Foam 3h: Foam X Ruang Mes 56
Yudha Kusuma Putera and Andri William
15 September – 12 November 2017

Press release | August 2017  

Foam welcomes photography collective Ruang Mes 56 from Indonesia for a collaborative presentation of Indonesian talent at Foam 3h. For the exhibition Foam X Ruang Mes 56 two young artists, Yudha Kusuma Putera and Andri William were chosen to present their work. Both artists focus on collaboration and on engagement with others.

The starting point for  the exhibition is the Indonesian tradition of gotong royong. In Indonesian society, the communal spirit is a quintessential aspect of culture. It can be understood on many different levels, including ways of working together, and ways of resolving matters collectively through reciprocal help, with the active participation of members of the community. The photography collective Ruang Mes 56 uses the practice of gotong royong to fulfil everyday needs, creating programmes to sustain the collective independently for more than fifteen years now. Such collaboration is also reflected in the individual practices of Ruang Mes 56 members. 

Yudha Kusuma Putera believes that art cannot be detached from social life, as art exists in society, not as a segregated form. This approach opens up collaborative means of working which involve the participation of other people, while the aesthetic factor is still carefully considered. For the series Kumpulan Cerita Anak Putera combined watercolour-paintings from children with photographs of domestic objects found in or around their houses. He created collages to which he added various notes he took during the visits and talks he had with the children, their parents and teachers, regarding the children’s lives. Kumpulan Cerita Anak can be seen as a work documenting the experience and artistic collaboration between the artist and all the people involved.

The series Satu Guru Satu Ilmu Jangan Saling Ganggu (2016) goes into local mysticism and the system of belief operating within it. Andri William asked a Shaman to apply his mystical energy to found photographs that he collected, which he then sold as talismans in an exhibition. He saw the Shaman’s approach as a talisman seller to persuade buyers was cultural and religious but also performative. There are aesthetic aspects to the practice of selling talismans no less mystical than those involved in the practice of selling or buying works of art. William displays these talismans - consisting of the found photo and a text explaining the power of the item  - questioning the value system and meaning attributed to artworks both economically and culturally, at the same time propagating new systems of value for everyday and found objects, including photographs.

Yudha Kusuma Putera (Ngadirejo 1987) and Andri William (Jakarta 1986) both studied photography at the Indonesian Art Institute (ISI) in Yogyakarta.

Foam X Ruang Mes 56 is the last of three collaborations taking place in Foam 3h during 2017, involving photography platforms Hydra in Mexico City (Mexico), the African Artists’ Foundation in Lagos (Nigeria) and Ruang Mes in Yogyakarta (Indonesia) that each operate in a specific local art scene. This initiative offers Foam the opportunity to present young talent from different cultural contexts and to research new developments in local photography discourses worldwide.

This exhibition is made possible with support from the Gieskes-Strijbis Fund, the Van Bijlevelt Foundation, Prins Claus Fund and Kleurgamma. 

The Collaborate! programme is made possible with the support of Fonds21, the Mondriaan Fund, the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds and VSBfonds.

Foam X Ruang Mes 56 can be seen from 15 September to 12 November 2017 at Foam. Foam is open daily 10.00 - 18.00 hrs, Thurs/Fri 10.00 - 21.00 hrs. 

For information and visual material please check or contact the Press Office of Foam, e-mail or call +31 (0)20 5516500.

Foam is supported by the BankGiro Loterij, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, Gemeente Amsterdam, Olympus and the VandenEnde Foundation.

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Foam X Ruang Mes 56
Foam X Ruang Mes 56
Foam X Ruang Mes 56
Foam X Ruang Mes 56
Foam X Ruang Mes 56
Foam X Ruang Mes 56
Foam X Ruang Mes 56