17 January – 9 February 2008

presents:

Juni Kusumanto

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‘(…) Largely black-white paintings with only sparks of other colours, presenting a fullness of hieroglyphs or lines like those carved in rock faces. With hands and feet she gives layers of messages, of which some are (almost) wiped out.’

Frans Groot, artist and anthropologist

Indonesian-born Juni Kusumanto (1957) has lived in the Netherlands since the age of twelve where she attended the Academy of Arts in Breda from 1991 till1995. Since 1996 she has worked as an independent artist based in Roosendaal, the Netherlands, and since 1999 also as part of a Dutch Artist Collective. Her works have been exhibited throughout the Netherlands. In addition, she actively participated in arts projects with a social development character, like a Youth and Graffiti Project. Now, after more than ten years of producing creations in a Dutch environment, she seeks to build a dialogue with arts in contemporary Indonesia. Her conception of arts is linked to the way in which she perceives life and human relations. Whilst life unfolds, one may experience it either as hardships or as a chance to transform it to one of fulfilment. Life is therefore a matter of personal choice and responsibility. Inspired by the nonviolence philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi, the artist believes that the absolute truth should be one’s aim when making life choices and when relating to others. Nonviolence is a tool to practise empathy, to give, to create space, to forgive and to reach balanced human relations. It urges one to continuously research and improve oneself. In the process, self-respect and respect towards others come more and more into play.

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Despite her Indonesian roots, in making creations she does not let herself restricted due to this background. Upon questioning on this issue, she asserted that, ‘If imposed by my Indonesian background, my hand would be clumsily and unnaturally steered. If feeling free in the creation process, I may (sub-consciously) discover new or hidden elements, either Indonesian features or western elements.’ In the process, the hand of the artist is directed subconsciously to draw lines on prepared material and sometimes on traces of previous lines and colours. Elements of her Indonesian and Dutch background are absorbed in the sub-consciousness to unfold at later points in her works. The wiping out and redrawing of lines is her artistic learning process and game-like labour in order to present a balanced picture. At any given point of time our world only exists of tangible materials. However, on paper, canvas or synthetic material there also are traces of the sub-consciousness. These are guided by her inspirational thoughts in the creation process. Producing a work of art in this way will always contain surprises.

clip_image4.jpg Using the life process as a model for one’s artistic work is not only many-sided, but is very complex. For this reason the artist uses hands and feet for her work of art. It seems that hands and feet are not important, but the more she uses these elements, the more they seem to lead their own life into the sub-consciousness.

In her works, figures and lines—some strong, others subtler—are given shape in such a way that these become either figurative or abstract in character. All is carried out in poetic and in story-telling manner. In order to express Gandhi’s philosophy she uses primarily the colours black and white. Symbolically, white projects neutrality, sacredness or an unprejudiced attitude. On the other hand, it can produce an extreme atmosphere of brightness and heat such as in the desert. The black colour often symbolises the negative (e.g., as in black magic or in black market). In a positive way, black represents the unlimited, the unreachable or the untouchable. For her drawings and paintings the artist uses acrylic, oil paint, pencil, charcoal, crayon, stylus and ink on paper, canvas or plexi-glass.

Bahasa Indonesia

clip_image6.jpgJuni Kusumanto (1957) lahir di Indonesia dan tinggal di Belanda sejak usia 12 tahun, di mana dia kemudian belajar di Akademi Seni Rupa di Breda pada tahun 1990-1995. Berbasis di Roosendaal, dia telah ikut pameran di seluruh Belanda. Setelah lebih dari sepuluh tahun berkarya, dia berminat berdialog dengan seni kontemporer di Indonesia dan negara Asia Tenggara lainnya.

Konsepsi seniwati ini terkait erat dengan persepsinya mengenai kehidupan dan hubungan antarmanusia. Terinspirasi filsafat kedamaian Mahatma Gandhi, dia berpandangan bahwa dalam mengambil keputusan-keputusan hidup dan berhubungan satu sama lain, tujuan kita adalah kebenaran murni. Melalui kedamaian, kita dapat mempraktekkan empati, menciptakan ruang sosial dan berhubungan secara seimbang serta akan terdorong untuk mencermati dan memperbaiki diri secara kontinyu. Sepanjang proses, harga diri dan penghargaan terhadap orang lain dapat berkembang secara bertahap.

clip_image13.jpgMemakai proses kehidupan sebagai contoh dalam berkarya sulit. Karena itu, Juni Kusumanto sering memakai bentuk tangan dan kaki. Mungkin bentuk tersebut tidak berarti, namun semakin intensif dia menggunakannya semakin kuat bentuk-bentuk dasar itu berkembang spontan. Nampaknya, proses alam bawah sadar dalam berkreasi berperan di sini. Dunia yang kita alami sering terdiri dari unsur material belaka, tetapi di atas kertas atau kanvas terdapat juga hal-hal yang menjadi bentuk justru karena proses alam bawah sadar itu, yakni yang terdorong inspirasi dan intuisi seniman yang bersangkutan. Berkarya semacam itu sering mengandung hal yang tidak terduga.

clip_image12.jpgMeskipun lahir di Indonesia, dalam berkarya Juni Kusumanto menolak dibatasi oleh latar belakang tersebut. ‘Kalau dipaksa memakai unsur Indonesia,’ dia pernah menegaskan, ‘tangan saya kaku dan tidak dapat bekerja secara alami. Jika bebas dalam berkreasi, hal-hal baru atau yang kurang nampak dapat muncul—baik yang berunsur Indonesia ataupun dunia barat. Sewaktu berkreasi, tangan saya secara intuitif membuat garis-garis atau bentuk-bentuk di atas bahan dasar atau di atas bekas garis atau bentuk sebelumnya. Proses menghapus, menggambar dan memperbaiki secara berulang merupakan proses belajar dan jerih-payah saya—sama seperti dalam kehidupan nyata—untuk akhirnya memperoleh kreasi yang seimbang.’

Dalam karya-karyanya, bentuk dan garis—yang satu lebih subtil dari yang lainnya—bercirikan figuratif ataupun abstrak. Filsafat Gandhi terefleksikan dengan cara memakai banyak warna hitam dan putih. Secara simbolis, putih dapat menggambarkan kenetralan atau kesucian. Pada sisi lain, putih dapat juga mewakili suasana ekstrim (seperti misalnya keterikan panas gurun pasir). Warna hitam dapat melambangkan hal negatif (seperti dalam kekuatan hitam atau uang hitam), tetapi dapat juga berarti kelapangan atau sesuatu yang tak-tersentuhkan. Karya Juni Kusumanto memakai cat akrilik, cat minyak, konté, arang, kapur dan tinta di atas kertas, kanvas atau bahan sintetis.

Biodata

Juni Kusumanto

 

Date of Birth : 31 October 1957
Place of Birth: Bandung, Indonesia

1991-1995 : Academy of Arts of Breda, the Netherlands
1996 : Indo-European Cultural Centre, Zoetermeer
1997 : Oecumenical Centre of 7 Churches, The Hague
1999 : Open Art Gallery Weekend, Museum Tongerloohuys, Roosendaal
Project Intercultural Artists Festival, Het Markiezenhof Museum, Bergen op Zoom
2000 : Festival of Drawings, Art GalleryKunsthuis 13, Velp
Project Art by Bike, Wouwse Plantage
Art Gallery Très Art, Breda
2001 : Townhall Roosendaal
Art Gallery Très Art, Breda
2002 : Project of West-Brabant: Townhall Markant, Wouw
Open Art Gallery Weekend,
2003 : Project Intercultural Artists Festival, Museum Nusantara, Delft
Project Artotheek, Roosendaal
Youth Graffiti Project
2004 : Open Art Gallery Weekend,
Project of West-Brabant ‘Heavenly Spheres’,
St. Janskerk, Roosendaal
Fort Sabina, Willemstad/Heiningen
Project for Mentally Handicapped Children, Tilburg
Project ‘Feeding’
2005 : Art Gallery, Barendrecht
Design of two Public Awards in commission of the Municipality Government of Roosendaal
2006 : Auction in favour of Children with Cancer, Rotterdam
Project ‘After breakfast till sundown’, Roosendaal
2007 : Auction in favour of Waterproject in Indonesia, Rotterdam
Gallery Atelier 1888, Schijf
Arts Project at the Bishop’s Palace, Diocese of Breda
Exhibition ‘The Sixties’, Museum Tongerlohuys, Roosendaal

One Response to “Juni Kusumanto on-line catalogue”


  1. […] In the process, self-respect and respect towards others come more and more into play…( more info ) […]

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