11th Gwangju Biennale
2. 9. – 6. 11. 2016


AdeDamawanScreenprintingNewWorkingBee2.jpgAde Damawan Screen printing "New Working Bee"

Ade Darmawan

Old colony and New Working Bee (2012) consists of six canvases on which images of mutated natural forms are printed. One of them is that of a working bee with not one pair, but six or even seven pairs of wings, all from different insects. Another image is an anatomical drawing of a human head, but the sinews were formed by texts such as lingual and superior. All are collages of swarming animals and several spores and rhizome plants found images. This work reflects Ade Darmawan’s (b. 1974, Jakarta) concern with controlled patriarchal capitalistic modern societies; the six collage images speculate on the new proposed icons or emblems for a swarming and sporadic society.

This concern finds a more abstract form in another work shown in GB11, Somnambulism Inc. (2015), a series of ten banners printed on synthetic silk hanging in Gallery 3. The images on these banners were originally from the book covers of Magic Centre, a defunct Indonesian publishing house that published and translated motivational titles circa 1965. For some, these titles offered tentative answers to the new capitalist-leaning policies that Indonesia adapted post-1965. By removing all texts from the covers and reducing them to abstract, geometric forms, the banners become flags of an imaginary nation of some sort, emblems of communities seeking to see through an unknown, undecided future.

Darmawan’s practice comprises multiple modes of working: from collecting found objects and out-of-print publications and rearranging them into installation, to engaging with the process-driven artform of printmaking. These different ways of working allow Darmawan to navigate and mediate the complexities of contemporary living, as well as to contemplate continuously on the tension between the individual and the society as a larger holistic form. Darmawan is a founding member of the Indonesian artists’ collective ruangrupa, which uses visual art to study sociocultural trends in urban society. SH, MW


Music. I grew up with music references from my brother, such as Benyamin S. (singer and comedian), Iwan Fals (with his protest song "Guru Oemar Bakrie"), and The Beatles.  Around ’94, me and all friends in ruangrupa met when we were in art school. I was at ISI Yogyakarta, and the others were at IKJ Jakarta. It was together with all the ’90s so-called alternative music, underground comic/gigs/magazines, the do-it-yourself spirit, and student movements at the end of the ’90s, experiencing the end of the Suharto regime in Indonesia. ruangrupa came from this moment, and was developed further during my residency at the Rijksakademie, until it was set up in 2000.  The collective still grows now, becoming a jam band with many diverse instruments, influencing and being influenced by many people who are involved along the way. Layers of people, events, and stories in constant change; just like the secondhand market in the city that’s always more interesting and inspiring than the museum.