Artist Boedi Widjaja Co-commissioned for APT9 and the Singapore Biennale 2019
Singapore Art Museum (SAM) and Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) have co-commissioned an artwork by Indonesia-born Singaporean artist Boedi Widjaja, which will be presented at ‘The 9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art’ (APT9) in Brisbane, Australia and the Singapore Biennale 2019. The project marks the first to be developed from a five-year partnership between the two art institutions, established since October 2016.
The partnership agreement between SAM and QAGOMA was forged on common interests to promote and advance the art of this region. The partnership is wide-ranging; covering extensive exchanges between the two institutions, including staff and professional development and collaborative research, exhibition and programming.
Through this partnership, the two art institutions have co-commissioned Boedi Widjaja to create a two-part site-specific architectural and sound installation – the first iteration of the work will debut at APT9 from 24 November 2018 to 28 April 2019, and the second will be unveiled at the upcoming 6th edition of the Singapore Biennale, taking place towards the end of 2019.
Titled Black—Hut, Black—Hut, the artwork is shaped by the curatorial and specific contexts of both exhibitions, and stems from the artist’s ongoing artistic interrogations into what constitutes home. It also expands on Widjaja’s earlier explorations and projects, such as an installation titled Black—Hut, which was an affiliate project of Singapore Biennale 2016. Widjaja was selected on the grounds of his distinctive practice by the curatorial teams at both institutions.
Joyce Toh, Head of Content and Senior Curator at the Singapore Art Museum, says, “The co-commissioning of an artwork by a Southeast Asian artist – one that draws from the artist’s experiences in Indonesia, Singapore and Australia – is such a meaningful first project to be coming out of our five-year partnership with QAGOMA. With our shared interest in the development, research and presentation of art from the region, we look forward to unveiling more collaborative projects that will spotlight the art practices from this part of the world on an international stage.”
Reuben Keehan, Curator of Contemporary Asian Art, QAGOMA said Boedi Widjaja’s exploration of house, home and homeland, was an exciting inclusion in the APT9 exhibition.
“Black—Hut, Black—Hut (2018–19) is a site-specific, proto-structure that formally engages with the architectural space and distinctive materials of the lower level of the Robin Gibson designed Queensland Art Gallery.
“Visually the artwork extends the overhang of the Gallery’s upper level with a black concrete platform while the numerous supporting columns of the structure make reference to the type of raised flooring found in various vernacular architectures including the old Queenslander house, the Javanese joglo, and the Malay attap,” Mr Keehan said.
APT9 is the 9th edition of QAGOMA’s flagship exhibition series, which has fostered the development and presentation of the world's most significant works of contemporary Asian and Pacific art for more than 25 years. With artworks by more than 80 artists, groups and projects from over 30 countries, APT9 will be presented at QAGOMA from 24 November 2018 to 28 April 2019.
The Singapore Biennale is Singapore’s pre-eminent platform for international dialogue in contemporary art. Commissioned by the National Arts Council of Singapore, SAM has been appointed the organiser for the past three editions, and will continue to organise the next two editions, to be held in 2019 and 2021.