ruang mes 56
CURATED BY BERENICE ANGREMY
Akiq AW, Jim Allen Abel, Wimo Ambala Bajang, Rangga Purbaya, Edwin Roseno, Dito Yuwono, Wok the Rock
Photographers Akiq AW, Jim Allen Abel, Wimo Ambala Bajang, Rangga Purbaya, Edwin Roseno, Dito Yuwono, Wok the Rock are all part of the prodigious Ruang MES 56 collective, a group as important in Indonesian art and photography as in local society. They have visibly focused on issues that shake modern society, namely the role of power, problems or successes in integrating migrant populations (Alhamdulillah We Made It), family, religion, gender, etc. The collective was formed at the end of the Suharto dictatorship. His fall in 1998 initiated an era of fresh intellectual thinking and a bubbling scene of artistic creativity.
Beyond their involvement in the collective, these photographers have produced individual bodies of work that echo themselves. The photos are at times incongruous because the photographers straddle the world of the image and the photograph, renewing codes of practice in the genre.
The artists included in this selection use photography and the image to reveal their own personal and cultural identities, and question the state of their world. What does it mean to be Indonesian today, twenty years after the fall of Suharto? What does modern society and its youth aspire to? What are the different legacies – awed or fruitful social or political histories - that youth appropriate? On what basis is this grounded and what future does it hold?