05 Apr Tabula Rasa – Dedy Sufriadi’s first solo in China
Although Dedy Sufriadi is no stranger to exhibiting in China, Tabula Rasa, which is currently showing in Beijing, is a very important milestone for the Indonesian contemporary abstract artist, his first ever solo exhibition in Asia’s largest art market. Until now, Dedy’s works have been featured in the majority of art fairs in China that Artemis Art has taken part in.
The exhibition opened on April 2, 2021 and will continue for just over a month until May 9. Featured are some 25 artworks surveying a few of Dedy’s visual style sets, focusing on his naïve figurations, text and pure abstract works, from 2017 through 2019. Tabula Rasa is the result of Artemis Art’s continuing collaboration with curator Wan Jun over the past almost four years, beginning with the curator’s visit to Kuala Lumpur and Yogyakarta back in 2017. The exhibition was supposed to have taken place last year, but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Co-presented by DESE DESIGN (德舍空间) and Beijing ShangQun Culture and Art Co., Ltd (北京尚群文化艺术有限公司), the team responsible for staging the exhibition are curator Wan Jun (策展: 万军), producer Zhao Yan (出品: 赵妍), and coordinator Wang Peng (统筹: 王鹏). Tabula Rasa is Dedy Sufriadi’s 19th solo exhibition, and is currently showing at 326 Cao Changdi International Art District, located in the ChaoYang District of Beijing (北京朝阳区草场地国际艺术区326号).
For additional information and artwork enquiries, contact Artemis Art via email at [email protected], or message us at +60 12-373 2188 (link goes to WhatsApp, but number may also be reached via WeChat, Line, FB Messenger, or Viber).
The word Tabula Rasa comes from Latin and is translated as “clean slate”. It refers to the ancient writingboard (slate), which can be wiped clean of chalk and reused.
Philosophically, the concept of tabula rasa was popularized by the 17th century British philosopher and physician John Locke. He believed that human beings are born without any innate psychological conditions or contents, and are in the most simple blank state. As a result, everyone is free to determine the content of his role.
There are some trends that Dedy Sufriadi (Born: 1976, Indonesia, Masters of Fine Art, Institut Seni Indonesia (ISI),Yogyakarta) employs in order to melt the barrier between irony, criticism, self-criticism and constructed aesthetic ideology. While most are working patterns, there is often unconscious automatism flowing – intuition in response to the idea of both visual and technical exploration. Dedy is not just interested in philosophy, song lyrics, instrumental music, parody, and paradoxical texts that inspire the creative process – he is interested in their flowing into his works through various media as he believes it is the closest way to emotionally express ideas and feelings.
In the artistic practice of Dedy Sufriadi, Tabula Rasa’s series of abstract works enable him to approach the blank canvas with a clear mind, without any plan or preconceived idea of painting.
He uses intuition as a guide to inject his state at a particular moment into his work. It is natural for people to think that this practice is just the artist’s random painting and coloring, but this speculation is totally wrong. Dedy allows his intuition to run freely, and guided by the accumulated experience in his 20-year artistic career, he subconsciously painted in the process of creation from scratch. After layer upon layer of painting, and then scraping or painting to remove or even hide the simple objects created in the early layers, the canvas is gradually filled with the composition directly from the artist’s soul, until his experience tells him “enough”.
Using variations of text and naïve symbolism, Dedy Sufriadi’s works infuse both the current ubiquity and historical importance of text into intricate abstract expressionist compositions.As an artistic element, text has replaced the line element that was so dominant in his previous works. What was once represented by lines in his paintng, now are representedby strings of texts on the canvas. The alphabets used daily can have diferent and unique characters that define them from one another. Outside the domain of their ‘meaning’, Roman, Chinese, Arabic, and other alphabets are pliable enough to be formed into impressive abstract elements.
Solo exhibitions are important points of measurement that establish the quality of creative work most suited for art. Dedy’s works can continue to inspire our eyes. His unmitigated creativity raises tensions that invite findings and innovation in each period of creative process. This periodicity of the creative process is specifically Dedy Sufriadi, along with his expressionistic, abstract and solitary styles that come together to create his own unique form that will always yield work of perseverance, tenacity and sophistication.
text by Wan Jun (curator)
Over the last few years, Dedy Sufriadi‘s artworks have been regularly featured in our major art fair participations, as well as in collaborative exhibitions with partner galleries around Asia. Tabula Rasa is Dedy’s first solo exhibition in China, and marks an important milestone in the artist’s career, spanning some two decades.
We have included installation shots of the exhibition, which opened in Beijing on April 2, 2021 and continues until May 9, 2021.