Tintin Wulia participating in a press conference in South Jakarta on Thursday (27/04). (JG Photo/Lisa Siregar)

Tintin Wulia to Exhibit Her Work in Venice and Jakarta Next Month


APRIL 27, 2017

Jakarta. Indonesian artist Tintin Wulia is set to unveil her latest work, "1001 Martian Homes," at exhibitions at home and abroad on May 10.

Tintin will be the sole artist representing Indonesia at the 57th Venice Art Biennale, which will take place in Italy from May 13 to Nov. 26.

"1001 Martian Homes" consists of three interactive installations that will be exhibited simultaneously in Venice and at Senayan City shopping mall in South Jakarta next month.

The artist has challenged conventional limits imposed by geographical boundaries by creating artwork that responds to onlookers through censor chips, allowing visitors to the exhibitions in Venice and Jakarta to engage with the work through digital screens and cameras.

Speaking at a press conference in South Jakarta on Thursday (27/04), Tintin said she created a similar work, though on a much smaller scale, in 2011. In the piece titled "The Butterfly Generator," the artist connected two twin machines that interacted with each other through the internet.

"I started my journey as an artist in 2000, and my focus has always been about borders and the unequal effects of globalization. I am trying to imagine what our communication will be like in 100 years from now," she said.

The Bali-born artist, who currently resides in Australia, said most of her artwork is inspired by the journey her ancestors took when they migrated to Indonesia from China. Indeed, most of the artist's focus revolves around a "borderless" world, in which she envisions a truly global citizenry in harmony with itself.

When the internet finally became available in Indonesia for public use in 1995, Tintin said there was hope for such a borderless world. To her dismay, corporations eventually implemented internet protocol filtering, which restricts users from accessing certain web domains in different countries.

"We used to see the internet as a tool to unite us without the imposition of physical borders, but after they invented IP filtering, that dream was crushed. The world has become an unequal space once again," she said.

Tintin said "1001 Martian Homes" stems from her anxiety that humankind will never be free from nationalist or divisive sentiments.

"Hundred years could be nothing, as humankind only started operating commercial flights in 1914. We will always live in between black and white, the pro and the contra, but I just wanted to extend space and time in this work," she said.

Agung Hujatnikajennong, curator of the Indonesian pavilion at the Venice Biennale, said Tintin's latest work is a reflection of daily experience in interacting with objects, screens and cameras that are connected to the internet.

"This is a narration on memories, migration and space that is relevant to many situations," he said.

The Creative Economy Agency (Bekraf) commissioned Tintin's work.

Bekraf deputy head Ricky Pesik said the Venice pavilion will promote several upcoming art exhibitions across the archipelago, including ArtJog in May and the Jakarta and Jogja Biennale later this year.

Indonesia is only one among 128 countries participating in this year's Venice Art Biennale.

Bekraf head Triawan Munaf echoed sentiments by President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, who said Indonesia has a lot to offer the global contemporary art community.

"We haven't been able to participate regularly at the Venice Art Biennale, but we are committed to using our space there as a platform to support our creative industry," he said.