CompanionArt Basel, Online19 - 23 May 2021
ROH Companion

I imagine blocks of ice stacked on top of each other, simulating a basic human form. Awkward and immobile, as if someone sitting for a portrait and laboring to hold its pose. A garment or some other type of clothing will be used to dress up the figure, perhaps something made by a local designer. The actual work will be the documentation of this structure as it melts and topples down, losing its form and breaking the illusion of resembling a human figure. It’s important to capture the sounds from the sudden movements of the ice blocks, as they slip and break apart. I leave the option of putting objects within the ice, perhaps things that produce sound such as bells, or others that can break, like ceramics.

However you may decide to go about this, my basic intention for the figure is to have the impression of a presence. For comparison, call to mind moments when you mistook pieces of clothing on a chair or out the window, for another person. And for the sound, I refer to moments when one is startled by the mystifying creaks heard from within a house, which I could only presume to be wooden beams stretching and releasing tension without warning.

Please call this piece Companion.

– Gary-Ross Pastrana, 2021

ROH Companion

Companion is a three-channel video work made collaboratively between Gary-Ross Pastrana based in Manila, Philippines, with Tromarama and Davy Linggar in Jakarta, Indonesia. Companion takes the form of a set of instructions given by Gary-Ross Pastrana to develop an anthropomorphic sculpture made out of ice blocks, filled with different objects and paraphernalia, which then melts and eventually breaks according to natural circumstances. This transition between states of matter between solid to gas and liquid is then documented. As its title suggests, the work looks at the precarious nature of life during these times, that perhaps the nature of people we used to know based on our memories of them may have fundamentally shifted into new forms altogether. The work presents a certain impression of despondency in the current situation in terms of its subject matter, though it alludes to a certain buoyancy in terms of its collaborative creative process. That perhaps there is a sense of collectively attempting to part with these current times into something new altogether.

The work acts as an attempt to build connection and collaboration between artists within a particular context in 2020/2021 where isolation has become the norm. This work, or a further permutation of it, will also be included in an exhibition, RHE, which will take place between three cities: Jakarta, Bangkok, and Manila, and feature a shared effort of collaboration and dialogue between a number of artists from the region to develop ideas together through a weekly series of online conversation, despite the constraints presented by the present situation. RHE itself is a project that involves a number of galleries throughout different continents that revolves around the theme of water.

ROH Companion

Born 1974, Jakarta, Indonesia
Lives and works in Jakarta, Indonesia

Davy Linggar is a celebrated Indonesian artist who works primarily through the mediums of photography and painting. There is a substantial breadth to his practice in his investigation of the things that constitute an image and its interrelatedness to perception, memory, form, feeling, and experience. His acute sensibilities are then translated into a diverse array of possibilities – be it through moving images, photographs, paintings, or drawings. In establishing a distinctive aesthetic vernacular, Linggar engages with and through architecture, popular culture, fashion, and nature. He deftly negotiates, and finds balance, between many different forms of energies and forces. 

Linggar has exhibited locally and internationally such as in group exhibitions Frieze Seoul with ROH at COEX Mall, Seoul, South Korea (2023); Art Basel Hong Kong with ROH at Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Hong Kong (2023); Companion at Art Basel Hong Kong Satellite, Hong Kong (2021) in collaboration with Gary-Ross Pastrana and Tromarama; iso at AAAAHHH!!! Paris Internationale, Paris, France (2020) with Aditya Novali; After Utopia: Revisiting The Ideal in Asian Contemporary Art, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore (2015); Pink Swing Park at CP Biennale: Urban/Culture, Museum Bank Indonesia (2015) with Agus Suwage; and 11th Asian Art Biennale, Dhaka, Bangladesh (2010). His solo exhibitions include Aperture at ROH, Jakarta, Indonesia (2022); Cut at AAAAHHH!!! Paris Internationale, Paris, France (2022); FILM at The Papilion, Jakarta, Indonesia (2015); Sketch, Photo, Image at Ark Galerie, Jakarta, Indonesia (2008); and Black&White, Gallery Cahya, Jakarta, Indonesia (1998)

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Copyright belongs to The Artist

Installation photography by Kit Min Lee

Still photography and behind the scene by Davy Linggar and Tromarama

Video Editor: Reuben Tourino
Sound: Erik Djanuismadi
Camera Assistant: Ari Setiawan
Lighting Assistant: Adhi Wibowo, Ahmad Wahyudi

Courtesy of The Artists and ROH