SANGGAR SENI RUPA KONTEMPORER
Bandung, West Java, Indonesia 2017
Sanggar Seni Rupa Kontemporer, which translates to "The Studio of Contemporary Art," is a space dedicated to experimenting with art and focusing on contemporary societal issues. It serves as a platform for the transfer of values through mentoring, discussions, hangouts, and art exhibitions. The studio was established in early 2018 by artist Vincent Rumahloine, drawing inspiration from the activities initiated by Teguh Chile and Eko Bambang Wisnu in 2017. These two artists had pioneered a new approach to photography outside the conventional realm with their GLOSARIUM exhibition at UNIKOM.
Towards the end of 2017, the 12 exhibitors of GLOSARIUM expressed their desire to organize another art exhibition independently, separate from their photography unit. They approached Vincent Rumahloine, recommended by Teguh and Eko, to curate their next exhibition. Vincent adopted the concept of "sanggar," which represents an informal teaching and values transfer method commonly used in traditional arts in Indonesia. Sanggar Seni Rupa Kontemporer was envisioned as a collective learning space for all, resembling a community more than a formal educational institution. There is no pressure for individuals to complete a program, and membership in the studio is lifelong. The concept of "sanggar" is commonly associated with traditional art and craft studios, religious learning centers, workshop studios, children's studios, and more.
One of the rooms in Vincent's Basement Studio in the Cimbuluit area became the gathering place for Studio members every Wednesday. The learning pattern is free of charge, without attendance requirements or homework, and accessible at any time. Activities range from inviting artists for art talks, visiting experts in Art Therapy like Ardhana Riswarie, visiting other studios and exhibitions, sharing meals together, and engaging in various processes that contribute to the creation of artwork. Sanggar Seni Rupa Kontemporer provides a safe space where members can freely express themselves and engage in discussions, from the simplest to the most complex topics. Listening is considered an essential part of the learning process, and every individual present in the circle, intentionally or unintentionally, holds significance.
In the current phenomenon of the Indonesian contemporary art scene, exhibitions are taking place extensively, particularly in major cities like Jakarta, Bandung, Yogyakarta, and Makassar. However, there is often a lack of popular oral or written explanations from within the art community, leaving the general public with limited understanding. Recent issues such as the selfie phenomenon in front of artworks, mistreatment of works by visitors leading to damages, and other problems have become topics of discussion among artists in Bandung. This raises questions about the function of art in society and whether exhibition visitors truly comprehend the concepts behind the exhibited works. Sanggar Seni Rupa Kontemporer aims to contribute to public education by inviting individuals from diverse backgrounds to engage in the art-making process, gradually fostering a better understanding of fundamental questions such as why artworks should not be touched and what artists aim to convey through their exhibitions.
Sanggar Seni Rupa Kontemporer simply aims to provide an experiential process of creating artwork, open to anyone regardless of their background or prior art skills. The studio believes that the process of creating art and organizing exhibitions can serve as a means to better understand ourselves as human beings and can offer valuable experiences that shape the future of humanity. The diversity of disciplinary backgrounds among members also opens up possibilities for collaboration and the exploration of potentials beyond artwork creation, such as archiving and art management. These diverse skills will be instrumental in the future development of contemporary art in Indonesia.