One hour at the Kunsthal with Ari Bayuaji

Sometimes the universe has a way of taking over and putting good things in your path. I was on my way to visit the Kunsthal museum in Rotterdam for Kunsthal Light #16 when I received a message from a friend back in Singapore saying that she noticed on Facebook (thank you, modern technology) that I was in Rotterdam. She suggested that I try to meet with a very talented Indonesian artist by the name of Ari Bayuaji while he was in town preparing for a show at the Kunsthal titled ‘No place like home’. She sent me his phone number and I responded that I would try to meet up with him but that we were really pressed for time. I then sent Ari a message to ask him where his studio was located. Just seconds later, as I was standing in front of his works, which were clearly in the process of being installed, I glanced up from my phone and voila! He was standing right in front of me.

Ari had his tools with him as he was putting the finishing touches on the installation. As he explained to us, the materials he was using were collected by him from all over the world, and were the same elements people in those cultures would use to build their own homes. Simple objects such as plastic, metal, wood, paper, canvas and other everyday day things were used as Ari transformed his space in the museum (Gallery 6, which is essentially a ramp and walkway) into a home for himself, visitors and those who pass by the window. As an installation, the three dimensional sculptures, paintings, drawings and photos reminiscences on those different locations around the world, including from his homelands of Indonesia (where he is from) and Canada (where he now resides).

Ari pic 3.jpg

The installation includes 50 pieces, large and small, evoking memories for visitors of the installation. Subsequent to our chance encounter at the museum, and just after the exhibition opened, Ari told me that a visitor gave him a photograph, as well the original passport of his family which they used to enter and live in Indonesia during the time when the country was still a Dutch colony. Another photograph was given to him by another visitor of the man’s grandfather, taken in 1920 on Seram Island. Ari added both photos as well as the passport to the exhibit making it a part of the installation.

“It is nice to have that kind of relationship with some of the visitors during the art installation and after; a great satisfaction to touch peoples hearts with my artworks,” says Ari.

‘No place like home’ has been extended to the end of August at the Kunsthal in Rotterdam.

“I hope that the elements of the art installation will remind people of their home, other people’s homes that they visited, or let them imagine a home they dream of having in the future as a new adventure”

~ Ari Bayuaji

For more info on Ari Bayuaji, please click here.