A journey through Asian art
The politicisation of the artist: The daily reality of life, the struggle for independence in Indonesia, the Vietnam War, the struggle against martial law in the Philippines, politicised Australian and Asian artists. They could not turn their backs on the enormity of change and social injustice before them.
Brenda V Fajardo talks about the artists working towards the transformation of society. This flies in the face of those who consider the primary role of art to produce beauty, or to remind us of beauty.
What is your positon on this? Tease out the relationship between your art and your world. Look at what you are creating and ask yourself ‘is this really what I want to say’, is this about me and my world?
The gaze: Notice how these artists have interrupted the gaze. Hendra Gunawan turned away from the solitary heroic figure and instead painted companionship of women. Notice the stance and the angles.
We all have a way of looking, this is influenced by who we are, and the culture we are from. A young Indonesian woman will look at the world differently than an older Australian man.
What powers or traditions in our society are influencing your gaze? What might you do in your art practice to adjust or interrupt your gaze?
- A potent mix of traditional and contemporary: We have seen how Hendra took the energy from the tradition of the Wayang puppets and applied it to his work, employing a profile, a pose, a shape. We have also seen how Fajardo combines social reality, the divination of the tarot pack, and pre-colonial tradition, particularly the Babaylan (High Priestess). This potent mixture of traditional and contemporary gives the work strength.
If you were to apply this principle, what set of traditional iconography might you incorporate into your work?
- Historical context
- The colonial gaze
- Wayang puppets and tarot cards