Contemporary Worlds: Indonesian Art

Mella Jaarsma The landscaper 2013, costume: wood, paint, iron, leather; single-channel video: 3:40 minutes, colour, sound, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, purchased 2018, Photo by Mie Cornoedus

Presented by the Humanities Research Centre and School of Art and Design ANU in conjunction with the National Gallery of Australia and supported by the Research School of Humanities and the Arts ANU and the ANU Indonesia Institute.

The conference explores modern and contemporary Indonesian art and is part of a series of events held in conjunction with the National Gallery of Australia’s exhibition Contemporary Worlds: Indonesia(21 June - 27 October 2019).The exhibition will include 20 of the most exciting emerging and established artists from Java and Bali in the post Reformasi era. The NGA plans a programme of artist talks and performances on the opening weekend (22 and 23 June) which will be followed by the conference at ANU on 24 June. For further details see: The conference at ANU on 24 June is broader in scope than the exhibition and includes two keynote lectures by eminent Southeast Asian art historian T.K.Sabapathy and distinguished Indonesian artist FX Harsono, as well as presentations from Indonesian curators and artists and Australian specialists on Indonesia.Key themes include history from the Independence era to the end of the New Order (including topics such as the artistic responses to the mass killings of 1965-66 and art and resistance under the New Order); Post Reformasi art and contemporary politics and society, collectivism in Indonesian art, gender, minorities and regionalism in art.

Conveners:Elly Kent,Caroline Turner, David Williams, Chaitanya Sambrani, Rohan Nicol, Virginia Hooker (ANU) Carol Cains, Jaklyn Babington (NGA), Christine Clark (NPG).

A number of Indonesian artists and curators involved with the exhibition will participate in the conference.

Registration is essential and is now available on this website (see Register Now above). Cost of registration is $45.00 which includes lunch.

For pre-registration (recommended as places are limited) contact Caroline Turner or

Elly Kent (

Draft Programme Contemporary Worlds: Indonesian Art

8.30 am – 8.50 am registration

8.50 am - 9.00 am Indigenous welcome, Head of HRC Professor Will Christie and themes of conference presented by Caroline Turner (ANU)

9.00 am - 10.00 am Session 1: Contemporary Worlds: Indonesia in Context

Keynote Lecture

T.K. Sabapathy (National University of Singapore)

Chair: David Williams (ANU)

10.00 am - 10.30 am Morning Tea

10.30 am – 12.00 pm Session 2: Historical Perspectives on Indonesian art

Elly Kent (ANU), Antariksa (KUNCI Cultural Studies Centre, Yogyakarta), Wulan Dirgantoro (UniMelb)

Chair: Virginia Hooker

12.00 pm – 1.00 pm Lunch

1.00 pm – 2.30 pm Session 3: Key issues from the NGA exhibition Contemporary Worlds: Indonesia: Artists and Curators in conversation

Moderator: Chaitanya Sambrani (ANU)

5 minute break

2.35 pm - 3.30 pm Open discussion including audience participation: Key Issues in Indonesian Contemporary Art and Society

3.30 pm – 4.00 pm Afternoon Tea

4.00 pm - 5.30 pm Session 4: Keynote Lecture by FX Harsono followed by panel discussion

Christine Clark (NPG) in conversation with FX Harsono and panel.

Speakers at the conference:

A number of Indonesian artists whose work will be shown in the exhibition will participate including FX Harsono, Tisna Sanjaya and Tita Salina; Indonesian curators Enin Supriyanto, Alia Swastika, Grace Samboh,Agung Hujatnika (Jennong) and NGA curators Carol Cains and Jaklyn Babington. Other participants include scholars of Indonesian and South East Asian art: T.K. Sabapathy (National University ofSingapore), Antariksa (KUNCI Cultural Studies Centre, Yogyakarta), Wulan Dirgantoro (UniMelb), Adrian Vickers (UniSyd), Virginia Hooker, Kathryn Robinson, Jacqueline Lo, Chaitanya Sambrani, Elly Kent, David Williams and Caroline Turner (ANU), Michelle Antoinette (Monash) and Christine Clark (NPG).

Date & time

Mon 24 Jun 2019, 9am–5pm


Theatrette (2.02), Sir Roland Wilson Building, 120 McCoy Circuit, Acton ACT 2601, Australia


Penny Brew
+61 2 6125 4357


Updated:  21 May 2019/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications