Ruang MES 56 at Center for Contemporary Photography (CCP), Melbourne

For the last ten years the artists in the Ruang MES 56 collective have been responding to changes occurring within their rapidly developing nation, Indonesia. Primarily working in photography, their work offers insights into the issues they face as a generation responsible for their own future—a future vision, shaped in part by the images they create.

This exhibition presents works by five artists from the Ruang MES 56 stable: Wimo Ambala Bayang, Akiq AW, Agan Harahap, Angki Purbandono and Jim Allen Abel. Jim Allen Abel’s works visually deconstruct authority through the symbol of the uniform, utilising performance art practices, action and awkwardness, whilst Agan Harahap’s playful anthropomorphic images question Indonesian cultural attitudes towards the natural world. Angki Purbandono’s disturbing and ironic ‘fashion book’ observes outsider fashion styles of the homeless and forgotten on the streets of Yogyakarta and Jakarta. Wimo Ambala Bayang’s photographs critique contemporary political and cultural realities through the prism of Javanese mythology. Akiq AW’s work explores the visual semiotics of space through the ordering of color and shape, resulting in a highly coded series of images that try to make sense of a landscape that is by nature chaotic.

Ruang MES 56 is at the forefront of the contemporary photography movement in Indonesia, a young scene that is attracting the attention of the local and international community for its fresh take on the medium, as well as the insights they offer into contemporary Indonesian society as it shapes—and is shaped by—our increasingly globalized world.

Center for Contemporary Photography
Gallery 3

Artist: Agan Harahap, Akiq AW, Angki Purbandono, Wimo Ambala Bayang, Jim Allen Abel