Many THANKS to everyone who has contributed their time, energy and sweat to making Pancaroba Indonesia not only possible, but a reality.
We first conceived of an exhibition of art about political and social change in Indonesia during 1994 - 96, while we where living in Indonesia. At that time there was not much opportunity for artists to exhibit overtly political work as the country was firmly under the thumb of the New Order government led by President Suharto.
After the economic crisis (autumn 1997) led to wide spread riots which in turn led to President Suharto's resignation (May 1998) we thought perhaps the time had come when there would be political art works exhibited openly.
Sarah Murray, who visited the gallery shortly after we opened in March of 1998, began encouraging us to make an exhibition of contemporary Indonesian art. When we met again last autumn she liked the idea of an exhibition on the theme of the political and social transitions Indonesia was then experiencing. She agreed to share her vast knowledge of contemporary Indonesian art and her contacts to Indonesian artists with us as we began planning for the exhibition. Although Sarah could not join us when we visited Indonesia earlier this year, she has been involved with many aspects of the exhibition.
In addition to her contacts in Indonesia, advice, translations and writing for the exhibition we would like to thank Sarah for introducing us to artist Entang Wiharso. Entang is the only Indonesian artist we know of living in the USA and making work about the current situation in Indonesia.
We visited Indonesia briefly in February with a long list of people to meet. Once we arrived in Yogyakarta we were met by our old friend Kurt (Kurto) Kaler. He took us to our mutual friends Gono and Tuti's home. (Gono and Tuti have a marvelous home where artists are always welcome to stay and work and make exhibitions and performances, and their example planted the seed for Pacific Bridge in our minds in 1994.) Gono and Tuti not only gave us a place to stay for a few days this February, but also gave us encouragement for the exhibition. Over the months since they have provided immeasurable help facilitating communications and shipping art work.
It was Kurto who led us to the title for this exhibition. He showed us a draft of his first book of poems "Pancaroba, A Journey into a Changing Time." He explained what Pancaroba means (strictly - the time of transition from the wet to dry or dry to wet season, and more commonly - the time of change), and we knew instantly that "Pancaroba" conveyed the essence of the exhibition perfectly. We asked if we could use his book title for the exhibition and he agreed.
During our short time in Yogya we met artists making strong political artwork. We knew we were on the right track and that it would be possible to curate the exhibition we had envisioned. At Gono and Tuti's we met Bramantyo, a Javanese poet who paints - he had just finished an edgy series of works about "Reformation Masturbation." At the Yogyakarta Biennial, we met Aris Prabowo and Popok Tri Wayhudi, two young artists whose works are not only powerful in content but also demonstrate considerable skill given both of their ages. We also met the curator of the Yogyakarta Biennial, Asmudjo Jono Irianto.
Asmudjo turned out to be our Guardian Angel in Bandung, where we did not yet know anyone personally. He picked us up at the train station and invited us to stay at his house during our time in Bandung. He spent three busy days introducing us to artists. Through Asmudjo we met Tisna Sanjaya, Isa Perkasa and Rahmat Jabaril. These three artists' captured the country's turmoil and transition in humorous, eloquent and dramatic works.
We are especially grateful to all of the artists - without them and their works Pancaroba Indonesia would not exist. We would like to thank Entang and Isa and Bram for all of their help preparing for the exhibition this last week. And we would like to extend a special thanks to the artists who are not here in residence. We truly appreciate their participation in this exhibition, and we look forward to having them here in residence in the future.
In addition we are eternally indebted to Rick Munoz - framer extraordinare – for all of his time and energy and sweat… and great patience and humor and martinis... without his expertise and skills the works in this exhibition would not be so beautifully framed. We also owe both Rick and Mark Harvey many thanks for all of their help with framing works for several previous exhibitions!
Our openings are consistently amazing due to the time, energy and sweat of many of our good friends... Marty Boles (aka the wine goddess), pours wine without fail… she is at times joined by Greg Dorn (aka the grill master), Cindy Giang (aka the queen of clean when assisted by Levi), Amy Van Nostrand, Ken Brophy, Greg Schrem and Karri Winn (aka the omniscient goddess of Pacific Bridge, she gracefully manages to keep the flow happening when we are out of town or simply aren't looking). Thanks to Norman Howard and Harvey Flesey for facilitating TV/VCR loans. Endless thanks to you all and everyone else we have failed to mention by name this time.
Last but certainly not least we would like to thank all of our friends and collectors who give us both the moral and financial support to exhibit contemporary Southeast Asian art! Without each of you our efforts would be in vain. Terima Kasih Banyak, Beth Gates and Geoff Dorn