SadarROH, Jakarta, Indonesia18 May - 23 June 2024
ROH Sadar

Can paintings today still fit into the definition of ‘picture that is made complicated’, as S. Teddy D. conveyed more than two decades ago?

In the context of contemporary art today, how can we understand painting beyond its standing as a mainstream medium that often serves merely as an art market indicator? Can paintings being made at the present moment still convey subjective meaning beyond their own implicit position and take part in greater artistic discourse?

This essay does not seek to discuss the history or repositioning of painting in contemporary art practice; however, in order to understand Nadya Jiwa’s artistic methodology conveyed in this exhibition, it would be necessary to examine how paintings are positioned as an entry point to separate and construct specific discourses. This begs the question of whether pursuing painting may actually constitute a “political” or “subversive” attitude in the face of the global market’s rising commodification of art?

ROH Sadar

Nadya Jiwa’s artwork, in my view, presents an opportunity to reconsider the subjectivity of an artist in interpreting a certain phenomenon or situation and by extension open up space for others to connect their own interpretations from the vantage point of their own knowledge and emotions. There exists a space, or void, in which things that are alien and unknown, unnamed, as well as invisible lives which appear haphazardly.

Nadya Jiwa confronts us with narratives we might ourselves tend to steer clear away from.

How can we imagine our emotions, or internal worlds, as expressed upon a canvas? And how does the examination of such feelings have implications upon a greater social praxis?

ROH Sadar

The title sadar (awareness) becomes a spark towards seeing how artistic practices contain complex processes associated with awareness as well as perceptions regarding reality; how Nadya is able to consider those things that appear and do not appear, as well as things that exist within the realm of the intangible.

In sadar, Nadya expresses a certain sensitivity as well as sensibility that I feel are shaped by her own multiple layers of complex identity: as a woman, as a Sundanese, as a part of her current generation with its corresponding complexity, as well as an artist who sees reality in a different light.

Nadya Jiwa molds her interrelationship to daily narratives and references from pop culture, such as in story books from her childhood, songs, film and the such.

A number of her works depart from local narratives that exist within layers of mythology and ancestral stories, such as in Cipamali and Dayang Sumbi. In her search for meaning in local myths and legends such as these, Nadya Jiwa indeed expresses how the traces of spiritiuality in communities are highly contingent upon their own attitudes towards mythologies.

The story of mythologies are oftentimes also misconstrued as mere ghost stories, a metaphor that oftentimes appears in Jiwa’s visual expression.

The border between what exists and what does not, is apparent or absent, visible or invisible, all become blurred through a visual strategy that appears initially to appear gloomy, dark, or even provokes feelings of trembling

B. 1994, Braunschweig, Germany
Lives and works in Bandung, Indonesia

Nadya Jiwa precipitates impressions as well as images that form in her work. Consuming information, human nature is presented in conjunction with a certain composition of reality through thin movements and strokes that may at once be derived from more cognitive considerations, while departing from intuition. Symbolism is deftly interweaved in Jiwa’s paintings and drawings in an attempt to distill a cacophony of interactions, information exchange, as well as development of her external world. It is as if she attempts to share a certain sensibility of personal knowledge and impression that approaches more spiritual considerations, impressions that are at once clear and yet uncanny, and of truths that seem devoid of meaning and yet linger.

Jiwa received her Bachelor in Arts from the Bandung Institute of Technology with a concentration in painting. Selected exhibitions include solo presentation Khayal | Chimeric with ROH at Liste Showtime (2021); duo presentation with Rizal N. Ramadhan, Batang Mati, Cendawan Tumbuh at Selasar Sunaryo Art Space, Bandung, Indonesia (2022). Her group exhibitions include Biennale Jogja 17: TITEN in Yogyakarta, Indonesia (2023); Basel Social Club, Basel, Switzerland (2023); Art Basel Hong Kong with ROH, Hong Kong (2023); Art Collaboration Kyoto with ROH, Kyoto, Japan (2022); Art Jakarta Virtual with ROH (2020-2021); S.E.A. Focus with ROH at Gillman Barracks, Singapore (2020); Jauh Tak Antara, Sepilihan Karya 20 Perupa Bandung at NuArt Sculpture Park, Bandung, Indonesia (2018); Getok Tular #2: Spacing Out (Lamunanku...) at Omni Space, Bandung, Indonesia (2018); 15x15x15 at Galeri Soemardja, Bandung, Indonesia (2016); Smile is the Answer by Catalyst Art Shop Jakarta & Kopi Keliling at Local Fest 4.0, Grand Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia (2015); Lunch Time! at Kanal Art Space, Jakarta, Indonesia (2013); and Apa Saja dan di Mana Saja Woodcut Exhibition at Galeri Soemardja, Bandung, Indonesia (2013). Nadya Jiwa is the Silver Winner of the UOB Painting of the Year, Emerging Artist Category in 2019.

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Copyright belongs to The Artist

Essay by Alia Swastika

Photography by Maruto Ardi and ROH

Courtesy of The Artist and ROH