Solo exhibition at ARNDT Singapore
May 10 - July 05, 2014
Matthias Arndt and Jumaldi Alfi on 'Mooi Indie' show at ARNDT Singapore
Jumaldi Alfi is one of the most influential artists in the Indonesian contemporary art scenario. He is renowned for his large-scale paintings and their compelling iconography of visual signs reflecting the collective and individual existential experiences. A practicing painter and a sculptor, Alfi has exhibited internationally and across South East Asia. Jumaldi Alfi’s new solo show will open on 9 May, 2014. ARNDT Singapore is pleased to be presenting a new body of work by the artist – his recent series “Melting Memories: Rereading Landscape – Mooi Indies”.
A practicing painter and a sculptor, Alfi came to international attention in the 1990s as a founding member of the Jendela Art Group. Jendela surprised audiences in Indonesia with refreshing works: removed from the omnipresent and socio-political themes in art, they were not falling into the trap of technical sophistication of realist painting either. Instead, by drawing exclusively on minimal visual elements of line, color and texture, they were showing an inclination for extreme naïveté and almost revolutionary formalism. Focusing on aesthetic and formal research within a personal territory, Jumaldi Alfi and Jendela group managed to introduce a fresh and dynamic style into contemporary Indonesian art. Jumaldi Alfi is renowned for his compelling iconography of visual signs reflecting the existential and spiritual experience on both individual and collective levels. Creating his own code of images, the artist draws on a wide scope of cultural references, from objects of the natural world, to Renaissance paintings, to the childhood memories of family life.
The new solo exhibition at ARNDT Singapore will feature Jumaldi Alfi’s recent series Melting Memories - Re-Reading Landscape, Mooi Indies (2013-14). In Melting Memories series, the artist relies on the “Mooi Indie” colourful style and poetic pastoral themes. Better known as “Indonesia Molek”, this genre was particularly popular in the Dutch colonial times and exemplified the nostalgic visions of the Dutch East Indies and its landscapes. By placing his focus on ‘Mooi Indie’ paintings, Jumaldi is examining the potential historical roots of modern and contemporary Indonesian painting. In her book on Jumaldi Alfi, Michal Ron from Freie Universität Berlin describes his work as a practice of writing history: When Alfi paints after paintings, art stands in the way of a direct gaze on his land. The artist does not paint landscape, he paints art. Like in the play of trompe-l’oeil, representation’s spell, the perception of representation as a transparent window to the world, has to be broken in order for representation to appear and its construction to come into sight. Yet Alfi sees representation only. He sees idealized representations of someone else’s paradise, and doesn’t see the actual reality that was substituted for re-presentations. When paintings replace memories, they become history. Alfi continues to paint history, in a never-ending lesson. Michal Ron, Jumaldi Alfi: Blackboard Paintings, 2013
Jumaldi Alfi was born in 1972 in West Sumatra, Indonesia. Having graduated from Indonesian Institute of Arts, he currently lives and works in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, where he leads his individual practice and also vividly contributes to the local scene. Most recently, Alfi co-founded Office for Contemporary Art International, an art collective based in Yogyakarta (established in 2010). Throughout his career, he was nominated for various prizes: the 10th Indonesian Art Awards (2003, Finalist) and the 5th Indonesian Art Awards, The Best Painting Awards, Indonesian Insitute of Art (ISI), Yogyakarata, Indonesia (1998, Finalist). His solo exhibitions include "Melting Memories" at the STPI Singapore Tyler Print Institute, Singapore (2011), "Nightswimmer" at the Metis Gallery, Amsterdam, the Netherlands (2011), "Life/Art # 101: Never Ending Lesson" at the Sangkring Art Space, Yogyakarta, Indonesia (2010) and "Derau-Noise" at the Bentara Budaya, Yogyakarta, Indonesia (2001). Group exhibitions include "Legacy, a Trace of Civilization" at the Esa Sampoerna Art Museum, Surabaya, Indonesia (2012), "Bayang" at The National Gallery of Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia (2011), "Jendela-A Play of the Ordinary" at the NUS Museum, Singapore (2009), "Manifesto" at the The National Gallery of Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia (2008) or "COMMON GROUNDS" at the Nasional Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia (2007). Jumaldi Alfi has also participated in a number of international art fairs: "Hong Kong International Art Fair", "Art Stage Singapore", "Shanghai Art Fair".