This exhibition demonstrates how the collective Street Art Garage has engaged with communities, expanded definitions of graffiti and street art and used the art forms as tools for social change. The collective’s engagement with these art forms reflects the histories of street art and graffiti within Indonesia. During the colonial period, many young Indonesians wrote phrases like “Hands off Indonesia” and “Indonesia for Indonesians!” on public buildings as an act of protest.
In the 1990s, this protest strategy became the calligraphic and pictorial art forms known as graffiti and street art. In Indonesia, graffiti was first practised in Jakarta and quickly spread to the rest of the country as young artists banded together and formed communities called “crews”, from which they cultivated their aesthetic sensibilities and created entirely new visual vernaculars. As a self-taught art form, each city in Indonesia has adopted graffiti differently, developing its own styles that are then passed down and expanded on from artist to artist through the decades. Graffiti and street artists critiqued the government’s responses to Covid-19, and the public rallied behind some of the images they created. This led to a steep rise in the criminalization and removal of street art and graffiti from public spaces. Despite being criminalized, dismissed by art institutions and overlooked by the art market, these art forms have persisted due in no small part to their practitioners’ commitments to their craft, communities, and ideologies.
L Projects and Linda Gallery present the work of five artists, Edi Bonetski, Bujangan Urban, Act Move, Digie Sigit, Farhan Siki. These artists demonstrate how Street Art Garage as the inheritor of a lineage of aesthetics is expanding the visual possibilities of graffiti and street art, building communities and using the artforms to critique unjust systems of power.
Opening Reception: Saturday, 27 May 2023, 4pm – 7pm
Venue: Linda Gallery Singapore
39 Keppel Road
#04-04 Tanjong Pagar Distripark
When: 27 May - 18 Jun 2023, 10am - 6.30pm
By: Linda Gallery