13 September to 24 October 2017
Iwan Wijono (IND)
“Nusantara” is the only geographical and physical idiom to acknowledge the old area of Indonesia – part of Majapahit, the last kingdom in Central Java. “Nusantara” from the Sanskrit word, “Nuswantara” – a combination of “Nuswa” (the place that we inhabit) and “Antara” (between) – means between the place that we inhabit.
“Nusantara” is the Indonesian word for the archipelago in South East Asia, but it also refers to the space between these islands, as well as the space between the planets, the space between the galaxies, and so on. The worldview of “Nusantara” is universal; encompassing not only the material world but also the space between the material and spiritual, and between this and other dimensions.
For Nusantara Manuscript, Iwan Wijono shares his blood at the Sukuh Temple in a ritual performance to unite the spaces that we inhabit.
Indonesian artist, Iwan Wijono was born into in a Moslem Javanese family a few decades ago in the city of Solo, Central Java. While studying international law (Indonesian Islamic University) and painting (Indonesian Institute of Art) in Jogjakarta, Wijono became active in the pro-democracy movement against the Soeharto regime. Known as KKN (collusion, corruption and nepotism) this government was feudalistic, capitalistic and militaristic. The feudal culture in Central Java is still strong, however the 'global' culture from the West dominates and has become the standard for the middle class and upper classes. The pro-democracy movement also protested the thoughtless adoption of new ideology from the West by young Indonesians absorbed by 3M : Microsoft-Macintosh, Mac Donald's and MTV. In the 1990's Wijono became known as a pro-democracy street performer. He performed with or without political demonstration, understanding his art work could be undertaken anywhere and was not restricted by exhibition or public space or even the time of the activity. His early performance art interventions evolved to include local and international art events throughout Asia, Europe and the Americas.
Curated by Lucie McIntosh.
Nusantara Manuscript, HD video of performance at the Sukuh Temple, Central Java, Indonesia, 2015 | 12:11min
Exhibited as part of the installation Secret Archipelago, Palais De Tokyo, Paris 2015. Image courtesy of the artist.