19 Dec Letter to Basquiat
Back in August 2020, Artemis Art staged Conversation with Basquiat, the first of two tribute exhibitions honoring Jean-Michel Basquiat, who would have turned 60 on December 22 2020. The exhibition was made possible through a collaboration with three galleries from around Asia, namely Julia Gallery (Taiwan), Langgeng Art Foundation (Indonesia), and Vinyl On Vinyl (Philippines), each gallery contributing one or more artists making up the fifteen artists who took part.
We had also mentioned about Part 2, and hinted that it would be an exhibition of a larger scale.
Letter to Basquiat is part 2 of the two part project by Artemis Art and the three galleries, under the collective name Asia Contemporary Art Program, or ACAP for short. As opposed to having all artworks located in one place, Letter to Basquiat sees the participating galleries stage their own group exhibition featuring artists from their country, with artworks available to the clientele of all four participating galleries, thus expanding the reach well beyond each gallery’s national borders. Most of the artists from all four countries featured in Part 1 return in Letter to Basquiat, with the addition of many more artists from each participating gallery.
Artemis Art: Letter to Basquiat
Langgeng Art Foundation: Letter to Star
Bob ‘Sick’ Yudhita
Diana Puspita Putri
I Kadek Didin
I Made Dabi Arnasa
I Putu Adi Suanjaya (Suanjaya Kencut)
Mira El Amir
Rangga A Putra
Julia Gallery: Letters to Basquiat
Vinyl On Vinyl: Letters to Basquiat
Miguel Paulo Borja
Although Letter to Basquiat is the name given to the overall exhibition project, each of the four participating galleries was given leeway to either stick to the project name or name their exhibition a bit differently. But despite the variance in local exhibition names, the overall theme remains – if each artist had the opportunity, what would they want to say to Basquiat? Not surprisingly, in one shape or form, each artist paid tribute to the art icon. The phenomenal career of Jean-Michel Basquiat may have only lasted a decade, but his legacy lives on even to this day, remaining an inspiration to many artists the world over, well beyond his own time and well beyond the borders of New York City.
This exhibition feature posting will be updated as more material comes in from the participating galleries, but for a start we decided to present the complete collection of works from all 46 participating artists.
Letter to Basquiat
For Artemis Art, Letter to Basquiat is something more than our contribution to the ACAP collaboration. It also marks the very last exhibition in our gallery space at Publika. Rest assured the gallery lives on, operating in a different mode than we have been for the past nine years. The exhibition has been moved to Greydea Studio in Taman Tun Dr. Ismail, Kuala Lumpur, where it continues its run until 18 January 2021. Greydea Studio is open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 12 Noon to 6pm, and by appointment on Sundays. Contact Azeem on WhatsApp at +60 13-246 7825 for more information.
All five artists featured in Conversation with Basquiat return for this exhibition: Ajim Juxta, Bibichun, Haris Rashid, Rekha Menon, and Syahbandi Samat. Joining them are Caryn Koh and Tajrin Faruqi, making it seven artists in all. Each artist prepared new works for the exhibition, complete with a short letter to Basquiat.
Letters to Basquiat
In Conversation with Basquiat, Part 1 of this two-part project, Chang Ghiung-Fang was the sole artist from Taipei-based Julia Gallery who took part. This time around, joining Chang in Julia Gallery’s presentation, Letters to Basquiat, are two additional artists, Tang Jo-Hung and Tsai Yi-Ju.
Letter to Star
Langgeng Art Foundation (LAF), based in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, is featuring artworks from 23 artists, including the five artists who participated in Conversation with Basquiat in August 2020. Joining Dedy Sufriadi, Oky Antonius, Rangga A Putra, Rizal Hasan and Suanjaya Kencut, featured in Part 1, are Anton Afganial, Bob ‘Sick’ Yudhita, Cahaya Novan, Diana Puspita Putri, I Kadek Didin, I Made Dabi Arnasa, Indra Dodi, Krismarliyanti, Laksamana Ryo, Mira El Amir, Mutiara Riswari, Petek Sutrisno, Rawraw, Soerosidji, Soni Irawan, Valdo Manullang, WA Santoso, and Wisnuaji Putu.
In their curatorial essay, among other things LAF curator Citra Pratiwi states that “Letter to Star, in addition to an exhibition, is an invitation to examine human values we experienced throughout 2020. The year 2020 is an important period where we experienced a pandemic. Human values were tested in this condition.” Indeed, the collection of works reflects the very human condition that all of us had to reexamine during a period unprecedented in recent memory.
Letters to Basquiat
Two artists from Vinyl on Vinyl who took part in Conversation with Basquiat return for this exhibition, namely Dennis Bato and Ronald Caringal. Joining them this time around are Anjo Bolarda, Anton Belardo, Carl Modelo, Chalk Zaldivar, Ciane Xavier, Miguel Paulo Borja, Reen Barrera, Roberto Sanchez, Ronald Caringal, Teo Esguerra, Tyang Karyel, and Wyndelle Remonde. Letters to Basquiat explores different vantage points and takes of artists embodying Jean-Michel Basquiat’s essence and how he affected the art movement of the contemporary time. Although decades and many thousand miles apart, how Basquiat’s influence has permeated through the art world is apparent from the collection of works put together by these thirteen participating artists.
Asia Contemporary Art Program – or ACAP for short – is a loose collaborative framework set up by four galleries in four different Asian countries, as a means to cross-promote visual art by providing opportunities for each gallery’s artists to gain wider visibility across national boundaries.
At present, ACAP comprises of Artemis Art (Malaysia), Julia Gallery (Taiwan), Langgeng Art Foundation (Indonesia), and Vinyl On Vinyl (The Philippines). The idea for this collaborative framework came about in early 2020, as the social effects of COVID-19 were beginning to be felt throughout the art world. The four friendly galleries came to a simple consensus: that to weather future uncertainties, the best way forward would be through cross-territorial collaborations. Conversation with Basquiat marked the exhibition that kicked off this framework, and following up on this is Letter to Basquiat, the second part of a 2-part tribute to Jean-Michel Basquiat who would have turned 60 this year had he not died in 1988.
For Letter to Basquiat, each of the four galleries is hosting an exhibition featuring artists from their own country, with the entire collective repertoire of works cross-promoted by all four galleries. In addition, each gallery creates a virtual viewing room so that each local exhibition may be viewed anywhere on the planet via the Internet. There is an equal share of optimism and trepidation as we approach 2021, but ACAP believes that collaborations and cooperation among galleries will be one of the ways to face the uncertainty that lies ahead of us. It’s all about strength in numbers, so to speak.