Pearl Lam Galleries is pleased to present Beyond Image and Dreams, the first solo exhibition of works by Indonesian artist Gatot Pujiarto (b. 1970) in mainland China. Expanding upon his narrative of revealing overlooked realities in everyday life, Pujiarto's new body of work further emphasizes imminent issues in contemporary life, especially environmental destruction. The title Beyond Image and Dreams conveys both a sense of hope and caution towards the future of mankind, expressing the universality of the artist's concerns, as well as his unique approach of transforming trivial matters, weirdness, and abnormities into a new truth and reality that awaits discovering.
Pujiarto was born in 1970 in Malang, East Java in Indonesia, far away from art centres like Bandung and Yogyakarta. Being an outsider of mainstream art, he works in an intuitive manner and bases his practice mostly on personal reflections on the happenings around him or from his memories, dreams, and emotions that deeply haunt his mind. Tactile in nature and expressive in spirit, Pujiarto's works feature fabric as their main medium; he creates textured images that stand out in Indonesia contemporary art. The artist's works often feature figures or situations. He adds texture by pasting, patching, layering, tearing, binding, and creating patterns with fabric. He also uses rough and spontaneous brushstrokes, dripping paint, and plays with the deformation of forms to channel unseen scenarios related to a specific theme or perspective. Pujiarto 's works are infused with what he describes as "the wild and chaotic circumstances of the inner mind".
The exhibition highlights a new series of large-scale tapestry works, including Diseased Earth I (2018) and Diseased Earth II (2019) that respond to the decaying state of our planet due to a lack of environmental awareness. Shattered or desolate, greenish or pale, the two works portray the artist's imaginary visions of the common world. Meanwhile, the six-metre-long Frost (2019) was inspired by the unusual emergence of frost in Indonesia due to extreme temperature drops. The artist applied two layers of fabric for texture, with the canvas sometimes showing between the layers. Below Zero Degrees Celsius (2019) further dramatizes weather anomalies with white fabric rolls protruding from all over the image, expressing the sensation of a freezing landscape.
Other featured paintings reflect Pujiarto's concerns about communities and society, as well as his thoughts on life itself. Hurt Communities (2019) warns how marginalized youths can be ticking time bombs if they are not given enough care. In the painting, the contour of a figure is formed through thickly treated fabrics with interspersed broken holes that reveal the bottom layer, merging the figure with its surroundings and background. The World Is Spinning (2019) comes out of the artist's concern for younger generations; more specifically, it warns of the problematic use of alcohol and narcotics. In some of his works, Pujiarto adds scribbled text to contextualize the narrative. Moksha (2015) is an abstract work inspired by an enlightened spiritual experience together with the disappearance of the body in ancient Javanese beliefs.
Press release courtesy Pearl Lam Galleries.