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b. 1977, Indonesia

Reza Afisina Biography

Reza Afisina was born in 1977 in Bandung, Indonesia. He studied cinematography—specifically sound recording for film and documentary features—at Jakarta Institute of the Arts, Indonesia (1995–99). He was an artist in residence at KHOJ International Artists’ Association, New Delhi, in 2004. Afisina is a member of the Jakarta-based artists’ collective ruangrupa (est. 2000), a nonprofit organization focused on supporting art initiatives in an urban context through research, collaboration, workshops, exhibitions, and publications. He served as the program coordinator for ruangrupa from 2003–07 and has been the artistic director of their ArtLab since its inception in 2008.

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Employing video, perfomance, and installation, and often using his own body in his work, Afisina explores the manifestations and meanings of physical and emotional pain. In his performance and video An Easy Time With Parenthood (2008), a text from Julio Cortazar’s short story Las babas del diablo is tattooed on the artist’s arm alongside a biblical text in Latin. Experimenting with word as image, Afisina theorizes that pain is not only indicative of violence, but can also function as a reflection of honesty, freedom, and even happiness. His earlier video My Chemical Sisters (2004), which depicts cosmetics ingredients against images of advertising models, explores pain in a different way. Made mostly from chemicals, the cosmetics here embody a disjunction between our desire for physical perfection and the toxins we employ in the hope of achieving it. Afisina’s later installation, Letters to International Curators (2008), departs from his established thematic to focus instead on the concept of written and personal interaction and the communicative limits of language. The exhibited work consists of documentation of a series of exhibition proposals by the artist that was sent to curators of his acquaintance worldwide.

Afisina has performed and screened his work in such group exhibitions as OK Video Festival in Jakarta (2003, 2010, and 2011); Taboo and Transgression in Contemporary Indonesian Art, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York (2005); Simple Actions and Aberrant Behaviors, PICA, Portland (2007), Jakarta Biennial (2009); Move on Asia: The End of Video Art, Para/Site Art Space, Hong Kong (2010 and 2012); Moving Image from Indonesia, ZKM Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe (2011); and City Net Asia, Seoul Museum of Art (2011). Afisina lives and works in Jakarta.

Source: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.

Reza Afisina In Related Press

Charles Esche on the 2015 'Jakarta Biennale' Related Press Charles Esche on the 2015 'Jakarta Biennale' 12 November 2015, Flash Art

The 2015 Jakarta Biennale, titled Maju Kena, Mundur Kena: Bertindak Sekarang   (Neither Forward nor Back: Acting in the Present), runs from November 15, 2015, through January 17, 2016. Charles Esche, director of the Van Abbemuseum, is collaborating with six emerging Indonesian curators to question what it means to act as artists and...

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Art & Jakarta with artist Reza Afisina Related Press Art & Jakarta with artist Reza Afisina 9 August 2015, Whiteboard Journal

Reza Afisina, also known by the name "Asung" is an aclaimed artist from Indonesia's contemporary art scene. His work covers video, performance and installation and have been included in numerous exhibitions worldwide. Whiteboard Journal had a chance to visit his home to talk about performance art, the development of contemporary art...

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Jakarta Biennale aims to embrace global vision Related Press Jakarta Biennale aims to embrace global vision 26 June 2015, The Jakarta Post

The upcoming Jakarta Biennale is expected to move forward and apply some changes to its original concept. These changes are hoped to make the event one of the world’s most important international artistic gatherings. Renowned British art curator and author Charles Esche will act as lead curator for this year’s Biennale, and has...

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Palais de Tokyo's Secret Archipelago of Southeast Asian Art Related Press Palais de Tokyo's Secret Archipelago of Southeast Asian Art 16 April 2015, Blouin ArtInfo

Paris’s Palais de Tokyo is hosting a major exhibition of South-East Asian art as part of the Singapour en France – le festival which celebrates 50 years of Singapore-France diplomatic relations and Singapore's Golden Jubilee. Titled “Secret Archipelago,” the exhibition is curated by Khairuddin Hori and is at the Palais...

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