[This article has been published before on 16th October 2014 by JakPost Travel]
The third Jakarta Contemporary Ceramics Biennale (JCCB) held at Galeri Nasional Jakarta, which ended Monday, was both an attractive and inspiring international contemporary art exhibition. Initiated in 2009 by curators Asmudjo J. Irianto and Rifky Effendy, this year’s JCCB was constructed differently from its two predecessors. Asmudjo and Rifky chose the theme “coefficient of expansion” as a metaphor for the recent extensive development of ceramic art praxis. In ceramics, the coefficient of expansion is related to quartz inversion, also known as ceramic change, which is the point when clay undergoes a heating process at 573 degrees Celsius followed by the expansion of the ceramic body. As a theme, “coefficient of expansion” refers to an attempt to map the diversity and expansiveness of ceramic art.
More than 70 local and international artists showcased their work at the event. Participants were either invited directly by the curator or submitted a proposal to go through a selection process. According to one of the artists, Zia, she was invited by the curators to showcase her installation entitled “Lain Dulu, Lain Sekarang” (Different Then, Different Now). Having been invited, the artists presented their art plans for the exhibition and finally the curators picked the ones that best suited the exhibition theme. “Going through the selection process did not cost the artist a cent,” said Argya Dhyaksa, who showcased a piece called “The Knowing Every Particular Object (KEPO)”.
The artworks were classified into four categories: art, design, craft and tradition. To help visitors understand the pieces better, each installation was presented with a background description alongside. According to another participant, Bonggal Hutagalung, his inspiration for “Una Pasion Es Una Pasion” came from daily routines that caused him personal anxiety. He saw an issue with the role of functional products for ceramic makers in contrast to consumerism within today’s society. His intuition-driven creation of shapes and figures serves as an escape from demands in industry.
Compared to previous exhibitions, this year’s drew the largest crowds. “Social media has had a big influence, creating the influx of visitors, especially from the younger generation,” said Rifky. Planning an art exhibition this size is not an easy task. It took up to 1.5 years of preparation to cover the various aspects, such as the delivery of artworks from outside Indonesia, legal paperwork, location surveys and identifying the best talent. Fortunately, all this hard work paid off and the response was great enthusiasm from the visitors. The exhibition successfully garnered more than 1,000 visitors daily and there were massive amounts of photos shared online via social media capturing the exhibition hype from every angle.