Texts play an important role in Argya Dhyaksa’s pottery pieces, which don’t come only in the form of visual objects, but the artworks also open a door to those who are intrigued to find out the meaning behind them. ‘Sculptuur Stelsel’ (a title was chosen by Argya himself) is slang for Cultuurstelsel – a term from the Dutch language which means resources in English. But if referring to the Dutch colonialism in Indonesia, that term can also be translated to “enforcement planting”. In this context, the title can also mean “enforced sculpture”. The interpretations behind the slang term is interesting as they can be quite varied, and in terms of ceramic art, the landscape of Indonesia’s fine art and culture is an element that creates a shape out of it. In the journey of modern art, ceramic artworks tend to be considered a minority, and it’s often not included in the world of sculpture.

In the blink of an eye, Argya’s ceramic artworks might reflect a one-day making process with many colorful collages and visual resources, such as motives, stickers, alphabets, advertorial wordings and pictures, packed in one piece of artwork. Most of the time, we have to look closely enough to read the artwork’s summary in order to understand what it presents and represents. For example, Rice Cake Racing (one of Argya’s ceramic artworks) which literally means Lontong Balap (a traditional dish from Surabaya) shows how highly capable Argya is when it comes to transforming local context into visual language on a global scale through his ceramic artworks. Such an example shows that Argya has an intensely critical mind.

Argya’s ceramic artworks can be categorized as funk art, where in the world of ceramic it’s called funk ceramic. The artworks mirror the mix of local context and popular culture that also shows a glimpse of irony, wittiness, naiveness, and absurdity. It seems like Argya lets his mind, body, and soul to execute the artwork’s making process as if he doesn’t care about the textbook guidelines. Therefore, he’s known as a “rebel” in Indonesia’s contemporary ceramic art.

However, his recent works have gone through quite a serious process. He used imported porcelain clays with cold casting technique which then would be covered with multicolored decals.

Argya is considered a rising star in the world of Indonesia’s contemporary pottery who tends to have different customs than his predecessors. And that’s what makes his artworks stand out. A young age artist whose artworks are indeed awaited nationally and internationally.

Doni Ahmad

PROGRAM: Argya Dhyaksa’s Solo Exhibition

CURATOR: Doni Ahmad

DATE: 11.08.17 – 13.08.17

VENUE: Sheraton Grand Jakarta Gandaria City Hotel

ADDRESS: Jl. Sultan Iskandar Muda, Kebayoran, Jakarta 12240

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