Nowhere Is My Destination

Solo Exhibition
Art Front Gallery
Hillside Terrace A
29-18 Sarugaku-cho, Shibuya-ku
Tokyo 150-0033
04/10/2019 - 03/11/2019

Camouflage and optical jazz written by Clélia Zernik (Professor, École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts de Paris) Art Front Gallery proposes solo exhibition, in two wings, of Eko Nugroho, Indonesian artist, working in Jogjakarta. In both Daikanyama and on the Ibuki Island in which Setouchi Triennale is held, the exhibitions develop around the notion of border as well as of migrating movement. The migrants are represented in the work there as hybrid or camouflaged figures, revealing the difficulty of belonging to a world or another one beyond the border. The expression of these painful and tortured identities is created by the play of compositions of color tints and of motifs transforming the images in optical riddle. If the artist works on the problem of the wall and of the border, it is with the excess of lines or with surplus of accumulation of the forms or interlocking images that Nugroho depicts the invisible walls of our society more powerful and violent than those falsely assuring in front of our eyes. Behind the images effusively childish in their playful colors, audience will be confronted with monstrous imbrication of lines and of sense. Nugroho replaces the clarity of the line with the maze of nightmare, inviting us to follow the exercise to decipher the meaning beyond the exhibition, as far as reaching texture of our everyday life. The frontality of the faces and execution of collage remind us of not only the street art but also of typical Indonesian art with landscape. Moreover, his art is associated with camouflage: an art of the war and of the survival. Camouflage oneself is to change his personality by fear to avoid his predatory. For his exhibitions at Art Front Gallery and in Setouchi, he uses this rhythm which is very fast and stressed like that of graffiti as well as abundant vegetation scenes, extracting the viewers from their own environment and starting to ask the questions of false lines or borders again. Between fake border and true segregation, we have to follow once again the line of demarcation. With his powerful visual impact and his syncopal rhythms, the art of Eko Nugroho might be considered close to jazz: his free style, his innovation and his character extremely engaged and even militant. Using different materials (for paintings, drawings, embroidery, sculptures, mural paintings and 3D technologies) , recovery, repetition and rupture in his style, the artist invites viewer to penetrate his immersive space to get caught up in the game of its colorful solicitations, its lines and its false tracks. If Eko Nugroho uses square exhibition space (Art Front Gallery) or traditional house (Setouchi Triennale), this is to reveal the paradoxical relation at the border, since the walls are not always there where we think they are, and to show that the abundant motifs create by reaction the desire for escaping or desire for vanishing point. How to run away or to find the exit while the symbolical walls are increasing in all the real and virtual space? With his rhythmical installations, Eko Nugroho fights against the invisible walls of our society that break the identities of each individual for the profit of blind comfort.