Jogja Art Weeks 2019 kicked off in Yogyakarta in late July, with a private opening of Art Jog MMIXX. Featuring the who’s- who of the Indonesian art world, the opening saw iconic artists, internationally renowned curators and long-time art appreciators flocking together like birds of a feather, while paying visits to the many exhibitions and galleries in the city.
I was happy to bump into a familiar face at the tail end of the main Art Jog exhibition, and eager to hear her thoughts. I pulled Freda Gilda, of Lucid Moxie aside to discuss everything from local fashion brands, to experimental music, and of course, the local art scene.
Let’s get right to it, what have you been looking forward to seeing at Art Jog this year?
Actually, it’s the merchandise that drew me here. Don’t get me wrong–I usually spend hours inside the main building, but every year I look forward to seeing what’s beyond the exit.
The gift shop?
Haha, exactly. It’s more of a pavilion of creative retail collections if you ask me—here you’ll find just as many artists as you’d see in the exhibition itself (some artists also have works featured in the main pavilion).
I’m intrigued—seems like a smart way for artists to create alternative revenue.
I’m in the creative industry—with one foot in the visual art world and the other in fashion—so it’s both exciting and inspiring to see established Indonesian contemporary artists exploring similar enterprises. Creative retail collections and various limited-edition merchandise have emerged as a response to a fluctuating art market or perhaps as an indirect critique of the art market itself.
Takashi Murakami’s collaboration with Louis Vuitton comes to mind…
Exactly! Louis Vuitton also teamed up with Indonesia’s Eko Nugroho to create a . On a regional scale, Art Jog MMIXX presents up-and-coming contemporary artists like Uji “Hahan” Handoko for example, who has teamed up with local labels like from Yogyakarta. Natasha Tontey, who received this year’s Young Artist Award, also has her iconic collection on display.
Takes on your favourites so far?
I’ve been following this collection for a few years, which takes inspiration from a traditional Malay weapons manufacturing technique called . By welding together Damascus steel with charcoal and teak wood, beautiful, celestial and incredibly strong pieces are produced with patterns and textures that cannot be repeated. No two pieces are alike. They are a relatively young label that has begun selling both locally and internationally.
Today is the first time I’ve seen this collection in real life—it’s the brainchild of Ican Harem—who is one half of the experimental two-piece happy hardcore band, . To call what they do music would be overly simplistic. These two have emerged as a hybrid of electronic noise and traditional Indonesian sounds paired with a performative component that is usually pretty wild. The takeaway is that they are edgy, vulgar, humorous, and uniquely Indonesian—this collection is the physical form of their insane sound and performance-making.
For more information about SANIKI’s fascinating jewelry making process (which requires 1200 degrees Celsius of heat) check out a by Sigit Pamungkas, both the creative mind and technician behind the brand.
And of course, find Freda’s own line of ethically handmade bags, Lucid Moxie at this link.