Solo exhibition at ARNDT Singapore
March 6 – May 4, 2014
Opening reception | Wednesday | March 5, 2014 | 6 - 8 pm
Entang Wiharso is an internationally acknowledged artist, particularly known for his large scale paintings, wall sculptures and installations. He is one of the most significant artists working in Southeast Asia today. His works have been exhibited extensively in various contexts: gallery shows, public and private collections displays as well as biennales and group shows in Indonesia and abroad. Wiharso’s solo exhibition ‘Trilogy’ will open on 5 March, 2014. ARNDT Singapore is pleased to be presenting a new body of work by the artist.
In Entang Wiharso’s work the artist’s own personal experiences are embedded with a strong examination of the predominant socio-political conditions of his home country. To him, creating work is a way of understanding the human condition, of heightening our ability to perceive, feel and understand human problems like love, hate, fanaticism, religion, and ideology. “I depict the condition of humans who are often divided by complex, multilayered political, ethnic, racial, and religious systems: they co-exist yet their communication is limited and indirect. Figures are interconnected by intuitive as well as intellectual linkages, including ornamental vegetation, tongues, tails, intestines, animal skin patterns, fences and detailed landscapes.“ (Entang Wiharso, 2011).
The name “Trilogy” stems from Entang Wiharso’s desire to re-examine and re-articulate the ideas presented in three recent solo exhibitions: Love Me or Die (Indonesian National Gallery, 2010), Untold Stories (ARNDT Berlin, 2012) and Geo-Portrait (Primae Noctis, Lugano, 2013 and Salihara, Jakarta, 2013). “Trilogy is three interconnected themes, issues urgent for me to talk about in this moment.
I created the work for awareness, as investigations and as an open question to myself.” The sculpture and paintings presented are intensely concerned with the complicated and elusive character of ‘reality’, which he seeks to represent in its fullness and multiplicity. He looks at events through the prism of his own experience and is both narrator and participant, blurring the line between observed truth and imagination. By mingling the sober reporting of an everyday event with the suddenly intruding vision of a dream, he offers us an understanding of the complex conditions of our own lives. “The Perfect Mirror” (2013-2014) came out of a conversation the artist had with his wife about the historical figure of Samuel Sewall, famous for his role as a judge in the Salem Witch Trials in Massachusetts in 1692. The notable aspect of Sewall’s life that attracted Wiharso to his story was his realization of the terrible mistake he made condemning 20 people to death on witchcraft charges, and then how he dealt with that knowledge the remainder of his life. Looking at his story and current events in Indonesia, the artist wanted to examine the impact of the failure of leadership to admit mistakes. He thought about the all too common situation when leaders do something terrible that has an incredible impact on the life of society and yet the individual refuses to acknowledge responsibility or express a sense of regret. Wiharso is interested in the alternative value and possibility of repentance; how a conscience is formed and manifested. The oval shape of a mirror that is often found in homes connects the public to the work, to give a sense of familiarity, understanding and ownership.
Entang Wiharso participated in the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013, where his work constituted
a significant part of the Indonesian Pavilion. Wiharso’s work was also on view in several institutional shows, amongst most recently: “All You Need is LOVE” (Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, 2013), Prague Biennale 6 (2013), “Panorama: Recent Art from Contemporary Asia” (Singapore Art Museum, Singapore, 2012).
Entang Wiharso was born 1967 in Tegal, Central Java, Indonesia. He studied painting at the Fine Art Department of the Indonesian Institute of Arts, Yogyakarta, Indonesia. He currently lives and works in Rhode Island, USA and Yogyakarta, Indonesia.