Badra Aji is a Melbourne-based contemporary artist who uses drawing and video to examine his experience of migrating to Australia from Indonesia as a teenager. Seeking poetic resonances around the concept of displacement, Aji positions viewers as outsiders by divorcing his imagery from language, resulting in deeply symbolic works that index the artist's process.Read More
Aji received a Diploma of Visual Art from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in 2013. In 2016, he graduated with a BFA (Visual Art) from the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne.
Aji draws from personal experiences, relationships, and encounters, exploring the gaps between visual and verbal narratives to create poetic metaphors and reflections. He works across photography, text, video, printmaking, and drawing.
For Lonely Is Not Always Quiet (2020), Aji transposed his drawings and writings into a five-part video series, in which his inner voice is externalised through a series of conversations. Engaged in dialogue with different versions of himself, Aji contemplates the banality and challenges of loneliness, and the quiet solace of solitude. In part one of the series, Aji expresses: 'It's really quiet around here'. To this, the artist responds: 'Sometimes, when it's quiet, you can hear more things'.
In Bahasa, the language of Indonesia, rindu describes the feeling of longing for loved ones, or for a familiar place. Aji's solo exhibition Rindu (Longing) (2019) at SEVENTH Gallery in Melbourne drew from the artist's personal photo archives to explore this feeling of rindu in relation to displacement and diaspora. Aji's series of monochromatic pencil drawings feature portraits and images of objects that are cropped, obscured, and reconfigured, resulting in a fragmented narrative that elicits a surreal, melancholic reading of the artist's personal experience.
In 2016, Aji was awarded the Majlis Travelling Scholarship from the Victorian College of the Arts. He was a finalist in the 2018 Paul Guest Prize, as well as the 2019 Dobell Prize for Drawing.
Badra Aji's artworks have been the subject of both solo and group exhibitions.
Select solo exhibitions include Foreign Objects, THIS IS NO FANTASY, Melbourne (2022); Lonely Is Not Always Quiet, BLINDSIDE ARI, Melbourne (2020); Rindu (Longing), SEVENTH Gallery, Melbourne (2019); and Sans Direction, TCB Art Inc, Melbourne (2017).
Select group exhibitions include L'au-delà des possibles, FIAP Paris, Paris (2019); Paul Guest Prize, Bendigo Art Gallery, Bendigo (2018); and Cut and Paste, Red Gallery, Melbourne (2017).
Fay Janet Jackson | Ocula | 2022