The Hanging: Jogja Calling at 4A Gallery

November 24th 2016

briony-galligan-2016Briony Galligan, Door-to-door, 2015, installation, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist. Image: Document Photography.

Australia has a tendency to focus on American culture – think vintage beer signs and red plastic baskets of greasy curly fries. As a country that’s part of the Asia-Pacific, we often fail to see the value in potential collaboration with our neighbours across the Indian Ocean.

4A’s recent exhibition Jogja Calling invites onlookers to consider the value of friendships that transcend the $764 round-trip ticket between Sydney and Yogyakarta (known as “Jogja”), shedding light on the interpersonal relationships between the artists and their intertwining Australian and Indonesian art scenes.

Jogja Calling intertwines the works of Abdul Abdullah, Briony Galligan and Reko Renine alongside the work of three Jogja based artists; Leonardiansyah Allenda, Arwin Hidayat and Hahan. Abdul Abdullah and Arwin Hidaayat work in collaboration with local artisans and traditional techniques, whilst Leonardiansyah Allenda and Briony Galligan make use of kinetic installations to examine the fragility of these working relationships. Reko Rennie and Hahan contrast and compare Australian and Indonesian culture. This cross-cultural exchange acts as a vessel for reciprocity, where local and international artists challenge the ways and mediums in which cultural artistic collaborations can occur.


Leonardiansyah Allenda, Private Numbers, 2016, installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist. Image: Document Photography.

Wooden sticks are suspended precariously in equilibrium, weighted on each end with objects donated by Sydney and Jogja residents. Allenda’s work Private Numbers engulfs the entire first floor of the gallery. The physicality and varied form of these items, along with the constant effort required to counter balance these objects reflects the ongoing labour we all perform to establish and maintain intimacy.

Sheets of fabric skirt in circular motions, mimicking the movements of a revolving door; forever opening, and closing. Galligan’s Door-to-door encourages the viewer to step within and outside. Single excerpts of text are projected across a sheet, only to vanish almost instantaneously. These tiny glimpses into a larger narrative work to capture the fleetingness of shared intimacy.

These works will occupy the same gallery space, in the same country, for only a short period of time. The exhibition’s rarity is part of its message, highlighting the close but fragile relationship between these artists and the nations they call home.

There is something deeply emblematic in the way Jojga Calling immediately plunges you into this shared transnational space; one in which the large artistic communities of Jojga and Sydney are intrinsically linked. The show leaves you with a longing for a place – and a community – you have yet to encounter.

jogja-calling-2016Clockwise from right: Arwin Hidayat, Roh Roh Dalam Senjata (The Spirits Inside The Weapon), 2016; Reko Rennie, Warriors Come Out to Play, 2014; Uji Handoko Eko Saputro aka Hahan, Welkome Mate, 2012; Reko Rennie, Crest, 2014; Abdul Abdullah, Don’t worry, 2016; Abdul Abdullah, Be happy, 2016. Installation view. Courtesy the artists and (Abdullah) Fehily Contemporary. Image: Document Photography.

WHAT: Jogja Calling, curated by Mikala Tai
WHERE: 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, 181 — 187 Hay Street, Sydney
WHEN: until 17 December
HOW MUCH: FREE – more info here


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