From September 27th 2018 to February 24th 2019, the Institut des Cultures d’Islam in Paris presents the exhibition “Java Art Energy”, an exploration of the explosive creativity of Java Island in Indonesia. Art-Trope attended the press opening.
The choice of Indonesia : one of the main Muslim countries
Contrary to the common ideas, the essential part of the Muslim people does not concentrate in the Middle East. Indeed, Asia is the continent that hosts the majority of the Islamic civilization representatives. “Indonesia includes 17 000 islands. As the biggest archipelagos in the world, it encapsulates an incredible territories diversity and cultures. The jungle co-exists with the intense urbanization and so do the different religions that fuel the country” explains the exhibition’s Curator Bérénice Saliou. The idea is not to present a panorama of Java’s artistic scene but rather a selection of perspectives covering four main topics. Indeed, the exhibition opens with the “Islam and Society” theme which denounces the rise of Islamic radicalism as we “cut to the chase” as Bérénice Saliou said. The part “Earth in danger” puts together Artworks acting against the rise of the urbanization and the destruction of Java Island’s ecosystem. The third part of the exhibition is entitled “A Painful Past” and puts in the spotlight the influences of the island’s colonization by the Netherlands. Finally, the last part deals with Nature and spirituality like an invitation to introspection.
The first exhibition entirely dedicated to the Island of Java
During the guided tour, the Institut des Cultures d’Islam‘s Artistic Director Bérénice Saliou explained that “Java Art Nergy” was “the first exhibition of that importance dedicated to the Island of Java (…) In order to be the fairest, we chose to focus on contemporary creation”. Also, five Artworks were especially created for the exhibition. Among the Artworks, Eddy Susanto’s La Liberté Libérant le Peuple by Eugène Delacroix replaced the painting by hand writing. Indeed, he engraves on the canvas a Ballade from the 18th century. Such a ballade is based on internal struggles that resulted in Java’s end. The exhibition’s Artists are engaged in favor of a peaceful society that is more respectful of the environment. “I would like for the visitors to feel through this exhibition the amazing artistic dynamism of Java Island which has nothing to envy to the main European and North American capital cities. The exhibition’s goal is also to make people aware that Islamic culture is not limited to the Middle East. To the contrary, Indonesia is the largest Muslim country in the world” explains Bérénice Saliou.
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