artina #2: matrajiva, A Representation of Indonesian Contemporary Culture

artina #2: matrajiva, A Representation of Indonesian Contemporary Culture

By vira

Since the revitalisation of Sarinah, the first department store in Indonesia, there has been a number of art exhibitions that take place in the gallery on the sixth floor. The one running now is artina #2: matrajiva. It is the latest brainchild of Heri Pemad, founder of the acclaimed Artjog and Art Bali exhibitions.

Heri Pemad, founder of Artina

artina is a portmanteau of ‘art’ and ‘ina or indonesia’. Through it, Heri supports the exploration and familiarisation of artworks, which creation process reflects the values of Indonesian culture. The themes include traditions, rituals, spices, history and natural resources. And it doesn’t only support visual artists but also other fields, like fashion, architecture, music and literature.

“The concept is an annual festival, where we explore the existing gems of Nusantara. Those originated from foreign countries are welcome to participate with their art that speaks about Nusantara,” Heri explained when Indonesia Design had a chance to talk to him on the phone when Artina #1 was still running. “The festival is held in several locations. The first two are in Sarinah, Jakarta, and hopefully the next ones will be held in Makassar, Labuan Bajo, Padang Panjang, Jambi, Lampung, IKN and others,” he added.

Komposisi String Seri 9: "Asal" by Rubi Roesli x Viro (2023)
Cahaya 1: Benteng Shalahudin Yordania (1997) & Dia yang Menyentuh Langit dan Dia yang Menyentuh Bumi (2007) by AD Pirous

artina #2: matrajiva is curated by the notable Agung Hujatnika or also known as Jenong and Bob Edrian. ‘Matra’ means dimension, ‘jiva’ means spirit. “I want to see the relevance between spirituality and art. Spirituality is the roots of art even though it’s often seen as something merely physical and materialistic,” Jenong explained at the opening ceremony. And in this exhibition, the artists express their spirituality in various ways; some are inspired by nature, religious traditions, humanity and more.

L to R: Bob Edrian, Heri Pemad, Edward Hutabarat, Fetty Kwartati, Hilmar Farid, Morine Rociana, Agung Hujatnika. Foreground: bags by Christian Galiel.

The event was officiated on 4 March 2023 by Hilmar Farid, the director general of culture from the Ministry of Education and Culture Repulic of Indonesia, Fetty Kwartati, the director of Sarinah, and Edward Hutabarat, a seasoned Indonesian fashion designer who is also a participating artist in the exhibition. Edward presents mostly his Sumbawa-theme designs in the exhibition, collaboration with Christian Galiel, a Bali-based bag designer. Also present at the ceremony was Morine Rociana, the director of Mojisa Creative, the event organiser.

Edward Hutabarat presenting a pearl necklace from his collection, made of pearls from Sumbawa.
Sandwiched by fashion models wearing Edward Hutabarat's collection: Christian Galiel, Edward Hutabarat, Connie Rahakundini Bakrie, Peter F Saerang, and Lina Gan our editor-in-chief.

The 22 artists participating in the exhibition, other than Edward and Christian, include AD Pirous, Arahmaiani, Nyoman Nuarta, Agus Suwage, Yori Antar, Rubi Roesli, Asmara Wreksono, Agnes Christina, Riri Riza & Mira Lesmana, Ahmad Sadali, Natasha Tontey and more. Do visit the exhibition that’s running until 31 May 2023!

Siklus by Agus Suwage (2023)
Borobudur by Nyoman Nuarta (2019)
Primitive Symbols by Widayat (1969)
Memory of Nature by Arahmaiani (2023)
Nona-Nona by Asmara Wreksono (2023)

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