Java! Art Energy

Institut des Cultures d’Islam
19 rue Léon and 56 rue Stephenson
27/09/2018 - 24/02/2019

The exhibition « JAVA ! » takes us straight to the heart of the economic and cultural centre of Indonesia, the largest muslim country of the world by percentage of the population. In this vast archipelago, the island of Java is home to nearly 150 million people in addition to Islam, is also home to Hinduism, Buddhism, Catholicism, Protestantism or other traditional religions, sometimes practiced in a syncretic way.
« JAVA ! » offers the opportunity to discover works which, for the most part, have never been shown before in Europe and which demonstrate the creative vitality of this island where most Indonesian artists work and travel through. They examine how spirituality and religion interact in Javanese everyday life, as lived at the heart of the sprawling megalopolis of Jakarta, in Yogyakarta – centre for the classical arts and traditional culture – or in the moist mountains of Bandung. The artists study the rise of radical Islam, the political instrumentalization of religion and the overwhelming social and environmental discrepancies of this land where the tropical vegetation progressively disappear before the spreading of the urban jungle.
Some art pieces reinvest the folk arts and traditions such as the shadow theatre based on the epic stories from India, the Ramayana, and the Mahabharata; while others on the contrary appropriate leading-edge technologies to send the sound of the Javanese gamelan in outer space…
A multi-disciplinary programme, which reflects the diversity and vitality of Java accompanies the exhibition. Contemporary music, theatre, modern dance, cinema, literary scientific and historical presentations, cooking lessons and activities for the young; will give to a large audience the opportunity to discover the very best of Javanese contemporary creations without leaving Paris!

Photo courtesy of Institut des Cultures d'Islam
Photo by Marc Domage