Eko NUGROHO: UH-OH UH-OH UH-OH (the world complaining)

10 September - 28 October 2016 Shanghai
Press release

ARARIO GALLERY is proud to present 哎哟, 哎哟, 哎哟 (世界抱怨着), a solo exhibition of an internationally renowned Indonesian artist Eko Nugroho (b. 1977). This exhibition will show the artist's most recent works in various mediums including embroidery, sculpture, works on paper, and site-specific mural painting.


Nugroho and his body of works differentiate themselves from the previous generation of Indonesian artists whom, during the Reformasi period. These Indonesian artists have heavily focused on political messages. Their works captured the tumultuous socio-economic period in Indonesia's modern history since their independence in 1945 that continued to the subsequent experienced relocation and re-assimilation due to a fast progressing modernization of Jakarta where much of the culture and art were carefully controlled by President Suherto for almost 30 years under his "New Order" campaign. However, with more stabilized economy and political setting, the younger generation of contemporary artists embody a positive and energetic young spirit of post-Reformasi, transforming the country's culture into a more vibrant and exciting one.


Such zeitgeist can be easily found in Nugroho's witty and uplifting works. Many of the visual elements that the artist utilizes visually attracts by the viewers. His captivating works were inspired by the Japanese manga which he first came in to contact during his childhood. Nugroho translates the core characteristic of manga into a simple and chic, often in black and white palette paintings. Such approach not only fruitions into the artist's original signature aesthetics but also at the same time touches upon Indonesia's history of Japanese colonialism.


Furthermore, the artist is interested in experimenting in various unconventional mediums such as mural paintings, which has its' basis on graffiti art, conveying the artist's interest in the urban life. Nugrohon also works with Indonesia's traditional embroidery, which connotes to his attachment to his own legacy as an Indonesian and its' tradition. Furthermore, the artist's rather colorful works have an obviously apparent closer relation to his country's rich fauna and bright colored nature. Nugroho, therefore, continues to carry on the same level or, further yet, more intensified acumen and insight of Indonesia's culture and history compared to the previous generation of artists, which are conveyed through his effortlessly cool aesthetic.


As one can easily discover through viewing the works, Nugroho is concerned not only in regards to the country's history but also explores the idea of collective memories and about an individual's identity within a society. The repeated element of 'mask' found in his works represents different roles and identities of people in a society. Another continuing theme the artist uses are UFOs and aliens making the works look even science fiction-like. These devices also signify detachment of the society that the development of modernity has brought to humanity rather than a stylistic approach.


Nugroho ceaselessly communicates with his audience through his works and attempts to create a dialogue that everyone can participate and relate. The exhibition will continue from September 10th to October 28th, 2016.

Installation Views