Entang Wiharso looks at events through the prism of his own experience and is both narrator and participant, blurring the line between observed truth and imagination. The Jamestown Art Center is pleased to announce Meta Landscape, a solo exhibition by Wiharso opening May 14, 2022.
Wiharso’s artwork evokes the dynamic, mutable experience of living in America, surrounded by landscapes which are witness to history. These ‘memory scapes’ are riddled with enigmatic fragments of the past and current events, from vestiges of the Civil War to climate change and racial conflict, suggesting the interconnectedness of civilizations, the land, and history.
Born in Tegal, Central Java in Indonesia, Wiharso has lived in Rhode Island since 1997 and maintains studios both in the U.S. and Java. Wiharso says “It has been more than a decade since I exhibited in the state. Throughout the pandemic, I was based in my studio in North Scituate and I think this is really the perfect time to share my ideas and my practice with my closest community.”
JAC Exhibition Director Karen Conway says “We are incredibly honored to present Entang’s work for a Rhode Island audience, both because he is an internationally recognized artist and his powerful, emotive, and monumental work is befitting of the Jamestown Arts Center’s high ceilings and open space.”
Wiharso’s multi-disciplinary practice speaks with urgency through diverse media including painting, sculpture, video, installations, and performance. His dramatic visual language is instantly recognizable with its unique depictions of contemporary life, and its relation to the mythologies of a centuries-old Javanese and animist past and the high-speed, hyper-connected lifestyle of the 21st century. Having exhibited in many prestigious international forums including the Venice, Beijing and Prague biennales, Wiharso’s recent work focuses on the duality of cultures and experiences in his two homelands – Indonesia and America. Meta Landscape encompasses his work stemming from a 2019 Guggenheim fellowship.
His work brings into sharp focus issues of national identity, migration, race, and power conflicts layered with social, political and sexual critique, revealing a complex picture of the human condition.
Wiharso states, “Meta Landscape looks at the emerging conditions in America and Indonesia – the extreme behavior, the move toward fanaticism and polarization, and an increasingly common refusal to acknowledge other’s experiences and perceptions. I’ve been questioning why this situation is occurring when we are more mobile and global. Is this an attempt to protect identity or inheritance?” Wiharso notes, “The work focuses on themes related to migration, the settlement of land, the power of ownership and the idea of belonging, through the lens of family and history. We can see the connection that always exists between past and current conditions through this lens.”
Entang Wiharso: Meta Landscape opens on May 14, 2022 with a public Opening Reception from 5 – 7 pm. The exhibition will be on view May 14 through June 18, 2022. Gallery Hours are Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, 11 am–3 pm and Thursday 11 am–7 pm or by appointment. Exhibitions at the JAC are free and open to all.
About the Artist:
Entang Wiharso, b. 1967 in Tegal, Central Java, Indonesia, graduate of the Indonesian Institute of the Arts (Yogyakarta), maintains studios in both Java and the U.S. His life and family are bicultural, biracial, and inheritors of diverse religious and spiritual legacies. Wiharso has had more than 45 solo gallery and museum exhibitions. His work is held in over thirty international museums and private collections. He was in Prospect.3 (2014) and has represented Indonesia in the Kunming Art Biennale (2019); 55th Venice Biennale (2013); Prague Biennale 6 (2013); 6th Nanjing Biennale (2010); Second Asian Art Biennale (2009); 51st Venice Biennale (2005); and the Second Beijing Biennale (2005).
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