better friends. Endang Lestari responded to the work of Indonesian author Nukila Amal which explores the making of subjects between ‘mother’ and ‘father’, that is synonymous with the dominant culture and has suggested how she has negotiated that.  Ismanto Wahyudi has explored how Indonesian popular culture is influenced by local mythology and Japanese popular culture. S.Teddy D has suggested love as the primary concept of human life. Soni Irawan has simplified the complexity with simple lines and colour that he believes express honesty. Tohjaya Tono developed a structure of symbols from chaotic symbols. Yustoni Voleentero has deconstructed a fixed reality as a series of stories. Finally, Jumaadi is interested in how memories of journeys become statements of ontology.

Moving through postcolonial and globalised worlds and a mix up between modern and traditional conditions, the iconography of the works reveals the different meanings and contexts of pleasure and leisure. Meanings always change and therefore most the drawings in this exhibition are part of a methodical series. They are never fixed in one moment but are studies of surface structure.

All the works have applied different media to the paper and afford an intimate view into the processes at work in the mind of the artists. They are packaged as simple drawings but this is a medium that enables a large degree of spontaneity in the composition space. This pared back exhibition has a potent seductive pull, drawing viewers closer to the works to take their own pleasure in the proficiency of artists brandishing a brush and water colour or commanding a pen with a balance of deliberation or impetuosity. The significance of this exhibition relates not just to the Australian community but to promoting a place for works on paper within the Indonesian art community.

Sujud Dartanto

Exhibition Curator, with assistance from Jumaadi

Office: Visual Art Faculty,

Indonesia Institute of the Art

Parangtritis Km. 6.5 Sewon, Yogyakarta

weblog: http://sudjuddartanto.blogspot.com

office: http://www.isi.ac.id

Exhibition details

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S.Teddy D, Head Love Head series 2012, Ink on paper

Soni Irawan, untitlled 2012

Mixed media on paper

Amalia Kartika Sdi, marukochan 2012, Ink on paper

Jumaadi, untitlled 2012

Water colour on paper

Endang Lestari, untitlled 2012

Mixed media on paper

Tohjaya Tono, untitlled 2012

Mixed media on paper