Capturing Silence by Albert Yonathan Setyawan - Book, First Edition
Capturing Silence by Albert Yonathan Setyawan
Materica Gesso 120 gsm
Earthwave Bright White 120 gsm
22 × 17.1 × 2.5 cm
First edition: October 2023, 1000 copies
Featuring artwork images and writings in Indonesian and English by Albert Yonathan Setyawan, Tan Siuli, Loredana Pazzini-Paracciani, and Nurdian Ichsan.
Solo exhibition by Albert Yonathan Setyawan
Jogja National Museum, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
6 October – 5 November 2023
Capturing Silence is a survey exhibition of selected works of Albert Yonathan Setyawan curated by the artist himself. The exhibition will showcase Setyawan’s works from as early as 2008 to the most recent ones. Setyawan started his practice in Bandung in 2007 soon after he graduated from the Faculty of Art and Design in Bandung Institute of Technology. In 2012, he relocated to Japan to pursue his study in contemporary ceramic practice at the Ceramic Art Department in Kyoto Seika University. He has since been living in Japan and is now based in Tokyo. Setyawan primarily works with ceramics, although he does not shy away from using and experimenting with other mediums such as drawing, video, and performance.
In this exhibition, the artist tries to review and re-contextualize his practice from the points of view of phenomenology and the study of material imagination. In his view, understanding the materiality of clay is a pivotal aspect to understand the overall scope of his practice. Setyawan poetically sees the repetitive nature of his work as an act of “capturing silence”. He uses the word “silence” to address the idea that any matter has a tendency to draw us into its interiority. “Silence” in his analysis, is this interiority of matter. To Setyawan, clay/ceramic reminds him of the idea of a “body”. The word “body” is not to be understood only as a human corporeal body but also as a formal embodiment of an abstract thing. He sees his ceramic practice as an embodied experience from which the final ceramic objects themselves serve as traces of this activity and process. Setyawan works repetitively using slip casting as his main method of production. He sees the importance of working and being involved directly in the process himself without the aid of any studio assistants, calling this as a form of “art labour”. Each of his ceramic works is a collection of small-sized ceramic objects (no larger than the size of our hands) configured into geometric patterns. They invoke a sense of stillness amongst the viewers. Setyawan draws his inspiration from traditional ornaments and symbols across diverse cultural and religious practices, and reimagines them to seem as though they carry some form of religious meaning. However, Setyawan’s individual ceramic objects are highly idiosyncratic in nature and their meaning stems from the artist’s own imagination.
Capturing Silence presents more than 90 works that the artist himself had selected for this exhibition, which will be presented not chronologically, but rather, based on certain themes and ideas that he has been exploring over the course of 15 years of his practice. To accompany his own writing, Setyawan had invited three other writers to collaborate with him in writings. These three writers are: Tan Siuli, an independent curator based in Singapore; Loredana Pazzini-Paracciani, an independent curator and writer based in Bangkok, Thailand; and Nurdian Ichsan, an artist, curator, and educator based in Bandung, Indonesia. Their written contributions to the reading and analysis of the exhibition and the overall practice of the artist will be printed in the exhibition catalogue that will be published during the final week of the exhibition.
Capturing Silence is organised by Mizuma Gallery, with exhibition partners Bowo Artransport and Yayasan Hita Pranajiwa Mandaya.