FUTURE PAST

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Featuring the works of Gonkar Gyatso, FX Harsono, Irfan Hendrian, Latthapon Korkiatarkul, Lindy Lee, Dawn Ng, Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran, Eko Nugroho, Albert Yonathan Setyawan, Jeremy Sharma, Jakkai Siributr, KRACK Studio, Adeela Suleman and Yang Yongliang. 

Future Past: tradition and transgression in contemporary art from Asia, brings together fifteen contemporary artists working across East Asia, South East Asia and the Asia Pacific to consider the ways in which current art practices in the region interface with and extend beyond the limits of historically determined artistic and cultural boundaries, where they transgress and how these collisions of past and present might inform one another to create an art of the future. A dynamic region animated by tensions between calls to maintain the status quo and voices demanding change, Future Past asks, whether the critical possibilities offered by small acts of transgression by contemporary artists making work in Asia can be considered beyond their value as individual acts in order to form a dynamic accumulation of disturbances with the potential to enact substantial cultural change.

The exhibition includes gallery artists FX Harsono, Jeremy Sharma, Dawn Ng, Irfan Hendrian, Yang Yongliang, Hiromi Tango, and Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran as well as invited artists showing with Sullivan+Strumpf Sydney for the first time, including Albert Yonathan Setyawan (b. 1983 Bandung, West Java, Indonesia; lives and works in Kyoto, Japan), Latthapon Korkiatarkul (b. 1988, Bangkok, Thailand; lives and works in Bangkok); Gonkar Gyatso (b. 1961, Lhasa, Tibet; lives and works in London); KRACK STUDIO (a collaborative project between Indonesian artists Prihatmoko Moki and Rudi (Lampung) Hermawan, Malcolm Smith and Sukma Smita); Jakkai Siributr (b.1969 Bangkok, Thailand; lives and works in Bangkok, Thailand); Eko Nugroho (b. 1977 Yogyakarta,Indonesia; lives and works, Yogyakarta, Indonesia); and Adeela Suleman (b.1970, Karachi, Pakistan; lives and works Karachi, Pakistan).

A highlight of the exhibition will be FX Harsono’s The Light of Spirit (2016), a glowing chandelier comprised of more than 200 red electric candles that dangle above a single gravesite marker, simulating votive offerings lit for the deceased. A seminal figure in Indonesian contemporary art, FX Harsono co-founded Indonesia’s Gerakan Seni Rupa Baru (New Art Movement) in 1975. He has been an active critic of Indonesian politics, society and culture over his four decade-long career, during which he has refined an artistic language which often incorporates autobiographical narrative against the backdrop of Indonesia’s own history and political development, particularly in relation to the lost history of the massacres of the Indonesian-Chinese community during the Suharto regime.

Albert Yonathan Setyawan will show a large-scale relief sculpture, Levitation, handmade from multiple pieces of terracotta. Setyawan’s grids and assemblages are composed as sublime integers which function as contemplative reinterpretations of myth, nature and spirituality. In Levitation, Setyawan explores human spirituality and religiosity through the idea of levitation associated with meditation using pattern and repetition.

Jeremy Sharma’s Camelopardis, references the constellation of the same name which comes from the Greek word for giraffe, a combination of the words for camel and leopard, so described because of its long camel-like neck and spots like a leopard. In a similar way, Sharma’s abstract paintings straddle the ground between realism and idealism, addressing ideas of aesthetics and production as well as the distinct processes, traditions and vast history of painting.