External EntrailsSilverlens Galleries, New York, USA16 November 2022 - 7 January 2023
ROH External Entrails

"I’m looking at these artists’ practice linked by trauma and strain
Not a violent force but a reactive one
Perhaps a precarious state before the act of impact"

Rachel Rillo, Curator

Find all-over paintings and rock-like fragments that have thick amber surfaces. Do you know about the high demand for palm oil and how it’s in lipsticks, detergents, and ice creams? How about the smoke and haze from burning forests that make way for more palm oil plantations in Asia, Africa, and South America?

The artist behind these paintings and sculptures, Arin Sunaryo, seems to be more about making than lecturing. He probably wouldn’t dwell on environmental doomsday scenarios. Instead, he might tell you about his studio table in Bandung, Indonesia. He had been using it for more than twelve years and was ready for a new one. Over time, he had covered it in piled-up layers of excess paint, resin, and other sundry materials. The sediment was so thick around the table, he and his studio assistants had to carve the table out. The chunky fragmentary remnants from around the table are historical records of a studio life of mixing, pouring, dripping, splashing, coating, and encasing.

Sunaryo frequently uses resin as a preservation agent along with unusual materials: palm oil, but also volcanic ash, sugar, and shrimp paste. Fried eggs don’t work. Even encased in resin, they smell. Chili powder produces small bumps on the surface of the resin. With turmeric, the resin won’t set.

Sunaryo is fascinated by how people want to freeze time and attempt to preserve things for the next generation. He says he tries to make any material neutral before he works with it. He wants each painting to have an energy all its own. He doesn’t want to force anything but lets materials speak for themselves.

In External Entrails, internal is external, and external is internal. The abstractions of Coson, de San Jose, Pacquing, and Sunaryo are individual, complex, and invigorating.

Born 1978, Bandung, Indonesia
Lives and works in Bandung, Indonesia

Arin Dwihartanto Sunaryo received a Bachelor’s Degree in Painting from the Bandung Institute of Technology (2001) and a Master’s of Fine Art at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London (2005). Sunaryo is interested in the utilization of resin as a medium that captures minerals, pigments, and other particles in various states of flux within a sense of stasis. Working initially with more industrial pigments, he has more recently worked with volcanic ash, perishable food ingredients, as well as crude palm oil and converted them into his own distinctive pigments.

Sunaryo’s work has been featured in numerous exhibitions in Southeast Asia, Europe, the UK, and USA, including No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA (2014). Selected solo exhibitions include Arin Dwihartanto Sunaryo: New Paintings at Art Basel OVR: Portals presentation by ROH Projects (2021); ARGO at Simon Lee Gallery, London, UK (2019); after taste at Sullivan+Strumpf, Sydney, Australia (2017); Silent Salvo at ARNDT Gallery, Berlin, Germany (2015); and group shows include External Entrails at Silverlens New York, New York, USA (2022); IRL at Art Basel OVR: 2020 (2020); Ripples: Continuity in Indonesian Contemporary Art at Taipei Dangdai, Taiwan (2019); These Painter’s Painters at ROH Projects, Jakarta, Indonesia (2018); iris at Silverlens Galleries, Manila, Philippines (2018); ω at Edouard Malingue Gallery, Hong Kong (2017); Biennale Jogja XIV: Age of Hope in Yogyakarta, Indonesia (2017); Constituent Concreteness at Mizuma Gallery, Singapore (2017); Lines of Flight at Gallery Exit, Hong Kong (2017); Lompat Pagar/Crossing Borders at National Gallery of Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia (2015); Marcel Duchamp in Southeast Asia, Equator Art Project, Gillman Barracks, Singapore (2012); and Manifesto, National Gallery of Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia (2008). Sunaryo was nominated as a Finalist for Best Emerging Artist using Painting by the Prudential Eye Awards in 2015; and a Finalist in the Sovereign Asia Art Prize in 2010. 

Copyright of each artwork belongs to the respective Artists

Text by Marcus Civin

Photography by Arin Dwihartanto Sunaryo and Silverlens Galleries

Courtesy of The Artists, Silverlens Galleries, and ROH