The Utola Land
Curated by Sudjud Dartanto
Saturday, 28.06.2008 at 5 – 7 pm
Exhibition until 12.07.2008
open daily 11am-7pm except sunday & public holiday
Why do we present works by Hendra “HeHe” Harsono? Is it merely because of something inherent in the works? Or do we present them just by accident in the soft opening of this art room, vivi yip art room?
It is not a mere chance, a mere coincidence. Although such visual strategies as the one that HeHe adopts has spread for quite a while, one must admit that the art world has not been wholly familiar with them. This is especially true if we associate the term ‘art’ with a “serious” world, where one would be forced to frown and need bags full of intellectual references in order to understand it. One can enjoy HeHe’s works without having to frown. The references that might be required would perhaps consist of one’s familiarity with comics, cartoons, and other expressions of the popular culture.
If there is indeed another set of references—as internet sites could explain—then such a visual strategy would be defined as forming works that do not quite concern themselves with the recognition from the “serious” art world. These works are the manifestation of the street culture, the underground culture. This movement, which blossomed in California since the late seventies, has been called “lowbrow”.
Perhaps that is where the encounter takes place between the choice to present HeHe’s art works and the soft opening of our art room. We fully realize that an art room like this must have a cultural function. Personally, vivi yip art room feels that we are inclined toward the subculture that lies at the basis of such art movements, which if traced backwards seem to remind us to all liberation efforts; just like the psychedelic images of the seventies, the underground art, pop art, and others. We think that parts of the cultural function of such an art room consist of our engagement with the cultural processes, including the dynamics of the marginal subcultures.
We hope that we can keep on walking steadily toward the horizon of culture, which can very well be consisting of layers upon layers of horizons. Behind the horizon—just as Rendra the poet once quipped—always lies another horizon.
Pejaten, June 2008
vivi yip art room
Published: June 25, 2008