Sunday, December 13, 2009


“Identitas ruang ini mesti kita ubah. Kita mesti mendapatkan ikon ruang yang bisa memobilisasi gagasan pameran ini dan imij-imij yang dibawa oleh lukisan yang dipamerkan.” kira-kira seperti itulah medan kerja yang dibuka pada awal saya mulai kerja sama dengan kawan-kawan di O House Gallery.

Medan kerja seperti itu menarik, karena tidak lagi memperlakukan ruang pameran sebagai “tempat” berpameran. Melainkan sebagai “ruang” yang korelasinya diperhitungkan dari ikon utama yang dipertaruhkan dalam pameran itu sendiri, dengan berbagai simpul-simpul desain lainnya. Sebuah kerja pameran jadi sebuah kerja arsitektur dengan politik ruang yang mungkin berlangsung di dalamnya. Hubungan ruang dengan karya yang dipamerkan seperti hubungan antara “memandang” dan “bergerak”. Sebuah karya atau sekumpulan karya seperti mendapatkan mata dan kaki yang baru. Bergerak bisa jadi sebuah tindakan beroposisi terhadap memandang, tetapi juga bisa menjadi positif untuk membuat sebuah perjalanan baru.

Karena itu menurut hemat saya, O House Gallery mencoba membuat budaya baru dalam penyelenggaraan pameran. Gallery dipahami seperti sebuah ruang metafor dimana kaidah-kaidah arsitektur mengenai dinding, lantai, atap, sudut, bundaran, maupun sekat dibuat seperti medan transportasi untuk lalu lintas “memandang” dan “bergerak”. Setiap terjadinya momen untuk memandang, politik identitas dan memaknaan berlangsung di dalamnya. Begitu pula setiap terjadinya momen untuk bergerak, berbagai keputusan posisi maupun oposisi terhadap karya yang dipamerkan terjadi. Ketika gallery mulai dipahami seperti ini maka ruang pameran menjadi sama dengan sebuah partisipasi baru terhadap momen-momen kreatif maupun identitas yang berlangsung dalam sebuah pameran.

Galeri mungkin seperti sebuah rumah untuk karya seni dimana pintu dan jendelanya sudah saling merajut di dalam. Dan bukan lagi melulu menempatkan pintu dan jendela sebagai sekat menuju dunia luar. Arus eksternalisasi dan internalisasi sudah berlangsung antara ruang pameran dengan karya yang dipamerkan.
Saya akan bermimpi O House Gallery bekerja seperti membuat “puisi ruang” untuk berbagai keputusan-keputusan visual yang berlangsung dari karya-karya yang dipamerkannya.***

Friday, November 20, 2009

"POLISH POSTER" - O house gallery 11 Desember 2009 - 6 January 2010

"POLISH POSTER" Exhibition - O house gallery

11 December 2009 - 06 January 2010

Next on O

Made Wianta Solo Exhibition and Book Launching

25 November - 6 Desember 2009 at 19.30 WIB
Galeri Nasional Indonesia
Jl. Medan Merdek
a Timur No.14, Jakarta
Curated by Jean Couteau and Afrizal Malna

Thursday, September 24, 2009


31 October 2009 - PRESENT
Plaza Indonesia
Lantai 1 E# 10 - 11

Phone Number My Hand - Arya Pandjalu

Phone Number My Hand - Arya Pandjalu
8 - 22 October 2009
Plaza Indonesia
Lantai 1 E# 10 - 11

Sunday, July 5, 2009


Plaza Indonesia
4 - 30 September 2009

Lantai 1 E# 10 - 11


The work of Walter Van Oel appears as a shining star amidst a galaxy of colour marked by contrasts that are never allowed to dominate one over the other: all visual elements occupy the same roles and positions. There is almost no visual element that carries a supporting or accompanying role in the name of continuity.

It is as though our eyes are unable to keep up with our perceptions. The resultant sensuality forces our eyes to view as if in a "raw state". We are unable to view with “eyes that perceive”. This “raw state” at the same time contrasts with “basic state”. The eye in its “raw state” is the eye which at a certain level has the power to negotiate visually (no longer 'basically'), but has not yet reached the ability to see, as it were, ripened form (no particular mode of perception having yet become active).

This kind of field of vision comes about because the visual reality in the works of Oel does not attempt to embroil us in a particular story, or lure us into a particular narrative. Oel does not construct text based on our collective consciousness of a thing, even if he does feature public icons such as Marilyn Monroe, Mao Tse Tung, dragons or shadow puppets. Oel does not aim to arouse perception through the use of these icons, rather he features them as things on which to hang the movement from “the perceiving eye” to the “non-perceiving eye”.

Seeing is ultimately the moment at which we meet and react to a work biologically, and experience it as a thing negotiated by our senses.

It is difficult to find a cultural reason why Oel features these public icons. The search for justifications itself sets in motion the wheels of narration that force us to try and understand the artistic approach taken by Van Oel using ordinary modes of perception. We will inevitably be influenced by the uncontrollability of these wheels as they move us to some universal understanding, without obliging us to interpret Oel's works on their own terms; the moment at which we can truly flow with the works will have been lost.

This restriction is more apparent when Van Oel uses a non-perceptional approach that effectively paralyses our “perceiving eyes”. Often these paralysed eyes of ours can be forced into perceiving with the use of heavy forms, round forms (circular and oval), or calligraphy that mimics block forms, including red and yellow as representative of certain cultures. However, once again, such impressions offer no way to save our inherent perceptive way of seeing.

The works of Walter Van Oel bring our eyes firmly to the border between that which we know and that which we do not know. Oel places a very solid frame around this border not only through the size of his paintings, which are generally quite large, but also through the literal framing of the paintings - a feature that forces us to stand at the break between the visual reality of the canvas, and that while lies outside the canvas. At this border, there is a sense of movement between the inner and outer worlds - the canvas and that which lies without.

The movement thus created in turn becomes the force that drives us to flow along with that which we see. It also leaves behind the possibility of competition between the world outside the canvas and the world within it - a latent conflict brought about when the perceiving eye is thrown into confusion by the mechanism of signs. This “flow” happens as a kind of “after word”; the river flows as a kind of “after water”.

How can this kind of restriction, present in the paintings of Oel, force us into a state of flow rather than throwing us abruptly from one place to another? Or is the border between the two worlds a kind of cliff from which we are pushed? It seems that the flow occurs as we as we see the paintings not with ideological eyes, but with raw vision.

Let us consider the visual reality of Oel's work. Reality 1: Block forms or circular forms that exist not in relation to other visual support (background is plain white). Reality 2: Objects and their backgrounds all appear in the same colour. Objects are formed through the use of texture and are without dimension. Reality 3: A combination of realities 1 & 2. Oel has a tendency to avoid trickling and splattering effects. Reality 4: Objects are placed within a transparent foreground colour, like the undeveloped negative of a photographic portrait. This colouring is like a curtain of colour that is meant to act both as a foreground as well as a backdrop, with the object hidden or sandwiched between the two.

The sheer size of the paintings affords a space that does true justice to the visual reality within it. If size were reduced, the galaxy of colour and Oel's paintings - forming as they do a clearly visible planet - would be less able to express the graphic politics inherent in their visual reality. For some reason, when we experience forms on such a grand scale, there is a greater chance that we will be swept along with the work.

Oel's visual strategy involves the eradication of narrative opportunities that might support or stimulate our own personal references. Indeed, the works give the impression that they can lift, as it were, these personal references of ours, in an "eye opening" manner that makes the works particularly attractive to us. However, the eye thus opened by these references is made powerless, wandering, or even running panic-stricken from one form to the next, never able to find an escape from the narrative in this search for the satisfaction of sensory desire.

Through this visual strategy, highlights from the works appear as "after words", and this represents a visual grammar that brings into play political graphics: The paintings no longer rely for effect on pieces of structural narrative. The visual grammar works in a simple manner (much like the Haiku of traditional Japanese poetry), understandable as icons - even more accessible, perhaps, than the icons we see these days on our computer desktops.

Highlight After Word is politically graphic in so far as it strictly limits visual narrative to itself only. Oel's paintings are visually iconic in that they stimulate our senses through their optical balance of size, colour and light. Using this visual strategy the works no longer compete on the aesthetic battle field of painting. Instead they display the "warring icons" of our own visual memories.

Highlight After Word is the theme chosen by Walter Van Oel for this exhibition, evoking a river of light that is beyond oral tradition. This flood of visual memory is halted or damned or stuck because of our tendency to bring textual semantic meaning to the work. For ancient peoples, these memories flowed as after words.

Highlight After Word, after the work of Andy Warhol, is once again a reminder of the totalisation of a narrative system that takes hold of us and buries us within its dark philosophy.

Afrizal Malna

Curator O House Lab

MAO, 190x475cm, mixed media on canvas

CHINESE SMILING BUDHA_1 190 x 300 cm, mixed media on canvas

BETWEEN HEAVEN AND EARTH, 190 x 300 cm, mixed media on canvas

BETWEEN HEAVEN AND EARTH, 190 x 300 cm, mixed media on canvas

HONORING CHINESE CULTURE, 190 x 300 cm, mixed media on canvas

HONORING BALINESS CULTURE, 190x190cm, mixed media on canvas

HONORING BALINESE CULTURE, 190 x 190 cm, mixed media on canvas

HONORING PICASSO, 200 x 100 cm, mixed media on canvas

HONORING PICASSO,100 x 200 cm, mixed media on canvas

SWASTIKA, 190x190cm, mixed media on canvas

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Next on O - 19 Juli 2009

The 20th and 21st Classical Contemporary Piano

O house gallery - Sunday, 19 Juli 2009 - 10 AM - 12 PM