Ipong Purnama Sidhi

Eater

150 x 200 cm
Mixed Media on canvas
2012

Ipong Purnama Sidhi

Juragan Mendem

150 x 200 cm
Mixed Media on canvas
2012

Ipong Purnama Sidhi

Red Rain

145 x 165 cm
Mixed Media on canvas
2012

Ipong Purnama Sidhi

Superbego

150 x 200 cm
Mixed Media on canvas
2012

Ipong Purnama Sidhi

The Most Humble Parasite

120 x 200 cm
Mixed Media on canvas
2012

Komroden Haro

Empthy

Bronze and Stone
2011

Komroden Haro

Burger Stone

190 x 20 x 80 cm
Polyester Resin Bronze and Alluminium Model
2011

Komroden Haro

Everyday

55 x 60 x 35 cm
Polyester Resin Bronze Model
2011

Komroden Haro

Dalam Lingkaran Emas

190 x 20 x 80 cm
Polyester Resin
2011

Komroden Haro

Dialog

100 x 100 x 20 cm
Polyester Resin Bronze Model
2011

Komroden Haro

Moving Forest

57 x 22 x 72 cm
Polyester Resin Bronze Model
2010

Komroden Haro

Sumber

70 x 50 x 30 cm
Polyester Resin Bronze Model
2011

Komroden Haro

Mencari Sumber

150 x 120 x 80 cm
Polyester Resin Bronze Model
2011

Komroden Haro

Kesegaran

96 x 55 x 27 cm
Resin Stone Granite
2010

Komroden Haro

Persentuhan

105 x 55 x 35 cm
Polyester Resin Bronze Model
2010

Komroden Haro

Waterfall

150 x 95 x 50 cm
Polyester Resin Bronze Model
2010

Komroden Haro

Traveller

S: 53 x 10 x 6 cm
M: 60 x 14 x 11 cm
L: 105 x 40 x 30 cm
Polyester Resin Bronze Model
2011

Nasirun

Perahuku Samuderaku

51 x 280 cm
Mixed Media
2011

Samy R.R. Vermeulen

Greed

40 x 40 x 34 cm
Bronze, Steel, Mixed Media
2012

Samy R.R. Vermeulen

Escape

200,5 x 100,5 cm
Bronze, Steel, Mixed Media
2012

Samy R.R. Vermeulen

Lima Bidadari

45 x 70 x 264 cm
Fiberglass Model for Bronze
2010

Samy R.R. Vermeulen

The Empty Chair

70 x 63 x 187 cm
Coloured steel, Forged Welded & Sanded
2010

Samy R.R. Vermeulen

The Throne Of Richness

150 x 150 x 198 cm
Fiberglass, Model For Bronze
2010

Samy R.R. Vermeulen

The Empty Throne

150 x 150 x 198 cm
Fiberglass, Model For Bronze
2010

Samy R.R. Vermeulen

Protection & Cracked Illusion

23 x 80 x 210 cm
Model For Aluminium (Edition 5 Couples)
2011

Ugo Untoro

The Wall Series

400 x 200 cm
Acrylic on canvas
2011

← back to Past Exhibitions Visual Art Exhibition

Chairs 'n Bones II (2012)

Preface from Writer ART AND ECOLOGY   |   Curator & Article by ARIF BAGUS PRASETYA
Ipong Purnama Sidhi   |   Komroden Haro   |   Nasirun   |   Samy R.R. Vermeulen   |   Ugo Untoro

As is now widely known, we live in a world that is exposed to global warming. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has established the scientific consensus about the looming environmental crisis. It is now almost certain that climate change caused by global warming would jeopardize the world. Rising temperatures would radically change the face of the earth. Our world would be half uninhabitable. Ice sheets at the North Pole would continue to melt, causing seas to rise and submerge many coastal areas and islands. Main lands around the world would transform into deserts. Drought and water scarcity would be rampant. Massive species extinction would hit the world.

A global ecological catastrophe is at hand. The distressing signals are quite apparent. Extreme weather is occurring more frequently these days. The bleak future of the world defines new imperatives for an ethics of living, and provokes new challenges for contemporary artistic practice. Many contemporary artists around the world are participating in the ethicopolitical reinvention of life in the face of climate change. They attempt to answer new questions about what role art might play in an ecological emergency that pose a threat of danger to human survival in the near future. Given this state of urgency, many contemporary artworks and artistic practice are attuned to art and ecology, as those showcased in the current exhibition, Chairs ‘n Bones II. In such exhibitions, art contributes to the focusing of public attention on the environment and the threats posed by climate change.

Chairs ‘n Bones II is a continuation of the art exhibition of the same conceptual theme held in Jakarta in 2010. The current exhibition features paintings, sculptures, and installations by five artists: Samy R.R. Vermeulen, Ipong Purnama Sidhi, Nasirun, Ugo Untoro, and Komroden Haro. Initiated by Vermeulen, the exhibition thematically focuses on a critical question about the future of humanity following destructive human misconduct to nature. “Chairs” signify human egotistic desire to pursue power and material wealth at the expense of nature. “Bones” refer to fatal consequences of nature’s wrath on man: global warming, climate change, massive ecological disaster. Man is under sentence of death for his crime against nature. “How much time is left for us?” Vermeulen asks in his Preface to the exhibition. His depressing question informs the works featured in this exhibition.

In confronting dreadful climate change, trans-governmental initiatives such as the Kyoto Protocol are ineffective. Global industries keep on viewing the earth as an extractive resource to be processed into profit at any cost. Global capitalism exploits greedily the planet as usual while adding green rhetoric of concern for the natural world as embellishment. It is the case that there are persistent signs of disruption of the planet’s ecologies produced by a rapid increase in carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions. It is also the case, however, that the looming environmental crisis can not be settled by the alliance of power and wealth at trans-national level alone.

Efforts to save the earth require a radical revision of the lifestyle and values of a society. Such revision clearly requires a shift of consciousness on the part of individuals. This is where art can make a significant contribution through its interventions in human consciousness. In an effort to raise environmental awareness, art can make up the imaginative deficit of scientific data on climate change.

Chairs ‘n Bones II can be read as a kind of what Andrew Jamison calls “personal environmentalism”. Adopting Bronislaw Szerszynski’s method of differentiating forms of what he has termed ecological “piety”, Jamison (2001) employs four categories of ecological activism which he calls community environmentalism, professional environmentalism, militant environmentalism, and personal environmentalism. In his categorization, personal environmentalism “includes all of the myriad attempts to make the political personal”.

In his account of personal environmentalism, Jamison mentions a popular book which saw in the hippies the main contributors to the Greening of America. He writes: “The hippies provided a spiritual…contribution to the fledgling environmental movement, stimulated by psychedelic drugs, Asian and native American religious traditions, and ideas about personal liberation that were promulgated by a number of well-known psychologists such as David Cooper, R. D. Laing, Eric Fromm, Gregory Bateson, and Norman O. Brown (Cooper 1968). Members of the counterculture expressed themselves not just by wearing colorful clothes but also in their voluntary simplicity…, as well as to take ecological ideas and environmental problems seriously.” [my italics]

In line with the characteristics of personal environmentalism, the five artists involved in Chairs ‘n Bones II apparently employ personal and spiritual approaches to environmentalism. Environmental problem is a political matter, but the response of the artists to the problem is personal. The notion of personal liberation informs Ugo Untoro’s creative credo: “Art is a private space for me. It is a space that enables never-ending adventures.” Komroden Haro also stated that his sculptures were born out of his personal liberation of the heart and mind. Symbolically, Ipong Purnama Sidhi’s painting method that combines the aesthetics of art brut with action painting echoes the similar spirit of personal liberation. Samy R. Vermeulen and Nasirun blend personal liberation of imagination and spiritual sensibility in order to inspire a new awareness in response to the threat of catastrophic climate change. The vision of the Earth goddess (Gaia) in the work of Vermeulen, as well as the symbolism of the shadow puppets and the Ark in the work of Nasirun, mark the spiritual sides of ecological thinking of both artists.

Personal environmentalism is certainly not the only option for artists to articulate their ecological concerns. An artist can choose to become either a community environmentalist or a professional environmentalist who mainly interested in changing policies and affecting political decisions. He or she can also choose to become a militant environmentalist whose main concerns are moral or spiritual, just like personal environmentalists. Unlike personal environmentalists who practice their environmental morality more privately, however, militant environmentalists practice it in public. 

Each option has limits. Approaching environmental issues in private, as the artists involved in the current exhibition did, might put the ecological message of the work beyond the reach of the people. On the other hand, art that mainly seek to expose environmental issues in a politically-correct manner might be boring, or intimidating, or simply worthy of nothing. In both case, art is likely to lose its power to raise environmental awareness.