Indonesian Visual Arts: Early Foundations and Contemporary Forms of Creative Activism (2/2): Contemporary networks of art and social inclusion

Dr Wulan Dirgantoro1, Dr Edwin Jurriëns1, Ms Samantha Mintio2, Ms Yoana Wida  Kristiawati3, Mr Gustaff H.  Iskandar4, Dr Intan  Paramaditha5, Ms Putri Raharjo3

1The University Of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia, 2Ketemu Project, Denpasar, Indonesia, 3Nalitari, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, 4Common Room Networks Foundation, Bandung, Indonesia, 5Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia

Co-Chairs:  Wulan Dirgantoro & Edwin Jurriens


This panel seeks to examine the close entanglements between art, activism and politics within the Indonesian art ecology. Indonesia has established itself as a key player in the regional and global development of modern and contemporary art. Recent exhibitions such as Contemporary Worlds: Indonesia (2019) at the National Gallery of Australia and the continuous presence of the Indonesian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale since 2015 appear to highlight the Indonesian art world’s success in negotiating the power relations in the global art world.

While activism has become one of the markers of identity for the practices of many Indonesian artists, the global art world’s appetite for the new is often celebratory and lacks critical engagement with artistic practices outside its perimeter. This panel will discuss the complexities of practising art and activism in Indonesia within and beyond the gallery sphere, particularly in effecting change within local communities. The first panel in this series is on ‘Pioneers of art education and experimentation’; the second panel on ‘Contemporary networks of art and social inclusion’. We conclude with a roundtable. The presenters will discuss issues such as institutional critique, environmental activism, transregional networks, feminist strategies, and social inclusivity and empowerment through creative practices.


The Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) is the peak body of university experts and educators on Asia in Australia. Established in 1976, we promote and support the study of Asia in Australian universities and knowledge of Asia among the broader community. Our membership is drawn mainly from academics and students, but also includes industry and government Asia experts. We take a strong interest in promoting knowledge about Asia in schools and in contributing to state and Commonwealth government policies related to Asia. We provide informed comment on Asia to a broad public through our bulletin, Asian Currents, and specialist research articles in our journal, Asian Studies Review. Four book series published under our auspices cover Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Asia and Women in Asia.

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