Syaiful Aulia Garibaldi (b. 1985) is an artist based in Bandung, Indonesia who is interested in the intersections and interrelationships between natural science with our memory and ability to imagine. His practice involves engaging with and through a number of concurrent explorations that then dialogue with each other in building a conceptual universe or cosmology of sorts he calls Terhah.
In Terhah, Garibaldi combines observations into microscopic organisms as well as carefully conducted nature expeditions with imaginary aesthetic ideas, resulting in a synthesis of forms based in reality with that of his fantasies. These ideas are articulated through works on paper, sculptures that incorporate living organisms, as well as photographs or videos that magnify those things invisible to the naked eye. Simultaneously, Garibaldi provides a sort of structure that binds other streams of thinking through the creation of his own spoken and written language. His works are oftentimes participatory in nature, requiring the involvement of the audience and allowing his work to reach open-ended, multi-interpretational outcomes.
Limaciform provides a glimpse into a number of Garibaldi’s different aesthetic interests, with a particular concentration in this case to human flesh and its decomposition. The decomposition of human flesh is commonly associated with negative connotations, especially with notions related to death. It is these kinds of preconceived notions, however, that Garibaldi often looks back upon and re-contextualizes. It is, in fact, through decomposition that Garibaldi instead observes a sense of reincarnation, or restoration of matter, into different forms of life. This process of decomposition, then, is broken down into its various components in conducting both a parallel investigation into existentialist concerns regarding the way death is to be perceived, as well as looking into how and why various forms of life cycles arise out of decomposition.
Born 1985, Jakarta, Indonesia
Lives and works in Bandung, Indonesia
Syaiful Aulia Garibaldi is currently pursuing his Master's Degree in Environmental Science at Universitas Indonesia. He obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts, Printmaking Studio from Institut Teknologi Bandung. Syaiful, fondly known as Tepu, previously pursued education in agronomy before pursuing experimental fine arts, where he applies his scientific background to create a conceptual foundation for his art. Tepu’s works in installation, painting, drawing, printmaking and video show a remarkably strong vision of art that collides with science in a graceful manner. His creation of an immersive environment was sparked by his interest in the networked and interconnected nature of ecologies, and the evocative power of microorganisms as symbols of death and decay, as well as life. Infusion between art and science transcends through Tepu’s work and gives way to a new gateway of knowledge, which is illuminated within his prints and installations.
Garibaldi has been featured in numerous solo exhibitions, the most recent ones being tumbuh at ROH, Jakarta, Indonesia (2022); Sudor at Silverlens Galleries, Manila, Philippines (2020); Lemniscate at Mind Set Art Center, Taipei, Taiwan (2018); Limaciform at Silverlens Galleries, Manila, Philippines (2017), Quiescent at ROH Projects, Jakarta (2016); and Abiogenesis: Terhah Landscape at Pearl Lam, Singapore (2014). He has been a part of major group exhibitions in various countries, such as Indonesia, Singapore, China, Taiwan, France, Italy, Belgium, and Hong Kong. The most recent ones include 1 (2022) at ROH, Jakarta, Indonesia; Chromatic Network at Galeri Salihara, Jakarta, Indonesia; And Life Goes On (2020) at Mind Set Art Center, Taipei, Taiwan; Art Basel Hong Kong 2019, Hong Kong; Natural Capital (Modal Alam), Europalia Indonesia, BOZAR, Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels, Belgium (2018); West Bund TALENT at West Bund Art Center in Shanghai, China (2017); the 2017 edition of Jogja Biennale and Art Stage Jakarta, Southeast Asia Plus (Sea+) Triennale at Galeri Nasional Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia (2016), and Prudential Eye Zone at ArtScience Museum, Singapore (2015). Tepu with Lokus Foundation is also currently part of Iron Placenta (2022), an ongoing research project by Irwan Ahmett and Tita Salina. He had residencies at ABC Learning Town, Siheung, South Korea in 2015 and Centre Intermodes, La Rochelle, France in 2014. He is awarded Best Artist for Tempo Magazine Award in 2016 and Bandung Contemporary Art Award (BaCAA) in 2013. Tepu is currently living and working in Bandung, Indonesia.View Artist
Copyright belongs to The Artist
Curatorial text by Gary-Ross Pastrana
Text by Jun Tirtadji
Photography by ROH
Courtesy of The Artist, Silverlens Galleries, and ROH