Saturday, November 17, 2007

Furniture expo in Jakarta

The idea of a furniture expo in Jakarta usually makes me think of handicrafts and batik everything. Although 90% of the show was exactly what I expected, I was extremely surprised by the feature pavilion's focus on contemporary Indonesian design. Alvin Tjitrowirjo, Jakarta's best young furniture designer and friend of ours, blew the competition away with his range of sleek, modern pieces. Even the dramatic exhibition hall interior was designed by the progressive local architect Andra Matin.

Main entrance to the exhibit

Alvin T. in his fiberglass and leather Snug chair

"Soiree" modular bench (Alvin T.)

Wooden Radio by G Mango

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Intimate Distance

We recently attended a show at the Galeri Nasional Indonesia, called Intimate Distance, Indonesian Women Artists. The opening event launched a new book entitled “Indonesian Women Artists: The Curtain Opens”, featuring over 30 contemporary Indonesian female artists. The work ranged from mediocre abstract sculpture and living room art, to highly conceptual and feminist works. Considering that Indonesia is a conservative, patriarchal Muslim society, we felt that the show was socially significant. Even within Indonesia’s small world of “high” art, women artists are rarely seen. Several artists here are obviously rich housewives, but their money helps fuel the art economy and supports younger artists. More power to them… anything to help make art accessible.

Here are a few shots of pieces we liked…

VideoBabes: Ariani Darmawan/ Prilla Tania, Orchestration, 2007

Melati Suryodarmo, Illumination, 2007

This was one of my favorites, but I don't know the artists name.

Interior view of passports above. Those are smashed mosquitoes.

Astari Rasjid, Horas, 2007

Tiarma D. Sirait, Love Me, 2007

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Droog Does Jakarta

A while ago I posted about Droog Designers Niels van Eijk and Miriam vander Lubb and the table they created in Bali. Well, this month Erasmus Huis (Dutch Cultural Center, Jakarta) has a Droog Design show where we were lucky enough to see the table in person. The previous pictures (taken from the website) really didn’t do this piece justice! The table is way bigger than I imagined, and much more detailed than those pictures show. Truly Impressive!

Several other Droog designs were featured in the show, some that I’ve seen and others that I haven’t. We really enjoyed the presentation. It wasn’t overdone, but made good use of the small space. The gallery was divided by modular chain link fences with sculpted objects like a couch, rocking horse, moose head and doghouse protruding from them. See below for visual references.

One-Man Circus

Another event on CCF’s Printemps Francais calendar was a contemporary one-man circus. It was a simple and elegant performance with little more than a balloon, a rope and 3 sheets of plywood as props. The minimal lighting setup included the low-tech psychedelic staple: an overhead projector with colored oil dripping into clear water. The show was mesmerizing and left us feeling refreshed. We realized that it doesn’t take much to impress us… just a little bit of genuine creativity.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Paint by Number Project

For one of our latest projects we were asked to curate an art show inspired by DJ Missill’s graphic art and graffiti work. In an attempt to go beyond the standard “graffiti art show” we decided to mix the mid-century phenomenon, paint-by-numbers, with contemporary art styles. Jakarta based artists, Sanchia, Lisza, Wormo, and Rayray all submitted illustrations of female characters to be converted to a paint-by number outlines and shown along side one of DJ Missill’s own.

During the event, we invited a bunch of artsy girls to fill in the outlines while the crowd (mostly guys) sat back and watched. Even though each image was numbered with a color guide, it was perfectly ignored to create entirely new versions of the work. As the night went on and the drinks kept flowing, the artwork became more and more outrageous. The result was an over the top, out of control female frenzy… exactly what we wanted!

Thanks to the artists, all of our lovely painters, 707. WhatNot, Soul Menace, Future 10, and CCF. Oh, and thanks to the GIRLS!

DJ Missill bombing her own work

Monday, June 11, 2007

DJ Missill

Last weekend CCF (French Cultural Center, Jakarta) brought DJ Missill, a graffiti artist-DJ-Producer. This young hyper-active renaissance woman is currently touring Indonesia as a part of the annual Printemp Francais cultural festival. We were lucky to meet and hang out with her after an artist talk held by CCF. Afterwards she was invited to an impromptu graffiti session under a nearby bridge alongside a local graffiti crew and artists from IKJ (Jakarta Art Institute).

Later in the evening, she played an awesome mash-up DJ set at a club called Public while we put together a live paint-by-numbers art show.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Hong Kong

On our way back to Jakarta we stopped in Hong Kong for a few days. This place was intense (although nothing compared to Tokyo). Due to the crazy integration of high-tech, old China, and lush foliage growing out of cement encrusted hillsides, we found ourselves making constant references to Blade Runner and Terry Gilliam's Brazil.

During our stay the weather was perfect, the shopping was great, but subculture seemed quite illusive. In such a dense metropolis, there must be more to it. Every now and then we caught a glimpse of something intriguing, like the design meeting spot, AfterSchool Cafe. It's definitely worth a trip back, just to find out what else is going on. If anyone has suggestions for good art/ design/ music stuff in HK, please post them in the comments!

The view from our friend's apartment

These bridges run from building to building through several parts of the city. There's one section that has an 800 meter outdoor escalator connecting several neighborhoods on the side of a steep hill.

an interior view of the bridge

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Beat Streuli

Here are some shots of an installation by another one of my favorite photographers, Beat Streuli. This is at the MCA in Chicago.

An interior view.

The sunlight coming through made a great projection.

Vic Muniz

Just before we left Chicago, were lucky enough to catch a great lecture at the MCA by Brooklyn-based artist, Vic Muniz. His work is often an appropriation of iconic images, temporarely recreated with common materials like salt and chocolate syrup, which he then photographs. The lecture was a casual look at his career, from his beginning as a sculpture to his role in developing a new school in Brazil.

I was extremely happy to hear him talk about two of my favorite series: Pictures of Dust, monotone drawings of minimalist art installations made with dust collected from the Whitney Museum’s floor; and Pictures of Color, reproductions of famous artworks made with Pantone swatches. Muniz also touched on several key issues in contemporary art from the importance of drawing to the fear of the pixel.

A couple years ago, we had the luxury of seeing lectures by Richard Prince and John Baldessari, two of the most acclaimed artists in the realm of image appropriation. In comparison, we found the talk by Vic Muniz to be insightful and entertaining. His positive look at art and lack of pretentious intellectual jargon was quite refreshing. It was, by far, one of our favorite lectures to date. To hear a recording of the lecture, visit Chicago Amplified.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Droog Does Bali

Droog designers Niels van Eijk and Miriam vander Lubb manged to seamlessly meld the clean dutch aesthetic with traditional Balinese handicraft in their beautiful one-of Godogan table. Reminds me of Michael Koehler's untitled (tree) bench, taken to the next level and then some. Check out this month's issue of ID Magazine for more info on this and other contemporary ornament.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Hejfina Showroom

Our friends over at Hejfina recently opened a furniture boutique called Hejfina Showroom. The showroom focuses on beautiful, clean lined furniture and home accessories that utilize natural materials. Several of the featured designers are locally based and have become Chicago icons. Hejfina showroom offers ready-made pieces and custom design service. Check out some photos from the website...

Carson Maddox