The Jakarta Contemporary Ceramics Biennale returns with its third edition, presenting a more extensive view into the ceramic arts and its varied contexts.
A total of 72 artists — 40 of whom are Indonesians and 30 international — are taking part in the event, which runs until Oct. 13 at the Indonesian National Gallery on Jl. Medan Merdeka Timur in Central Jakarta.
The exhibition is also accompanied by a number of seminars, discussions and workshops featuring the participating artists.
Curators Asmudjo Juno Irianto and Rifky Effendy return to direct the biennale affair with the theme, “Coefficient of Expansion” — a technical term in the ceramic-making process. The term refers to the degree of expansion of material in accordance to the change in temperature as clay turns into ceramics during the firing process.
Asmudjo said the term was used as a metaphor to describe an effort to map the variety and wide range of ceramics art through the biennale.
“Mapping is not a very specific theme, but in Indonesia we are seeing that ceramics art is still minimally understood in both the formal and informal education sectors, as well as in the visual art infrastructure,” Asmudjo, who taught visual arts and design at the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), said in his curatorial notes.
Among the artists featured in the biennale are Agung Ivan, Ahadiyat Joedawinata, Alfredo Eandrade, Antra Sinha, Brett Alex Thomas, Dadang Christanto, Elena Goray, F. Widayanto, Graciela Olia, Ha Sugmi, Jatiwangi Art Factory, Kjersti Lunde, Linda Sormin, Natas Setiabudhi, Purnomo, Radi Arwinda, Tetsuya Ishimaya, Wan Liya, Yoichiro Kamei and Zia Fauziana.
Some of the artists follow residency programs ahead of the exhibition. Among them is Sarah Younan of Wales at the ITB ceramic studio, Kristina Rutar of Slovenia and Amornthep Mahamart of Thailand in the Bayat pottery village in Klaten, Central Java and Steven Low Thian Kang of Singapore in the Tanteri Ceramics studio in Bali.
Asmudjo said that in contrast to Indonesian public awareness, Indonesian ceramic artists have been able to catch up to and follow the development of the international ceramic art scene.
This year’s biennale, he said, aimed at providing the public with a comprehensive mapping of ceramic arts and its many possibilities of contextual presence.
Ceramics as art and ceramics as craft have been subjects of age-old debate in the Western art world, but they were worthy of being discussed again in the context of Indonesian contemporary ceramics art, he said.
In accordance with the intention, the exhibition presents ceramic artwork in three different contexts: contemporary craft, contemporary art and design.
“The positioning of a certain work of art in one of these categories is influenced by the artist’s intention, motive and method in justifying his or her area of choice. However, the difference between the three categories are often vague and confusing because of overlapping elements between them,” Asmudjo said.
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