Jompet. Third Realm & Recorded Waves: Moving Images from Indonesia

Nov 20, 2009 – Jan 16, 2010
Para/Site Art Space
4 Po Yan Street, Sheung Wan
Opening Reception
Opening Reception & Jompet. Third Realm Performance
Nov 19, 2009

Muhammad Akbar, Tiong Ang, Nala Atmowiloto, Wimo Ambala Bayang, Ari Satria Darma, Henry Foundation, Krisna Murti, Eko Nugroho, Anggun Priambodo, Wok The Rock, Prilla Tania, Tintin Wulia


Recorded Waves: Moving Images from Indonesia

Para Site Art Space is honoured to present Recorded Waves: Moving Images from Indonesia.

The use of video for artistic purposes in Indonesia dates back to the late 1980s, when pioneers Krisna Murti, Teguh Ostentrik and Heri Dono, began to experiment with video in order to expand the scope of their artistic creations. However, the influence of video in contemporary art in Indonesia is not the result of innovations within the artistic field; rather it is a critical positioning towards the entertainment industry and, above all, a critique of television.

During Suharto’s dictatorship from 1967 to 1998, the government television channel Televisi Republik Indonesia was manipulated and controlled for propaganda purposes. However, with the growing market in Indonesia in the late 80s and early 90s, the entertainment industry grew and new television channels appeared. Video rental stores and video readers for private use also began to proliferate. Thus, home cinema emerged as an alternative to the unilateral view presented by the government.

In the late 1990s, and particularly during the fall of Suharto in 1998, video played an important role as an instrument of denunciation against unacceptable social and political events. These videos showed messages that went beyond what was presented and accepted by the government, and documented the reality that the government was hiding from its people. In Indonesia, both in politics and in art, video has been used as a means of documentation and as a means of creating images that respond to specific social and political contexts.

Since 2003, the artists’ initiative ruangrupa has been organising the OK. Video – Jakarta International Video Festival, which takes place biannually in the capital. One of the aims of the festival is to raise awareness of video in a creative sense and to introduce the medium to mainstream audiences. The festival is thematic and, since its first edition, has been internationally conceived. It also gives particular emphasis to the content rather than technical experimentations of the medium – echoing the origins of Indonesian video art. The social and political context of the work is important for the selection of videos featured in the festival.

The exhibition Recorded Waves: Moving Images from Indonesia includes highlights of this festival, as well as ground-breaking positions of video art from Indonesia with works by pioneer video artist Krisna Murti, as well as emerging and established artists Tiong Ang, Muhammad Akbar, Henry Foundation, Nala Atmowiloto, Wimo Ambala Bayang, Ari Satria Darma, Eko Nugroho, Anggun Priambodo, Prilla Tania, Wok The Rock and Tintin Wulia.


Curated by Katerina Valdivia Bruch

Curator’s research supported by Goethe Institute (grant for curators) and ruangrupa.



Jompet. Third Realm

Para Site Art Space is honoured to present Jompet. Third Realm, a new project developed by Jompet Kuswidananto in collaboration with theatre director Yudi Ahmad Tajudin. The history of Indonesian culture, as part of the Third World and former colonized countries, can be read as narratives of a nation that is perpetually in an “in-between” situation or state of transition. From pre-colonial to colonial periods, colonial to post-colonial, agrarian culture to industrial one, from industrial to post-industrial, from rural culture and cosmology to the urban ones.

The history of Indonesian culture is an “in-between” cultural history. A culture that is located between two cultural spaces: between the traditional and the modern, the original and the alien, the inside and the outside, the high brow and the low brow. It never (again?) stays and grows inside one cultural space that is specific and sharply different from another specific culture. It builds on a mix (and excess) of cultures. Its “body” is constituted by many different cultural layers.

As a cultural entity Indonesia is never singular, but the in-betweeness and the transitional conditions have become the overarching and constructing frame covering all the (sub)cultures within.

The exhibition revolves around a physical roof that transforms the gallery space into an installation that includes video, sculpture and performance. Jompet Kuswidananto and Yudi Ahmad Tajudin explain that “the ‘space’ under the roof is constructed by a constantly shifting and changing milieu of ideas, events, performances and meanings. The space of ‘in-between’, where issues about origins, influences and identity could be discussed simultaneously without privileging one over the other. In Java’s case: where one can be a Muslim (or any other religion) and a Javanese at the same time; local and global; modern and traditional. Where one is something in-between different things.”

Jompet Kuswidananto was born in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, in 1976. He trained as a musician, but practices in the Contemporary Art field, and has a strong interest in theatre. He has exhibited in Modernization & Urbanization at Marronnier Art Center, Seoul (2003); 3rd Fukuoka Art Triennale (2005), Equatorial Rhythms at Stenersenmuseet, Oslo (2007); Yokohama Triennale (2008); Jakarta Biennale XIII (2009); 10e Biennale de Lyon (2009), Kuandu Biennial (2010) and The Tradition of the New at Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai (2010). He has solo shows at Osage Gallery (2009, 2010) and Cemeti Art House, Yogyakarta (2008).

Yudi Ahmad Tajudin was born in 1972 in the town Tanjung Priok, Indonesia. He is a theatre director and founder of Teater Garasi. He lives and works in Yogyakarta.


Curated by Alvaro Rodriguez Fominaya


More materials are available to view on site at Para Site. 

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The Archive Project is financially supported by the Project Grant of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council.





press release (Jompet. Third Realm)

exhibition leaflet (Jompet. Third Realm)

video documentation (Jompet. Third Realm)