Java¡¦s Machine: Phantasmagoria by Jompet

17.07.2010 ¡V 12.09.2010

Press Preview: 16.07.2010, 5:00pm to 6:00pm

Private View and Reception: 16.07.2010, 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Java¡¦s Machine: Phantasmagoria is the first solo exhibition in Hong Kong of Indonesian artist Augustinus Kuswidananto (a.k.a. Jompet). Jompet¡¦s work, takes as its starting point, the history of Java and explores syncretism or strategies to reconcile dispersed and disparate points of reference in Java¡¦s cultural history. This is exemplified by Java, the War of Ghosts, the centrepiece of the exhibition, which also, in turn, frames the other installations and video 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. At the heart of Jompets¡¦ work is also an exploration of the relationship and tensions between tradition and modernity, which is evident through the video work War of Java, Do you Remember? #2, where a traditional Javanese dancer moves gracefully through an old sugarcane factory, where his movements mimic those of the massive machines in the background, a potent symbol of modernity. Jompet¡¦s work 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.

The press preview for the exhibition will be held on Friday, 16 July 2010 from 5:00pm to 6:00pm. The artist will be present at the event. The press preview will be followed by an opening reception at 6:00pm.