HYPERTEXT REQUIEM at Art Fair Philippines 2019

Artemis Art returns to Art Fair Philippines with a solo showcase featuring Dedy Sufriadi‘s recent artworks within the broad Hypertext series of works. Entitled HYPERTEXT REQUIEM, a selection of visual styles from this series will be exhibited, providing a brief survey of styles the artist has produced over the last few years.

Art Fair Philippines 2019 (AFP 2019) takes place from February 21 to 24 2019, at The Link, Ayala Center, Makati. The art fair begins with a preview day and the vernissage on Thursday, February 21 (by invitation only), with the public days commencing the next day on February 22. AFP 2019 continues throughout the weekend and concludes on Sunday, February 24 2019. Visit the AFP 2019 website for detailed ticketing information and fair hours.

For this year’s edition, Artemis Art will be located at Booth 48 on Level 7 (indicated as 7/F), marking our first international art fair for 2019.

In addition to Dedy’s solo, young Malaysian artist Ajim Juxta makes his Philippines debut at AFP2019. Much thanks to our friends at Vinyl on Vinyl (located at booth 33 on 6/F) for including this young Malaysian artist’s works as part of the backroom exhibit. For more information, check out the feature post for this.

From Text to Hypertext

As a collection of works, Hypertext Requiem aims to provide a small survey of text-based paintings by Dedy Sufriadi, and at the same time hint at the evolution of how text has been used in the artist’s art over the years. 

Since early in Dedy Sufriadi’s career, text has played an important role as a visual element in his art. For Dedy, text is ubiquitous in our everyday lives. Be it through what we read (books, newspapers, and in current times, the Internet), road signs, commercial signages, advertisements, etc., our vision is bombarded by text at virtually every waking moment, often without us realizing it.

During what Dedy calls his Existentialist Period (c. 1998 – 2004) text was used in a more straightforward, functional way, as complementary elements that assisted in explaining what could be visually discerned in his works, or add contextual clues to what was being expressed. Text used in this manner was legible, and one could easily make out what was written. 

Early work by Dedy Sufriadi
Dedy Sufriadi, Batman, 70 x 80 cm, Oil on Canvas, 1999

But ever the thinking artist, there came a point where Dedy Sufriadi began questioning the function and role of text in his works. Specifically, he pondered whether his use of text contributed to an expansion of “knowledge” and “experience” for the viewer, or if the text merely acted as static modifiers to aid in the understanding of his visual aesthetics.

This introspection lead to a philosophical thinking process that eventually lead Dedy to develop his Hypertext body of works, an aesthetic construct based on text allowing the viewer to use an artwork’s text-based visual cues to instigate further thought and rumination beyond the canvas, much further than what could be visually discerned. Text began to be layered and obscured, to the point were much of it became elements of design, to complement colors, lines and strokes.

The term “hypertext” itself is borrowed from the world of Information Technology, referring to dynamically linked text, icons, or other media, which helps users navigate the rich repository of information that is the Internet. Each click would take a user to another location, where there could exist other dynamically linked text and objects. This non-sequential linking of information is the aesthetic basis of Dedy’s new-found purpose for text in his works.

Multilayering of text with other design elements, with the text often applied using various methods on a single canvas, the Hypertext works allowed Dedy to embed information within his works that acted as catalysts for the viewer to develop ideas and inspirations discerned visually. The viewer, therefore, no longer becomes a passive consumer of information, but instead becomes the creator of new ideas and insights deriving from what is seen on the canvas. No longer does the viewer only act as someone who reads, but also becomes an “author” of new ideas and insights inspired by what is presented.

Another aspect of the Hypertext series is that it has developed and evolved into many visual style groupings, based on the same aesthetic concept of text usage, but applying different visual effects and styling. Hypertext Requiem presents a few selected style groups from the broad series, providing a concise survey of the artworks contained in this series. The series can generally be divided into two categories, namely the Pure Text and the Text and Figures category of artworks. Selected for this solo are works representative of both categories, each containing style variants in themselves.

Unlike most other artists, Dedy’s artwork series are not period based, and many of the Hypertext style variants have been around since he began working on the series back in the mid/late 2000s. What he does, however, is temporarily “retire” some variants for a number of years, after which they are revived, perhaps with new nuances added, compared to earlier iterations of the same visual style variant. While it’s usually possible to identify a particular artist’s career period by his or her visual style, Dedy Sufriadi’s body of work defies this general convention.

Earliest Hypertext work by Dedy Sufriadi
Dedy Sufriadi, Story of Broken Texts, 150 x 240cm, Oil on Canvas, 2008

HYPERTEXT Visual Style Variants

Hypertext Series - Text & Figures
Dedy Sufriadi, Redemption Song, 150 x 150 cm, Mixed Media on Canvas, 2017
Dedy Sufriadi, Lorem Ipsum Series - MASK AND TRAGEDY #4, 150 x 150 cm, Acrylic, Marker, Oilstick, Spray Paint & Pencil on Canvas, 2017 (shown at Art Fair Philippines 2018)

As an artist, Dedy Sufriadi constantly explores new ways of visual presentation, and continuously experiments with new mediums, making his career an interesting one to follow. He is never afraid to innovate, re-invent, and re-discover, constantly creating boldly exciting twists to his artistic practice; much like Sisyphus whose eternal burden is to push a boulder up a never ending slope, Dedy Sufriadi is an artist constantly seeking to reinvent himself, or at the very least, seeking exciting new methods of art creation. 

While the Hypertext series of works forms only a part of Dedy Sufriadi’s diverse body of abstract work, it is a very important series to showcase, due to the major role text plays in his art. Text also occasionally appears in his other more intuition-driven abstract artworks. Selected for this exhibition are works from both the Pure Text and the Text and Figures categorization of visual style groupings within the broader Hypertext milieu, a concise collection allowing us to appreciate the thought process and philosophy that makes a painting more than just what is discerned from the canvas, but works that continue to linger in our minds and hopefully create new unique insights and inspirations in the mind’s eye of the viewers.

The eCatalog for HYPERTEXT REQUIEM may be read online (best viewed in fullscreen), or downloaded as a PDF, by clicking the icon below. Contact us if you wish to obtain the full resolution version of the PDF (size: 35.5 MB).

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