J. Ariadhitya PRAMUHENDRA / Yi-Hong JIAN
J. Ariadhitya PRAMUHENDRA / Yi-Hong JIAN

Michael Ku Gallery is glad to announce the dual exhibition in the early spring of 2015 that features two young artists: J. Ariadhitya Pramuhendra from Indonesia and Yi-Hong Jian, an emerging artist from Taiwan. The exhibition will show Pramuhendra’s latest charcoal drawings made in 2014 as well as few simple, light and refined watercolor paintings on paper. As for Jian who just won the Merit Awards of the Taipei Arts Awards 2014 and whose work is based on ink wash, he will show several selected works.

Born in Indonesia in 1984, Pramuhendra is one of the few artists whose works are based on charcoal and canvas in the art world of Asia. His artistic language is simple yet exquisite, with characteristic black and white aesthetics that create a relatively dramatic ambiance full of tension, in an attempt to interrogate thoughts around the intricate and multiple aspects of religion that are both powerful and fragile. In contrast to Pramuhendra’s pictures with strong tension, Yi-Hong Jian’s works are implicit and introspective. Born in Yilan, Taiwan in 1988, Jian uses ink wash as the primary medium. Through recurrent simple male nudes, his works depict the undercurrents of desire between teens and middle-aged men with a humorous flavor filled with imagination.

Pramuhendra and Yi-Hong Jian’s works explore self-identification through different artistic practices. The former’s works often revolve around ideas of religion, humanity and identification as their axis; their compositions refer to art history, cinema and scenes related to religion, depicting charcoal pictures of drastic contrast, so as to criticize the construction of the self and relations in our contemporary society. Pramuhendra’s creative approach involves in-depth contrasts and dynamism with vague boundaries, as well as introducing the image of the self, exploring the self as well as politics, society and culture of today with a focus on Southeastern Asia.

In comparison to self-reflection on the levels of memory and history, the homosexual love depicted by Jian appears rather light and interesting. Compositions of his pictures represent deliberate parallels or appropriations of traditional Chinese painting, with lines of ink depicting simple scenes of life or exaggerated and absurd scenes which involve self and desire roaming in a delicate manner. Through techniques of ink wash such as lightness, emphasis, hanging above, pressing as well as implicit depictions that express to a proper extent, Yi-Hong Jian imbues the experience of the self into a theatre of man and environment/culture that is both real and fantastic.