Our intrepid art correspondent Richard Horstmann checks out the “WHAT’S NEXT” group exhibition in Ubud:
In recent years the visibility of street art in Bali has grown phenomenally. The dynamic crossover of genres, fusing graffiti with murals, social realism, and ever-evolving sensibilities has become a popular urban youth expression. Outside of conventional modes found in gallery and museums, street art is alive in public spaces, transforming bland street walls.
From the beachside areas of Canggu and Kuta, to Kerobokan, Denpasar and across the city to Gianyar, colorful style, with plenty of visual WOW is adorning the urban landscape. Its techniques range from murals, to stencil and sticker art, even installations, it’s often saturated with social political issues, dissent, or emotions and ideas about identity and life. This democratic form is being exposed where the public can enjoy its aesthetic qualities, and/or ponder the messages presented.
Some considered it a nuisance, urban visual pollution, whether perceived as vandalism or public art, it has caught the interest of the international art world, and is even seen as a manner of beautification and urban regeneration. Recently, however street has been making its transition onto the walls of Bali’s art spaces and contemporary galleries.
Opened on Friday 17th March at Sika Contemporary Gallery in Ubud, WHAT’S NEXT – A Group Art Exhibition presents a mix of street culture art that is characteristic of this burgeoning movement that’s becoming a highlight of the Indonesian contemporary urban cultural scene.
Organized by Yogyakarta born, Ubud based multi talented Kemal Ezedine, WHAT’S NEXT features ten artists, nine CRWPX from Jakarta, aged between 24 to 45, most below 30 years. A fresh and exciting array of works on paper, canvas, wood panels, and applied directly to the gallery walls is displayed. During the exhibition the artists present an art bazaar, live graffiti displays and a workshop open to the public.
“Ubud is well known as a place for tradition art and culture, “WHAT’S NEXT“, is a new annual program for street artists to gain experience in Ubud,” said Ezedine. “Each year it will feature different artists and workshops, along with discussions in a kind informal short residency program.”
“Bringing the work from the streets and into the gallery space allows a different perspective, and new, often spontaneous creative opportunities,” he adds. “We trust the artists will learn something, while gaining new knowledge on how they see Ubud as an art center.”
Continues until 8 April
Sika Contemporary Gallery
Jalan Raya Sanggingan No.88X, Ubud
opposite Bintang Supermarket
Tel: 0361 975084
Open daily 9am – 6pm
Words & Images: Richard Horstman – Art activist Richard Horstman (b.1964 Melbourne) first visited Ubud in 1986. The former sculptor is a journalist, writer, art tourism presenter and behind the scenes doer in Bali art scene. Dedicated to contributing to the development of Balinese and Indonesian art, he regularly contributes to the Jakarta Post on a range of art related topics and may be contacted at: email@example.com