Art gives voices and faces to emotions, phenomena, mysteries, questions, conflicts, and dilemma; to things that otherwise would escape us, or be neglected or forgotten by us.
Well, that is spot on. While I am a read-the-description-box-below kind of art observer (yes people, this wonderful brain of mine still needs an explicit, thorough annotation when it comes to art interpretation, haha!), I honestly enjoy a regular visit to some art exhibition that luckily, being a city that cherish and appreciate art quite much, can be easily found almost anywhere and anytime in Yogyakarta. So when I found out that GAIA Cosmo Hotel been displaying artworks made by local artists, it felt like a cherry on top of my staycation.
They adopted a theme based on their name, ‘gaia’, which means ‘earth’ in ancient Greek language, and is the primal Mother Earth goddess in Greek mythology. The five artists were commissioned to create a piece that, in the words of curator, ‘organic and dynamic’ like nature, ‘a body of living works that changes with time.’
Rooted in Art : A Lasting Footprint
‘It Grows’ is a recycled glass art made by Yogyakarta born artist, Ivan Bestari. The title itself is more and less can fairly describe the growth of Ivan’s work. Particularly made of recycled glass, Ivan wants to convert waste into something ‘expressive and beautiful’ using flame-working method. Each of his work is one of a kind, because he always gives the fire ‘a free-will’ until it melts the glass and the glass shaped into form. He subsequently just follows the ‘lead’ of the glass until he feels like the work is complete.
Installed next to the swimming pool, ‘Flow of Life’ consists of hundreds of clay pottery arranged in abacus-like composition, bundled in oceanic color scheme ranges from sky blue to indigo to navy, even tangerine and emerald. It is a manifestation of life itself that shrink and swell according to its dynamic verdure and growth, just like how wind and solid surfaces affecting water. As the sun sets, this beautiful piece made by Apri Susanto will be dimly lit for different kind of visual experience. That might be my favorite part of the work, because it can demonstrate the naturally ever-changing life alteration really well.
On the third piece, Dery Pratama tries to respond to ‘the uncontrolled construction of giant buildings in Yogyakarta’ through ‘Metal.’ ‘Metal’ constructed from copper, shaped in a towering building-framework that consists of several ‘pillows’ which also made from ceramic and metal plating. Little did I know that this work was in fact inspired by the artist’s real experience of being unfairly evicted from a space when he actually already given the permission to install his artwork. I always think to myself that most of Yogyakartan artists use their work to vocally express their disagreement, argument, or aversion towards the environment or society they live in. Among the other artworks, I personally felt like ‘Metal’ speaks the most – which got me quite emotional throughout my observation.
The next piece is ‘Unknown Organic Project No.3’, a part of personal project titled as “Unknown Object Project” by Ludira Yudha. Made from metal wire which is bent and shaped into what I solely perceive as a peculiar tree with its even more bizarre root, this object is a symbol of human limitation in understanding universe from within. The artist said that this artwork inspired by his childhood memory when he used to help his dad yank out tubers (umbi in Indonesia) from the soil. He explained that no matter how frequent he lent his hand when it came to harvest season, he will never know exactly the shape, size, or pattern of the tubers growing inside the soil. That is, and will always be, a reflection of human nature: a finite, small creature. Despite of its interesting philosophy, I adore Ludira’s technique of making art which in my opinion is very distinct and unique.
I intentionally set aside ‘Migration’ by Dedy Shofianto on my last review because this one is my favorite! Through ‘Migration’, Dedy recapture the picture of swan’s seasonal movement from one region to another. The artwork is made from timber and equipped with small and hidden electronics which detect movement. Thus, these stunning swans will set into ‘flight’ once someone pass them by. I really love the fact that ‘Migration’ is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also possess a fun feature that allows people to interact thanks to its kinetic mechanical tools. It is one way to create an artwork that will make people think, but having a physical, participative experience will definitely give you quite a nice different impression, I guess.
Though GAIA Cosmo Hotel is already a beautiful, fine hotel, this art movement collaborating with exceptional young local artists just made me notice how GAIA Cosmo Hotel is actually sparing such attention for something that is beyond their ‘duty’ as a player on hospitality business; they want to provide us with more intangible satisfaction. Talk about guest-centric culture 😉
And so, my friend, what is there to hate.
This review’s supported by: