A meeting of Southeast Asian artists
HOM’s regional residency programme, SAGER, is back for the second time
Kuala Lumpur, April 2012 – One of HOM’s (House of MATAHATI) main goals is to increase the level of exchange between Southeast Asian artists. It does so through its ARTriangle exhibition and fringe activities, but the art space also boasts a unique residency programme that enables Southeast Asian artists to meet and collaborate for a total of three months.
Titled SAGE Residency or SAGER for short, this regional residency programme is co-organized with TENGGARA Artland (Indonesia) and Project Space Pilipinas (Philippines).
SAGER takes in artists with at least five years of experience and the Southeast Asian group exchange enables Malaysian, Indonesian, and Filipino artists to foster and strengthen regional ties, as well as to network and establish a better understanding of their neighbours’ art scenes and environment.
The three-month residency began last year, and its inaugural batch of artists spent 30 days each in Kuala Lumpur, Jogjakarta, and Manila. During this time, the artists took part in studio and gallery visits, and were also introduced to significant art collectors and individuals in the three art communities.
This year’s SAGER has just begun, and its participating artists are Amer Abdullatif O. Mira and Carlo A. Gernale (Philippines), Andi Ramdani and Iqro’ Ahmad Laili Subkhi (Yogyakarta), and Azam Aris and Wong Chee Meng (Malaysia).
The six artists will remain in Kuala Lumpur until April 30, and the results of their time in HOM’s studios will be shown in an exhibition from April 21 – May 5, which is open to members of the public.
SAGER doesn’t just encourage physical dialogues, but also fosters visual exchange, as artists from these three countries are encouraged to engage in cross-cultural meditations and to broach new visual languages in their works.
‘The artists essentially share a studio space, and it’s a great way to inject some excitement and tension into their normally solitary studio practice. This way, they not only have the opportunity to widen their knowledge of contemporary Southeast Asian art, but find inspiration from each other to add new vocabularies into their work’ explains HOM’s director, Bayu Utomo Radjikin.
SAGER is thus the perfect vehicle for artists to learn more about their Southeast Asian neighbours and to fuse fresh cultural elements into their respective practices.
‘A residency can really make a difference to an artist’s career. It’s a chance to work without any disruptions for a specific period of time, and as they’re taking in so many different things around them, you can almost always expect exciting changes in their works,’ adds Bayu, an artist himself.
After Kuala Lumpur, SAGER will move on to Jogjakarta and Manila, and the artists will participate in exhibitions there in July and November respectively.
For more details about SAGER and the gallery’s other residency programmes, visit houseofmatahati.blogspot.com.
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SAGER Artist Profiles
Amer Abdullatif O. Mira (b.1985) hails from the Philippines. He holds a Bachelors degree in Fine Arts (Advertising) from Philippine Women’s University, and has participated in a number of group exhibitions since 2003.
His most recent exhibition was ‘NASAAN? II’ at We Are-We Are Art space in Quezon City (2011), and the previous year, his works were shown at the Manila Art Fair in Pasay City. The same year, the artist was artist-in-residence at Project Space Pilipinas in Mandaluyong City. Beside SAGE Residency, Amer is preparing for a group exhibition that is set to happen in Manila this May.
Andi Ramdani (b.1979) was born in Tasikmalaya, West Jawa. He studied at the Modern School of Design in Yogyakarta, as well as the Indonesian Institute of Art. Ramdani’s artworks can be seen in various public venues in Indonesia, and the artist’s first solo exhibition titled BAMBOO is ME was held at Taman Budaya Yogyakarta in 2010. The following year, the same exhibition travelled to SEVEN CONTINENS in Toronto, Canada.
The artist has been an active presence in his local art scene since 2001, and his exhibition list includes notable shows, such as Biennale Jogja XI and 14th Jakarta Biennale, both in 2011.
Carlo A. Gernale (b.1979) hails from the capital of the Philippines. He majored in painting at the Philippine Women’s University, and boasts an extensive exhibition list that dates back to 2003. That same year, the artist was a finalist in the Metro Bank Foundation National Painting Competition, and in 2011, he was artist-in-residence at Project Space Pilipinas in Mandaluyong City, Philippines.
Aside from participating in exhibitions, the artist has co-organised art-related events and facilitated workshops for youth. Carlo is also a member of UGALathi Art Collective, an artist-run collective that was formed in 1992 as an informal response to the Philippine student movement’s theoretical inquiries into the role of culture and the visual arts in nation-building. The group has since evolved into a cultural organisation of cause-oriented and national democratic youth formations, and they remain an active presence in the Filipino art scene
Azam Aris (b.1983) was born in Taiping, Perak. He began his art education at Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Sri Iskandar, then furthered his studies at the university’s Shah Alam campus. He has held two solo exhibitions in Kuala Lumpur to date – FLOAT at House of MATAHATI in 2008 and PARANOIA at R.A. Gallery in 2010 – and his participation in group exhibitions extends back to 2002.
Awards that Azam has received include the Juror’s Award at the Malaysian National Art Gallery’s Young Contemporaries Competition (Bakat Muda Sezaman) of 2010. He is currently on a year-long residency at Rimbun Dahan, Kuang.
Iqro’ Ahmad Ibrahim Laila Subkhi (b.1983) has been a practicing artist since 2004. A true blue Yogyakartan, he has exhibited actively in his home city, as well as in Indonesia’s other artistic hubs, Bali and Bandung.
The artist has received various accolades for his work, including a nomination for the Indonesian Art Award of 2010. His exhibition list goes back to 2005, and includes group shows at the National Gallery of Indonesia in Jakarta and National Museum of Jogja. In 2010, the artist’s works were shown in Budapest, Hungary.
Wong Chee Meng
Wong Chee Meng (b.1975) hails from Taiping, Perak. His art education began at the Malaysian Institute of Art (MIA) in the mid-nineties, and he later went on to Curtin University Australia, where he gained a Bachelors degree in graphic design. Recently, the artist completed an MA in Contemporary Art and Design from Lim Kok Wing University, Malaysia.
Wong’s exhibition experience dates back to the nineties and includes two solo exhibitions. His achievements include an Honourable Mention at the Philip Morris Malaysia Art Award, and in 2007, he was artist-in-residence at the ABN AMRO-Malihom Artist-in-Residence programme in Balik Pulau, Penang.