Today we live in a global era. Globalization refers to a transparent world where our reality intertwines with various other realities beyond us from all over the world. Living the life in the global era is just like fibers complicatedly woven on the overlay of time and space called ‘the world.’ In a globalized world, with the process moving without knowing the territorial boundaries, no one can effectively and permanently claim to be the ‘center.’ Superiority of the center to the outskirts just remains in an illusion. In reality, the relationship between the center and periphery is now impossible to be ascertained, let alone be standardized.
With aspirations toward multiple identities, the postmodern paradigm in the global era enables the life of fine art anywhere to grow into a ‘center,’ a center of excellence—where values are created, maintained and developed. Nevertheless, recognition of the heterogeneity of reality on the art also raises complicated problems such as the lack of reference for the foundation of shared assessment. Therefore, it is needed a forum that does not only accommodate, but also seeks to bridge the differences between various traditions and backgrounds of distinctive fine arts.
By featuring the works of contemporary artist of Indonesia and South Korea, the art exhibition entitled Determination of Two Islands 2 is an effort to celebrate the diversity of cultural identity as well as to explore the possibility of its pot-pourri. By putting all the historical and cultural differences as well as the artistic traditions to the individual expression within the framework of collective pastime, this exhibition echoes a warm and intimate cultural dialogue between the two countries through the arts.
The Determination of Two Islands 2 art exhibition took place at Tonyraka Art Gallery, Mas - Ubud, Bali, on October 25-November 25. The exhibition showcases the work of nine Indonesian artists and nine South Korea artists. Most of the artists participating in the exhibition come from Bali Island in Indonesia and Jeju Island in South Korea. The Indonesian artists participating in the exhibition are Mangu Putra, Chusin Setiadikara, Nyoman Erawan, Made Wianta, Nyoman Nuarta, Wayan Sujana Suklu, Tjandra Kirana, Teja Astawa and Srihadi Soedarsono. Meanwhile, South Korea displays the work of Joo Jae Hwan, Jung Yong Sung, Kang Yo Bae, Koh Gill Chun, Lee Jong Gu, Lee Myoung Bok, Shin Hak Chull, Son Jang Sup and Yang Mi Kyeong.
The Determination of Two Islands 2 art exhibition continues the cultural relationships established all this time between the artists from Bali and Jeju. In 2005, a number of artists from Jeju made a visit to Bali and organized an exhibition with a number of Balinese artists in Ubud. A few months later in the same year, a number of Balinese artists made a counter-visit to Jeju and Seoul. The joint exhibition of Bali-Jeju artists was also held in Jeju City.
The Bali-Jeju cultural network is well maintained and poses the forerunner of a series of exhibitions entitled the Determination of Two Island curated by Jim Supangkat. This time the exhibition is also enlivened by the Indonesian artists from outside Bali and Korean artists from outside Jeju. The Determination of Two Islands 1 exhibition was held at the National Gallery of Indonesia, Jakarta, on May 29-June 9, 2013. Early next year, in January-February 2014, the works of Indonesian and Korean artists will appear again together in the exhibition entitled Low Stream in Jeju Museum of Contemporary Art, Jeju City, South Korea.
According to curator Jim Supangkat, the Determination of Two Islands exhibition did not explicitly show off the symptoms of global contemporary arts. But more importantly, the works featured in the exhibition showed how the traditions of art-making were expanded beyond Europe and the United States.
Although it is quite far apart geographically, Jeju and Bali actually have a real cultural proximity. Quite a lot of similarities can be found in cultural characters of community in both regions of different countries. One of the most striking similarities is the strong roots of traditional culture permeating all aspects of societal life from the past until now. (BTN/arif bagus prasetyo)