Curious about the artistic process and research behind traditional Balinese paintings? As part of the exhibition Ode To The Sun by young Balinese maverick Citra Sasmita, Yeo Workshop will be organising an artist talk together with guest speaker Alia Swastika, the Director of the Jogjakarta Biennale Foundation in Yogyakarta. The discussion will shed light on the ancient Balinese narrative poetry the artist referred to in her works, and the new interpretation of the traditional Kamasan paintings that created in her works. The artist will also be sharing about her journey to Sabah and Poso while researching on Balinese literature, and her residency there.
Some of the topics Sasmita and Swastika will be talking about includes: How does Sasmita offer a new perspective on the role and position of women into Balinese narratives through her works? How is the process of traditional Balinese paintings like? How to connect her investigation of Balinese history and tradition with contemporary practice? How was your recent experience working together during the Jogjakarta Biennale 2019? Could you share more about being women in the art world today?
Citra Sasmita (b.1990, Indonesia) was born in Tabanan, Central Bali in 1990. Descended from a lineage of performing artists, Sasmita naturally developed a keen interest in art. However, she initially chose to study literature and physics at Udayana University and Ganesha University of Education respectively. But her interest in art was renewed when she chose to join a theatrical troupe as a university student.
Sasmita’s subsequent occupation as an illustrator for the Bali Post provided her with the opportunity to develop her abilities as an artist and she soon begin to participate in exhibitions. In 2016, she garnered the attention of art critics when she exhibited a painting that depicted a woman kissing the severed head of a pig. Intended to serve as an indictment of the widespread abuse of women in Balinese society, the painting affirmed Sasmita’s s credentials as a courageous and socially conscious artist who was not afraid to take on controversial topics.
She has participated in various exhibitions such as Merayakan Murni, Sudakara Artspace Sanur Bali (2016), Mabesikan Project, Art for Social Change Presentation, Jakarta (2017) and Synthesis (Wonders of Indonesia), Bulgaria, (2019). Her most recent solo exhibition called ‘’Under the Skin’’, was held at the Yogyakarta based Redbase art institution in 2018. In 2017, she was awarded the Gold Award after winning the UOB Indonesian Painting of the Year competition, a milestone that cemented her stature as a rapidly rising figure within the contemporary Indonesian art world.
Alia Swastika has worked as Program Director for Ark Galerie, Yogyakarta, Indonesia since 2008 and is actively involved as a curator, project manager and writer on a number of international exhibitions. With Suman Gopinath, she was the co-curator of the Jogja Biennale XI, Shadow Lines: Indonesia Meets India (2011), and was one of the co-artistic directors for the Gwangju Biennale IX (2012): Roundtable. She also participated as the curator of a special exhibition of Indonesian artists in the 2012 edition of Art Dubai. She has extensive experience for her curatorial projects in Indonesia and abroad. Her recent curatorial works includes co-curators for Europalia Arts Festival Indonesia for Contemporary Art Projects (2017) and “Songs for the People” (Art Sonje, Seoul, 2018).
As the director of Jogja Biennale 2015, she was a member of the International Biennale Association Board (2013 - 2017), and she recently founded ‘Study on Art Practices’, a platform for research into contemporary art in Indonesia. She writes for Frieze, Art Forum, Broadsheet journal, and many others, as well as for numerous publications in Indonesia.