No Paint on Canvas: Curated by Hermanto Soerjanto

20 May - 21 July 2023
Beyond Painting; No Paint on Canvas
Written by Hermanto Soerjanto
Based on my observations, there have been no new developments in art since the emergence of Pop Art. In my view, the art movements that happen after Pop Art are mainly showing different points of view on what already existed. For instance, Minimalism, which was predominantly abstract art with a new artistic value that focused on brutal, geometric shapes, muted colours, and anonymity. Another example was the Postmodernism art movement, which sought to contradict some aspects of Modernism and became the embryo of the birth of Contemporary Art.
Nevertheless, they have paved the way for the emergence of a new art platform that is more progressive in its use of media, techniques, and materials in art creation and its welcoming influence of the diverse global culture and locality that is known as Contemporary Art. This has been exemplified through a 1989 exhibition held in Paris’ Centre Pompidou, titled ‘Magiciens de la Terre’, where the work of Richard Long, a big circular painting made from mud, was displayed alongside traditional paintings made from soil by the Yuendumu (an aboriginal community in Australia). This exhibition opened up a new era in the development of global art.
Empowered by the advancement of technology, our modern world has provided art with limitless possibilities to grow. We can witness this in the works of artists such as TeamLab and Refik Anadol, who employ computer technology and big data science as their main media of art; Olafur Eliasson, who uses various elements such as light, ice blocks, and tinted glass in the creation of his artworks; and Tom.s Saraceno, with his use of life spiders and spider webs. I truly think that now art can be anything, and anything can be art. 
In Southeast Asia, where the culture of production is more prominent in our day-to-day life, we are not as advanced with the invention of high technology and/or science. While we see artists who utilise technology in their works, in my opinion, our level of high-tech development in art is not yet ready to compete on the global scene. 
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