Java's Machine: Phantasmagoria by Jompet
Osage Singapore is pleased to present solo exhibitions by Augustinus Kuswidananto (a.k.a. Jompet) and Louie Cordero, two of the most exciting artists from Southeast Asia. The exhibitions Java's Machine: Phantasmagoria and Soft Death are Jompet's and Cordero's first solo exhibitions in Singapore, and will both present new works by the artists.
Jompet's Java's Machine: Phantasmagoria explores syncretism as a strategy to reconcile dispersed and disparate points of reference in Javanese cultural history. This is exemplified by Java, the War of Ghosts, the centrepiece installation, which also underscores the other works in the exhibition. Java, the War of Ghosts features ¡¥invisible' soldiers made flesh by their uniforms¡Xamalgams of the Dutch and Javanese military attire¡Xand equipment. Suspended from the ceiling, each plays a different sound, synchronised into an electronic orchestra. A discordant yet strangely harmonious combination, the installation is a representation of Java's patchwork heritage. Jompet's soldiers do not serve a military function; they stand in formation, aloof, rather than tangled in battle. They are literally held down by the very things that constitute them, the sheer bulk of a civilisational parade. However, this is not intended as a criticism. Jompet's syncretism can be read as a discourse on post-colonialism and globalisation, a celebration of unruly beauty. As with Java's heritage, harmony can be negotiated in the multiplicity of patches that make up today's global community.
Dismemberment, mutilation, brain, blood, intestines, membranes, capillary¡K these are imageries abundant in the works of Louie Cordero. Yet more than just gore and the grotesque, Cordero's works, which draw inspirations from the streets, idiosyncratic semiology of various subcultures, popular culture, myths, and mass media, is reflective of a contemporary fascination with both the refined and the lewd. In Soft Death, which showcases a series of new drawings and paintings, ornate savagery appears alongside jovial or otherwise indifferent characters, often critically wounded or in a state of physical distortion¡Xperhaps hinting at the contradiction underlying contemporary culture. Repulsive yet strangely captivating, Cordero's works are an ingenious manipulation of the sick pleasure one derives from the abject, and a direct confrontation with contemporary society.
Born 1976 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Jompet graduated from Gadjah Mada University in 1999 with a degree in Social and Politics Science. His multi-disciplinary practice involves installation, video, performance and music, delving into a wide range of subjects such as history and civilisation, the past and modernity, and technology and the spiritual realm. His work has been exhibited in many international exhibitions including Fukuoka Asian Art Triennale (2005), Fukuoka, Japan, Yokohama Triennale (2008), Yokohama, Japan, and Jakarta Biennale (2009), Jakarta, Indonesia. Most recently, he has participated in the 10th Lyon Biennale (2009), Lyon, France and Beyond the Dutch (2009), Centraal Museum Utrecht, The Netherlands.
Louie Cordero was born in 1978 in Manila, Philippines. Trained as a painter, he graduated with a BA in Fine Arts from the University of the Philippines in 2001. He has had numerous solo exhibitions, the most recent being Absolute Horror (2008) at Mo_Space, Manila. Cordero has also participated in numerous group exhibitions in Philippines and USA and has also been shown in Australia, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong, including The Beast in Me (2007), Show Room Gallery, New York, USA; Coffee, Cigarettes and Pad Thai: Contemporary Art in Southeast Asia (2008), Eslite Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan; World of Painting (2008), Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne, Australia and FUTURAMANILA (2008), Osage Kwun Tong, Hong Kong, and Osage Singapore. He was a recipient of The Cultural Center of the Philippines Thirteen Artists Awards in 2006, Ateneo Art Award in 2004 and the Grand Prize Winner, Painting Category, in the 8th Annual Freeman Foundation, Vermont Studio Center, USA in 2002-2003.
Press preview for the above exhibitions will be held on Friday, 13 November 2009 from 5:00pm to 6:00pm. Both artists will be present at this event for interviews.
The press preview will be followed by the Opening Reception at 6:30pm.