Galeri Salihara, Jakarta, Indonesia
Curator: Nirwan Dewanto
21/11/2015 - 21/12/2015
The commission work Mooi Anomali decorated the façade of Art Gallery of South Australia, as an interpretation of the the damar kurung tradition – a narrative painting tradition using lanterns. Traditionally, East Javanese families and communities would hang these lanterns in front of their houses for the duration of Ramadan. The larger damar kurung were traditionally made for the festival of Takbiran celebrating the end of fasting and the coming of Idul Fitri. These lanterns can still be seen today, but much less prevalent.
Mooi Anomali is an appropriation of the damar kurung narrating Nugroho’s concerns for contemporary Indonesia - particularly the deep seeded affects of corruption and the need to confront historical pasts in order to move forward as a nation. Whilst humour and word play is often used to draw attention to these concerns, there is a darkness portrayed in the lanterns such as the red lantern featuring the Chinese cultural symbol the barong sai or the dancing dragon weaving through images of skulls baring key dates in Indonesia’s history such as 1965: the fall of Soekarno and the ensuing violence, 1966: the beginning of the Soeharto regime; 1602: beginning of the colonisation of the Dutch, 1596: the arrival of Europeans to the archipelago; 1945: Indonesia’s declaration of Independence; 2000 & 2002; religious violence in Boso, Sulawesi and Bali respectively, 1950; Indonesia’s first economic crisis following Independence.
Photo Courtesy of Art Gallery of South Australia
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