From Modernism to Comtemporary Arts
The arts collections of Galeri Nasional Indonesia were generally collected from two big international exhibitions in Jakarta during the early 90’s. Indirectly both exhibitions were pressing on the administration process to the official opening of Galeri Nasional Indonesia at year 2000. The first exhibition in 1992 was “Paris-Jakarta: masa 1950 - 1960” at the exhibition building of Departemen Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan (Education and Culture Department) in Gambir, which now became the Indonesia National Gallery. The exhibition shows the works of international artist which were collected for the exhibition of French artists at De Harmonie, Dutch Societet Building in Jakarta at 1959. The exhibition was made by Departemen Penerangan Indonesia. The representatives on Indonesia Information Deparment at Paris have collected 100 works of graphics arts and paintings from multi national are artists who live and work in Paris. After the exhibition, the art works was donated to Indonesia government, then was kept at “Museum Nasional Indonesia” until 1992, it exhibit along with the works of Indonesian artists in 1950-1960 periods. The second exhibition was “Contemporary Art of The Non-Aligned Countries: Unity in Diversity in International Art”. The exhibition took the same time with the leader of the Non-Aligned Countries conference in Jakarta during 1995. This Exhibition was participated by 251 artists and prepared by 42 curators; they came from 41 countries in Asia and Africa. Thirty-eight works of 33 artists from 21 countries were donated to the government of Indonesia after the exhibition was over.
The two large international exhibitions reflected two different main streams of the arts. Paintings of the “Paris-Jakarta: masa 1950-1960” exhibition showed the development of international modernism movement. Meanwhile the works of the “Contemporary Art of The Non-Aligned Countries: Unity in Diversity in International Art” exhibition show the spirit of international contemporary art movement outside of the Western art mainstream.
International modernism movement is the Western art phenomenon, which started at the end of the 19 century. It developing, practicing and spreading to almost all big cities all over the world. Universal humanism and freedom of aesthetic ideas as the free expression of modern man are the main principles of the movement. Every artistic expression of the individual artists is the manifestation of the essential universal values.
On the other side, international contemporary art movement, especially in Asia-Africa countries, started at the beginning of 1990’s. The movement upholds the spirit to criticize the dominating development of Western arts. They differ from the critical contemporary art that is also happening in the West. The contemporary art development in Asia-Africa not only made critics to aesthetics principles of art as the foundation of international modernism. they promote the different translation and practice.
The most important foundation in contemporary art movement in Asia-Africa is the effort to make self-representing with the form and practice of their own socio-culture. The self-representing effort become part of self-identifying spirit, which shouldn’t just be understood by the West, but its important to interact between themselves based on the richness of their culture existence and mutually progress principles.