they lay their heads on a soft place
Solo exhibition by Ivan Sagita
22 August - 18 September 2014, Main Gallery & Project Room
Warning: Please note that this exhibition contains images that may be disturbing.
Equator Art Projects is pleased to present Ivan Sagita’s first solo exhibition at the gallery. Featuring a new body of work encompassing painting, photography and sculpture, the show is a timely evaluation of the artist’s versatile and diverse practice.
Ivan Sagita is one of the most prominent artists associated with Jogja surrealism, a style that emerged in the 1980s. This mode of expression is often viewed as a reaction against the shift towards decorativism or painstaking realism under the Suharto era. The works are often satirical and wrought with symbolism, exploring themes of humanity and societal issues.
This series is a continuation from previous works and is inspired by the artist’s research on the bizarre phenomenon of pulung gantung. The myth originates in Gunung Kidul, an area south of Jogjakarta known for notoriously high instances of suicide. Pulung gantung refers to a mysterious orb-like red light that when seen descending upon a home, forewarns of an impending suicide, usually committed by hanging. These works reflect the artist’s pre-occupation with themes surrounding the fragility of life, mortality and spiritualism. Sagita’s visual language creates a distorted reality, drawing the viewer into a timeless space where the line between conscious and unconscious is blurred. The figures with their elongated forms occupy the foreground and are depicted with hyperrealistic detail, juxtaposed against a backdrop of a Javanese landscape. Often the landscape is seen as empty, with an eerie dreamlike quality heightening the sense of transience.
The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue with an essay by Tony Godfrey.
Ivan Sagita (b. 1957, Lawang, East Java - Indonesia) received his BFA from the Indonesian Institute of the Arts (ISI), Jogjakarta in 1985. In 2003, he was awarded a Fellowship Artists in Residence from the Vermont Studio Centre, USA. He is also the recipient of numerous awards including Indonesian Painting Biennale (1987 & 1989), Silver Medal at the Osaka Triennale (1996) and Mainichi Broadcasting System Prize at the Osaka Sculpture Triennale (1998). Sagita has exhibited extensively in Japan, Australia, Indonesia, Singapore and USA. Selected exhibitions include The First Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (Brisbane – Australia, 1993); Under Cover (The Pretoria Art Museum and Ipopeng Project, Pretoria – South Africa & Sandton Civic Gallery, Johannesburg – South Africa, 1998); Soul Ties (Singapore Art Museum, 1999); Freezing The Time (Gallery of Northern Territory University, Darwin – Australia, 2001); CP Open Biennale: Interpellation (National Gallery, Jakarta – Indonesia, 2003); Beyond: The Limits and Its Challenges, Biennale Jakarta XII (Jakarta – Indonesia, 2006). The artist lives and works in Jogjakarta, Indonesia.
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