'Paper Work 1: Universality’ presents a selection of works by 18 artists exploring this medium. The selection of works display a diverse use of printmaking techniques such as woodcut, letterpress, etchings, lithography, and cyanotype, as well as collage, drawing and painting.
Contemporary works on paper demonstrate an innovative combination of materials and techniques, featuring drawing over prints and elements of collage interspersed with painting. Paper has developed beyond a tool, and serves as an independent medium whose materiality is explored and manipulated to create artworks.
Printmaking artists push the limits of the form by experimenting with new techniques or methods of presentation. Adi Sundoro expands on the use of letterpress to create an installation made of paper, bamboo, and fishing hooks. ‘Behind the Fishes’ utilises the reproductive technique to produce uniform, die cut shapes portraying rows of fish hanging on a rack, symbolic of the victims of mass killings that occurred in Indonesia in 1965; a traumatic event that Sundoro believes continues to affect local communities. Dewa Made Johana experiments with an alternative photographic imaging technique (cyanotype), which is combined with intaglio and relief print to make a commentary about the fragility of images and history, using source archival images of Bali from the Tropenmuseum collection. Erik Rifky Prayudhi uses woodcut relief printing to produce ‘Hibrida 1 & 2’, visualising the tension between living, organic forms and industrial forms in a commentary on the relationship between progress and destruction in humanity, reflected in rapid urban development that affects local communities and threatens ecosystems. Syahrizal Pahlevi combines elements of collage with monotype, further layered with a hand painted portrait of Toko Shinoda, in a series of tributes to commemorate the passing of the seminal Japanese artist at age 107.
Interdisciplinary artist Etza Meisyara uses the medium to explore the alchemical qualities of printmaking. A digital photo collage is etched on to a metal plate and then ‘burned’ with a chemical process using sulphur and asphalt. For this exhibition, hand-cut paper artist Mujahiddin Nurrahman chooses screen-printing as his medium, illustrating the cycle of destruction and renewal with a series of AK-47 guns that are composed into a mandala. Beatrix Hendriani departs from her elaborate and precise painting practice to explore the characteristically incidental screen-print, using her varied, often antagonistic imagery, to create a complex, multi-layered composition which demands closer examination. Graffiti artist Stereoflow translates the aerosol spray into screen-printed layers in a series of abstract prints, while collage artist Irene Febry uses collage as a meditative exercise exploring the dynamic relationship between shapes and colours, in her abstract collage series titled ‘Microcosm’.
In this exhibition, artists Ruth Marbun, Restu Ratnaningtyas and Galuh Tajimelala use watercolour as their primary medium. A medium that does not allow much hesitation, watercolour painting denotes an immediacy and authenticity that is not usually afforded by other mediums, resulting in works that are both spontaneous and personal, offering an intimate glimpse into the creative process of these artists.
Historically, collectors considered works on paper inferior to canvas works. This has been remedied with the art market increasingly advocating works on paper in recent years, including the introduction of art fairs dedicated entirely to works on paper such as Wopart in Lugano, Switzerland and Art on Paper NYC in the U.S.A. Works on paper provide a reasonable entry point for new collectors to collect contemporary artists, while also providing a more feasible opportunity to collect works by more established artists. ‘Paper Work 1: Universality’ demonstrates that paper continues to thrive as a means for formal experimentation and a site for avant-garde thinking, a vital and most universal medium for contemporary artists worthy of recognition and support.
Text by Zarani Risjad
Paper Work 1
Dec 10 2022 - Jan 25 2023
Dewa Made Johana
Erik Rifky Prayudhi