Can's Gallery Across The Time
This exhibition presented intergenerational artists who had worked together with Cans Gallery for a period of time, becoming part of the conversation and shifts of the gallery space itself in the midst of Indonesian contemporary art scene. Most of them are pioneers in the internationalization of Indonesian art, and have been working actively in regional and international exhibition, involved in the global art celebration that became a common phenomenon since the end of 1990’s to the early 2000’s. Comparing the tendencies of their artworks at the beginning of their development as an artist with the artworks being presented today, we can see some changes in the aspects of visual and ideas. In their artworks, the changed self is depicted in the metaphor shift, some becomes more complex, some becomes more simple, or becoming a space that brings together the identity of the past with the projection of the new self.
Several chose to remain in the same space, seeing it as a safe zone that still offers the possibilities of different perspective in each of their artwork. There are many narratives that can be explored with the same visual language; therefore the reccurence itself becomes a work method to present the imagination to the audience. Despite so, the dilligence in processing the technicals, challenging the skill, experimenting with various materials, always become a contemplative attempt of these artists in expectation of entering a new body of artworks, at least for their own record of their journey.
There are various issues presented by the artists in the artworks that are part of Can’s Gallery birthday celebration. The reflection toward several political issues seems to still be the attention of the artists, by depicting a bit the artist’s personal view on those various issues. Likewise, campaigns regarding environmental issues and awareness to maintain close relation between human and nature are increasingly intense; inviting artists to respond to or commenting on the changing landscapes or impacts of development on life itself. Several are interested to reinvestigate matters that departed from their personal experience on life, formation of identity and its complexity, as well as the specific characteristics on gender and body. Issues and narratives emerging from the artworks of these artists are part of their conversation with themselves, accompanied by observation on various situation in the surrounding social environment, and the continuous exploration for visual forms and languages to articulate their view of the world.
Can's Gallery 21st Anniversary Exhibition:
"Can's Gallery Across The Time"
Essay by Alia Swastika
November 26 - December 18 2023