For the exhibition Foam X Ruang Mes 56 two young artists, Yudha Kusuma Putera (Ngadirejo, 1987) and Andri William (Jakarta, 1986), who both studied photography at the Indonesian Art Institute (ISI) in Yogyakarta, were chosen to present their work. Both artists focus on collaboration and on engagement with others.
Installation shot, 2017 © Christian van der Kooy
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.
ABOUT YUDHA KUSUMA PUTERA – KUMPULAN CERITA ANAK (COLLECTION OF CHILDREN’S STORIES)
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.
ABOUT ANDRI WILLIAM - SATU GURU SATU ILMU JANGAN SALING GANGGU (ONE TEACHER ONE SCIENCE DO NOT DISTURB ONE ANOTHER)
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. 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.
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 is supported by the BankGiro Loterij, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, Delta Lloyd, the City of Amsterdam, Olympus and the VandenEnde Foundation.