Pearl Lam Galleries Shanghai presents leading
Indonesian artist Entang Wiharso’s new works at an
exhibition designed to challenge our perceptions of reality
20 May–28 June, 2013
Opening reception on Sunday, 19 May, 2013, 5–7pm
Pearl Lam Galleries, 181 Middle Jiangxi Road, G/F, Shanghai, China 200002
SHANGHAI—Pearl Lam Galleries Shanghai is pleased to present globally acclaimed
Indonesian artist Entang Wiharso’s solo exhibition Crush Me, opening to the public on
20 May 2013.
Entang Wiharso is an internationally renowned artist who has held major exhibitions in
Asia, Europe and America. He is one of five Indonesian artists collaborating on an
exhibition for the Indonesian National Pavilion at this year’s Venice Biennale which for
the first time will be situated in the historic Arsenale area. Wiharso’s work emanates
from his own personal narratives and experiences, which are used as a point of
departure from which to examine the historical and geographic history of his home
country. In this way, Wiharso links minor events and small actions to the larger
timeline of the human condition, which he seeks to understand by pushing the
boundaries of perceptions formed by prejudices and generalisations.
Entang Wiharso’s first solo exhibition in Mainland China explores issues of perception
and reality, focusing on tracing personal and collective experiences which lead to
specific occurrences. The works explore how the history of ideas, land, migration and
ecology are contained within our actions today. Crush Me is also the title of a 6m-long
double-sided sculpture in the exhibition. This monumental piece builds on the
symbolic potency of walls as borders—whether they are constructed for protection,
prevention, privacy or status purposes. Each side of the wall depicts two different
presentations of the same story with one side intentionally distorted, thus, presenting
a contrasting dichotomy. The subject is the artist’s personal narrative which, when
projected onto the public stage, highlights how external conditions and the
vulnerability of exposure can distort reality.
Four of the works in the show are from Wiharso’s Untold Story series, which uses
seemingly unimportant aspects of life such as personal objects, clothes, daggers and
plants from his garden to reveal the underlying beliefs informing the way people
experience and perceive reality. Geo-Self Portrait was inspired by an Indonesian
saying, “The elephant in front of your eyes is invisible, but the ants across the ocean
are evident,” which warns of making prejudiced judgments on the faults of others
without acknowledging your own. In this painting, Wiharso references the classic satire
on human nature, Gulliver’s Travels, to comment on the reality of how the seals of
religion, race, politics and culture constantly mark the individual or minority who can
become an easily accused victim because of the stigma of their existence.
Entang Wiharso says of his work; “As I explored the reasons behind feelings and
motivations, other stories emerged to reveal another reality, one that reflects
immigration, social justice, survival strategies, geography and political systems. These
kinds of stories, anecdotes that link to the larger geo-political narrative, are at the core
of my current work. I want to put these ideas forward in many contexts to test our
perceptions which often are formed by incomplete information, propaganda,
generalisations or prejudice.”
Althea Viafora-Kress, International Gallery Director of Pearl Lam Galleries commented,
“We are honoured to have Entang Wiharso’s solo exhibition at Pearl Lam Galleries,
Shanghai. I have long admired his work and am delighted to finally be working with
him. The commentary within Wiharso’s art is insightful and encourages multifaceted
contemplation on the complexity of human existence. The highly personal element he
brings to this on-going dialogue with the geo-political narrative ensures his work is
created with a nuanced portrayal which shows the powerful messages he conveys.”
About Entang Wiharso
Entang Wiharso (b. 1967) was born in Tegal, Indonesia and studied painting at the Fine
Art Department of the Indonesian Institute of Arts in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The artist
received awards for the best painting from Institut Seni Indonesia (ISI) in 1988, 1989
and 1990; The Pratisara Affandi Adi Karya prize in 1994; and the Juror’s Award at the
Yogyakarta Biennial Exhibition in 1994. Entang Wiharso will be presenting work as part
of a collaboration of 5 Indonesian artists at the Indonesian National Pavilion at this
year’s Venice Biennale, which for the first time will be in the historic Arsenale area.
His work is in public collections around the world including the UCCA, Bejing, China;
Carnegie Mellon Institute, USA; Indonesian Art Institute, Yogyakarta; Indonesia
University, Jakarta, Indonesia; National Gallery of Victoria, Australia; Rubell Family
Collection, USA; and the Singapore Art Museum.
He lives and works in Rhode Island, USA and Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
About Pearl Lam Galleries
Founded by Pearl Lam, the Galleries' mission is to stimulate cross-cultural dialogue
and cultural exchange between the East and West by establishing distinct and rigorous
programming in each of its gallery spaces in Hong Kong, Shanghai and the
forthcoming Singapore gallery.
Pearl Lam Galleries is dedicated to championing Chinese artists who re-evaluate the
philosophy and perception of Chinese contemporary art, whilst also committed to
presenting major exhibitions by international artists. Jim Lambie, Jenny Holzer, Yinka
Shonibare and Zhu Jinshi are among the line-up of artists who will have solo
exhibitions at the Galleries in 2013.
Pearl Lam Design shows works by established and emerging international designers
including Maarten Baas, Mattia Bonetti, André Dubreuil, and Studio Makkink & Bey.
They are invited to push the boundaries of traditional Chinese art and craft techniques
and create new works that reflect their experiences in China.