The Legacy of the Indonesian Avant-Garde in the Global

Category - essays and articles

by Paul Khoo –

I begin my essay with this rather extended quote from one of Indonesia’s most thoughtful curators, Enin Supriyanto. 2011 has been a great year for Indonesian art, especially on the global front. Not since the AWAS! (BEWARE!) show traveled the world in the late nineties has Indonesian art found such a large audience abroad outsides the niches of the Asian biennale circuit. But celebrity and fame do not equate progress and perhaps even relevance. Through a review of Indonesian art exhibits of 2011, encompassing both the large international mega shows and smaller domestic ones, I want to elaborate on Enin’s implication of historical amnesia and its consequences. While Enin was principally focusing on political amnesia, I will also focus on art history amnesia. These two types inevitably overlap. Larger forces like globalization, the art market, and alternative institutions also impact upon this amnesia beyond the individual choices of artists. The legacy of the Seventies vanguard art movement Gerakan Seni Rupa Baru (GSRB) is a useful microcosm into these issues… (more in PDF article)

This article originally appeared in Glossary, published by Institute of Contemporary Arts, Singapore. Pual Khoo graduated from the MA in Asian Art Histories programme in 2011.