‘Present Continuous / Sekarang Seterusnya’ at Museum MACAN

by Hilda Raina
14th January 2022
In the grip of a prolonged pandemic, Museum MACAN returns with ‘Present Continuous / Sekarang Seterusnya’, a collaborative project that brings together narratives from creative communities, artists, and curators across the country to explore recurring themes of socio-political and cultural issues and their impact on local communities.

In ‘Present Continuous / Sekarang Seterusnya’, Museum MACAN presents an alternative medium to creative collaboration across disciplines and geographies. Working together with five curators and art organisations, four artists, and two art collectives, the exhibition unravels themes of indigenous politics, collective memory, mythology, and spatial sound using visual metaphors, while mutually shedding light on the overlay of these cultural issues and their effects on local communities through different lenses. 

With works spanning from Banda Aceh, Makassar, Jayapura, Bandung, to Majalengka, the exhibition features five commissioned bodies of work—from interactive installations, sounds, woodcuts to murals and mixed media—that together tugs on the deeper emphasis of a collective change in contemporary culture.

Home to West Papuan artists, the Udeido Collective opens the exhibition to a compelling start. Exploring their interpretations and imaginings of ‘Koreri’, or ‘renewal’ of Biak belief, the seven-member collective employs mixed media installation and wall murals to symbolise a more hopeful future for the people of Papua. Pulling cues from history and folklore, the piece contrasts the realities and stories of the people with a spiritual journey towards a sacred state of peace. 

A few steps away, new media artist Mira Rizki transports audiences into the gated communities of Regol, Bandung through an installation of power poles and sonic landscapes. Drawing connections between sound, space, memory and community, she examines the changes in activity and sound patterns within urban middle-class neighbourhoods amidst the pandemic. Individual poles carry recordings of children playing on the streets, calls to prayer, to the rhythmic beeps of the power meter—all familiar sounds that bridge a reflection to the absence and changes of spatial sound and how it’s experienced. 

Across the room, Makassar artist Muhlis Lugis presents his work through graphically-detailed black and white woodcut prints that narrate the story of ‘Sangiang Serri’, the goddess of rice. Detailing rituals and traditions that once guided the Buginese of South Sulawesi, such as Mappadendang and Madoja Bine, Lugis’ prints comment on the waning cultural influences today, while at the same time keeping them alive.

Other works exhibited carry the same thought-provoking streak. Even with a compact presentation, ‘Present Continuous / Sekarang Seterusnya’ urgently unpacks themes and echoes of disruption—a whisper of the realities many faces today—and opens dialogues to the effects of change, pausing to question their impact on the future. 

 

‘Present Continuous / Sekarang Seterusnya’ will run from 15 January to 15 May 2022 at Museum MACAN. For more details and booking information, click here.