The inaugural edition of ‘Pollination’ is co-developed and co-sponsored, with SAM Fund for Arts and Ecology (Indonesia). From Feb to Dec and June 2018, selected curators Grace Samboh and Bill Nguyễn have been learning each others’ contexts and passions, respectively selecting artists Julia Sarisetiati (Indonesia) and Vicky Đỗ (Vietnam) as their artist conspirators for the joint exhibition ‘We’re in this, together’.
‘We’re in this, together’ attempts to unravel how Sari and Vicky locate and immerse themselves into their surroundings – be it place, site, community, people, or policy. As both individual practitioners and members of grass-root artist collectives (Sari with the Jakarta-based ruangrupa¹ and Vicky with the Saigon-born Chaosdowntown²), the participating artists show care and attention to their respective locales – within as well as outside of their immediate art communities. Rethinking how artists can be both subjects and objects, Sari and Vicky reflect on their practice as authors (as well as being authored by the environments in which they choose to traverse) by assessing particular situations and their conditions, with a mutual hope to question and transcend geographical and social limits, expectations and stereotypes.
In Feb 2019, ’Pollination’ travels to Yogyakarta (Indonesia) with two solo exhibitions by our participating artists and curators: ‘Choreographed Knowledges’ by Julia Sarisetiati; and ‘From Now On’ by Vicky Đỗ.
‘Choreographed Knowledges’ (19 Jan – 9 Feb at Cemeti Institute for Art and Society) by Julia Sarisetiati, curated by Grace Samboh, builds on the artist’s long-term research and engagement with Indonesian migrant workers. This project aims to explore how bodies of power, such as state and corporations, “choreograph” bodies across the globe as a migrant workforce. It looks in-depth at how future migrant workers are taught – through education and training – to embody knowledge relevant to the industries and countries they will travel to, while questioning what politics underlie the need to work abroad.
‘From now on’ (31 Jan — 28 Feb at Galeri Lorong) by Vicky Đỗ, curated by Bill Nguyễn, explores the past and present lives of different communities of Vietnamese migrants, and the significance this micro-history has on our collective memory. Utilizing various ways of story-telling and stylistic approaches to the moving image, the artworks examine the transmission of, as well as the exchange between, the different types of memory: from the officially-sanctioned; those excluded from mainstream history; to personal archives and fictional narratives. In revisiting a past almost forgotten, the exhibition attempts to better understand our current time of growing nationalism and militarism, where emotions of dislocation, amnesia and loss are still experienced by the hundreds of thousands of migrants around the globe.
Organizations: The Factory Contemporary Arts Centre, SAM Fund for Art and Ecology
Curatorial Advisors: Zoe Butt, Agung Hujatnikajennong and Rahel Joseph
Participant curators: Bill Nguyễn, Grace Samboh
Participant artists: Vicky Đỗ, Julia Sarisetiati
The Factory wishes to thank Agung Hujatnikajennong, Natasha Sidharta and Rujak for their support in co-developing the inaugural ‘Pollination’; and Galeria Lorong and Cemeti Institute for Art and Society for hosting us in Yogyakarta.