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INTERVIEW: Prize Winners of REDBASE Young Artist Award 2016

02 August 2016

An Interview of "REDBASE Young Artist Award 2016"
Writer: Yunyi Lau


We spoke to the prize winners of REDBASE Foundation's Young Artist Award 2016 to hear about their artistic practices. Keep reading to find out more!  

First Prize Winner of the Young Artist Award 2016
'Riwayatmu Kini #2 (The Tale of Teak Wood)' by Anang Saptoto
Video projection with sound, variable dimensions (33 pieces)
 2013-2016 
200 x 300 cm/ 78.7" x 118.1"

Interview with Anang Saptoto - 1st Prize Winner

Congratulations on winning the Young Artist Award 2016! Tell us a bit about your artistic process and your inspirations.

I'm interested in social and environmental issues. I try to be a part of social movements, to understand more about what is going on in the world.

Sometimes before embarking on my artistic processes, I try to interview to people to get their story about an issue; I document through photos and create mind maps. After that I try to make individual artworks or collaborations with my favourite techniques: anamorphic & size (lifesize) with photographs, video/ stopmotion, drawing, mural, and installation.

Anang Saptoto and Taiwan artist Kuan-Jung Chen, Open House: Imagine an Ideal Home. 

In your work, you use a lot of interesting materials such as books and cross-sections of logs and tree trunks. Why did you choose these materials to work with, as opposed to more traditional mediums?

For me, it is not only about the material. For example in my artwork "kayu jati riwayatmu kini", the photo comes with a story behind it. Like my past projects with PLAN International NGO to make a video workshop in Grobokan Central Java village in 2007, I chose to run a video workshop with children in the village about the mountain "Tawing mountain".

30 years ago,  the forest had many teak trees, but from the 1980s mankind started to cut these trees down. We made some observations around the mountain and we did not see many trees left in the mountain. Instead, people started to gather the white stones to sell. At the time in Grobogan there was a huge problem: the temperature was at a scorching 40 degrees Celsius and there was a lack of water in the village, so people would buy water from another village. After 2 years, I looked up many wood stores specially selling teak trees in Yogyakarta and photographed them to document the wood and code. When asked, the owners of these wood stores know nothing about the code on the logs. So for me this is a big question: what's the story or journey from the forest to here?

Anang Saptoto, Workshop fotografi oleh Anja de Jong, (2014)
Mural, 484 cm x 347 cm x 116 cm, 2014

For my anamorphic series, I am interested to experiment with archival material and to talk about history. With the anamorphic series, objects can be see with a 3D effect. To me, it is a good way to experience and imagine history, but at the same time, you can't see the distorted image from the deference perspective. It's like history - you can see some parts clearly and some distorted.

What advice do you have for artists entering the next Young Artist Award competition?

Don't just to be spectators, but be part of the change. Artists are only ordinary people. It is more important that you step outside your studio, be open-minded and try to experiment with other people/public to increase the understanding of society by sharing information, collaborating and creating good relationships with organisations and journalists to create a good presentation together.

Second Prize Winner of the Young Artist Award 2016
'Labirin Diksi "Maju Mudur Pantang Terus"' by Argya Dhyaksa
Underglazed Stoneware Ceramics
2015
 470 x 200 cm / 185" x 78.7"

Interview with Argya Dhyaksa, 2nd Prize Winner

In 'Labirin Diksi 'Maju Mudur Pantang Terus,' you created many small ceramic elements with a lot of text in English and Bahasa. Could you tell us more about the work and your inspiration behind it?

This work tells the story of a labyrinth made from ceramic objects, and written texts which deviated from the original to leave behind the impression that an object must have a symbol or a specific meaning to confuse or mislead people. In mythology, the labyrinth created by Daedalus, God of craftsmanship, confused and mislead the Minotaur. In this work, I play the role as God of craftsman that makes ceramic works to mislead my audience.

It's alway been said that "if you're confused, then find something to hold onto [kalau bingung pegangan]." In this work, I want  people to feel confused before finding something to hold onto, if you see this work with your crush you have a reason to hold his/her hand. Thanks to me.

What about the medium of ceramic most interests you? Why did you choose this medium to best express and convey your artistic ideas?

The most interesting part about the medium of ceramic is the intimacy - we can directly touch and make something without third party tools or molding (if you use a hand building/pinching  technique like I do) and then the idea will be directly transferred into the ceramic that you’ve made. With my organic and intuitive work pattern, it's so interesting.

I choose this medium to express and convey the artistic idea because with my low ceramics ability I couldn't really make functional ceramic objects which require calculating and regularity. 

Second Prize Winner of the Young Artist Award 2016
 'But Does It Float' by Rega Ayundya Putri
Ballpoint and Acrylic Ink on Paper
2015
35cm x 145cm / 13.8" x 57.1" 

Interview with Rega Ayundya Putri, 2nd Prize Winner

Your primary medium is that of ballpoint pen on paper. Why did you choose to use the ballpoint pen - something we do not often associate with fine art - as opposed to pencil or a brush?

In the beginning, ballpoint was a medium that was close to my daily life. I keep using it as my primary medium through the development of my drawing, developing a kind of attachment between us. To me, ballpoint is the perfect medium to express the honesty of drawing process, its inability to be erased, its taper tip that use a pointing ball to rotate its ink, enables it not only to move fast, lithely, aggressively, but also also to create thin details.

Your works are very highly textured despite their two dimensionality. Where do you get ideas for your forms from?

My visual interest starts from sea organisms, until I discovered photographs of microscopic objects. These objects, that are unable for us to see without the help of microscope, became my visual reference for my works today. They include underwater micro-organisms like planktons, and microscopic photographs from our bodies and organs. It was an interesting concept to me, when things that are so small and invisible in plain view, stacked repeatedly, they create a substantial and majestic feeling.

Third Prize Winner of the Young Artist Award 2016
'Text and Imagination' by Yudha Kusuma Putera
Text and Imagination #1-#9
20 x 30 cm each
Photo, Digital Print on Canson Paper
2015
Edition 1/1
20cm x 30cm / 7.9" x 11.8" 

Interview with Yudha Kusuma Putera, 3rd Prize Winner

You mainly focus on the mediums of photography and film. What got you interested in using these mediums in your art?

I believe that each medium has a different way of communication. Knowledge of the language is not simple, it is necessary to understand deeply and continuously. Photography is a recording of reality, even considering the fact itself. The medium of photography is a popular medium and can easily fit into all circles of society. This is consistent with the theme of my interest in everyday and social issues.

The work Text and Imagination #1-9 is a very interesting series of photographs. They all seem to look like the same image being photographed repeatedly, but each image is slightly different from the other. Can you tell us more about this work?

The artist works with a variety of methods, one of which is preceded by a curatorial text created by the curator, then responded into a masterpiece. The work that has been created by the artist is often presented into a gallery of "empty space, neutral, with particular lighting." The nine works are photographic images of the same "empty space with perspective," what distinguishes them from one another is the title of each work therein. This work is an attempt to position the audience to the position of the artist, how to respond to texts and imagine into a room "gallery".

Third Prize Winner of the Young Artist Award 2016
'Mechanical Horn Sentaur Beetle' by Dedy Shofianto
Teak Wood, Pine Wood, Electric Dynamo
2015
150cm x 100cm / 59.1" x 39.4" 

Interview with Dedy Shofianto, 3rd Prize Winner

What does it feel like to be one of the winners of the Young Artist Award 2016? How do you plan to use your prize money to further develop your artistic practice?

I feel happy because being one of the winners help me keep my spirits up. It is a motivation for me to buy more materials and tools to produce more artworks. If you wish to develop your art, you should participate in many events like the REDBASE Young Artist Award, as it act as a barometer for oneself. Losing and winning is not a big deal, the important thing to learn from this competition is that local artist like me have the suppor have links to support us in art scene.

You submitted two very interesting sculptures of mechanical insects made from wood that can move (Evolution and Mechanical Horn Sentaur Beetle). What inspired you to introduce motorization and movement into your works?

Nostalgia, from always playing with the sentaur beetle in my childhood days, gives me inspiration to make an artwork about it combined with art, science and technology.

The villagers assume the sentaur beetles are pests for the palm tree farmer, but for me, the visual of the beetle has artistic value to be an art object.

Source: www.theartling.com

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