outlandish


Saturday, April 13, 2019 - Monday, May 13, 2019
Lawangwangi Creative Space
ArtSociates proudly presents the exhibition of the dynamic duo, Restu Taufik Akbar and Rendy Raka. The title of their exhibition is ā€¯Outlandish

Beginning from experience

Usually a work is created based on the personal experiences of the artist in the surrounding world. This is the case for Restu. For Restu, there is a unique and impressionable experience that he receives at certain locations, especially in nature. he receives a unique experience in the forest - in simplest words, a calm and peaceful feeling - a feeling of sublime. When asked about it, Restu may be at odds to explain it in length. Something experienced may be difficult to describe. Yet clearly, Resto does not experience the forest as merely a collection of trees, buhes, animals, streams and so on.

Rendy is not so different, either. He also has experiences that are unique to him, in how he handles empty spaces. It might not actually be a completely empty room at the start. The experience begins when he is faced with a dark room, which makes him uncomfortable. This condition “demands” him to know what is inside that space, his curiosity arising. Naturally, a dark space is not always an empty space, yet this curiosity that “demands” a presence of something within a space, causes Rendy to interact with dark and empty spaces in a similar fashion.

Both experiences are the background of the works by Restu and Rendy in this current project. It is not that other experiences are not important, but these two experiences may feel more unique and specific. Both of these ‘mental experiences’ - experiences that involve perception, thought, emotion, memory and imagination - become the experiences that they go through in each of their “inner worlds”. It is not strange for contemplation and total comprehension to be involved in such a process.

 

So, what are we actually facing?

Basically, both Restu and Rendy’s works offer the same thing to us. Both emphasize the presence of visual poetry. How the presence of various visual elements and effects can inspire our experiences and feelings. In enjoying this visual poetry, we enjoy many different impressions; from harmony, depth, rhythm, movement, energy, vitality, passion, and so on.

Their works also offer a rich visual experience. The combination of visual elements and the process of processing them, results in a variety of visual effects which are unique and distinctive. This kind of offering charms us into staying longer in front of the work, calmly observing and savoring each detail of shape, line, overflow, clump, crack, and crease. This kind of attitude tends to bring us toward contemplation.

In Restu’s work, we see imagery of trees, stairs, bridges or of water flows. It does not mean that Restu intends to tell a story about a place or environmental issues, for instance. These objects function as a foothold for us; that basically, the experience he brings forth derives from the places around us, and we might possibly experience the same thing. There are similarities to these objects, as they all show a strong perspective element. Upon the drawing space, these objects lead towards a vanishing point. Through perception, perspective results in an impression of space. Perspective on the objects in Restu’s work - metaphorically - point towards ‘inside’, inviting us into the imaginary space within it, inside the experience itself.

Space is also apparent in Rendy’s work. The space is shaped from the layers of of drawing spaces. Through the layers and overlaps, we perceive images close and afar - with a depth of space there. The depth of space in Rendy’s work is real. The layers of drawing spaces create distance between each image on the drawing space, with different positions upon the work’s background. We are facing a real space, which contains various foreign objects.

Our curiosity may be piqued - that in the reality around us, there are many things we have yet to see with our own eyes. For instance, what lies on the seabed, in outer space, within our bodies, or even behind our backyard. We imagine the limits of our knowledge.

One more element that has an important role in Restu and Rendy’s work is what we have always called the ‘drawing space’. Restu and Rendy chose materials not normally used as a drawing space. Stainless steel plates and acrylic sheets are their choices, which in turn influences the work due to their unique properties.

Restu’s stainless steel plates are reflective, enabling it to mirror objects in front if it. Therefore, when facing Restu’s works, we see our own reflection and the surrounding environment in the drawing space. Our face - and part of our bodies - with the room around us, mix in between the trees and overlap with various bruhes and clumps of hovering colour. On the other hand, Rendy’s acrylic sheets are transparent. This transparency enables images and colours from layers at the back still be present and whole, while overlapping and mixing with other elements on layers on top of it - in our perception. As a result, the space in Rendy’s work is vociferous, complex and full of fantasy. All the fusions upon Restu and Rendy’s drawing spaces, the blending of imagery we recognise from reality with fantasy (imaginary) imagery, have the potential to bring about an odd or foreign sensation.

The explanation above shows that within Restu and Rendy’s work, the unique characteristics of the chosen materials have converted into a method of expression, a language that influences impressions brought forth by the work. Yet there is another important matter to consider - the experience attained through enjoying visual poetry, and the odd, foreign or other sensations that go with it, mark our ‘distance’ with reality, with what we usually perceive in daily life, or in short: our everyday life.

And from a classical view, this distance mentioned is a prerequisite of what is often called an ‘aesthetic experience’.

 

 

Danuh tyas

 

curator