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Lumen Travo is proud to present the first gallery show of Indonesian artist Ade Darmawan (1974) in the Netherlands.

Darmawan’s own art explores his country, Indonesia, its history and, most importantly, its people. His installations are based on a study of the life cycle of everyday objects, collected from, both, home and industrial consumption. Embedded in these found objects and collages are narratives about national ideologies and aspirations, as well as parallels with similar capitalist ambitions. Ade often turns the spotlight on what he calls “minor histories”— events that in themselves may not possess historic relevance but, in the aggre­gate, make up a community’s past.

For the special occasion of the exhibition Doing business with the Dutch, Darmawan has been looking into how a society comes to an agreement as a nation and works together to sell itself as human capital, by consciously constructing a national identity and by presenting it as a value for economic trade. The act of this structured trade created trends and produced certain objects and stories, that are often re-intrepreted and misintrepreted. The installation presented in the show is inspired by books and images -strictly produced by the Dutch about Indonesia from the 1800-1900 and by the contemporary trading culture in the Netherlands- and presented as a design of a domestic interior.

Ade Darmawan lives and works in Jakarta as an artist, curator and director of ruangrupa. He studied at Indonesia Art Institute (I.S.I), in Graphic Art Department. In 1998, a year after his first solo exhibition at the Cemeti Contemporary Art Gallery, Yogyakarta (now Cemeti Art House), he stay in Amsterdam, Netherlands, for a two years residency at the Rijksakademie Van Beeldende Kunsten. In 2015 he had the solo exhibition “Magic Centre”, Portikus in Frankfurt, Germany and in 2016 in Van AbbeMuseum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands. In the same year he was one of the participating artists of Gwangju Biennial and Singapore Biennale. He was also a contributor of the collaborative curatorial project Riverscape in-flux (2012), Media Art Kitchen (2013), and Condition Report (2017) with several South East Asia curators and artists.

Since 2000, he is the co-founder and director of the Jakarta-based initiative ruangrupa, which focuses on visual arts and its relation with the social and cultural context especially in Indonesian urban environment. With ruangrupa as an artists’ collective platform he also have participated in Gwangju Biennale (2002), Istanbul Biennale (2005), Asia Pacific Triennial Brisbane (2012), Sao Paulo Biennal (2014) and in 2016 he curated Sonsbeek International in the Netherlands. From 2006-2009 he was a member of Jakarta Arts Council, in 2009 he became the artistic director of Jakarta Biennale, and since 2013 he is the executive director of Jakarta Biennale.

Lumen Travo gallery would like to thank Bert Steevensz for his important contribution to this show.


  • Lumen Travo's Exhibitions 11

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