Sun, 01 Oct 2000

Balinese artist shows his talent in Paris

By Kunang Helmi-Picard

PARIS (JP): The second edition of the contemporary art exhibition "Art in the World" opened on Friday Sept. 8. On the same occasion the city's new cultural premises, under the bridge Pont Alexandre III on the right bank of the Seine in Paris, were also inaugurated.

The bi-annual show was initiated by the prestigious French Beaux Arts magazine in 1998. This year, editors of 36 art magazines from all over the world were asked to select 100 young contemporary artists of 50 different nationalities.

Reflecting an international panorama and the diversity of artistic creativity at the beginning of the 21st century, the aim of the exhibition is to discover new talents.

The show is sponsored by the mayor of Paris, the Association Francaise d'Action Artistique (French Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and ABN-AMRO France.

Since it is the art magazines' editors that undertake the actual choice, a specialist approach is ensured. Nevertheless, the show does not claim to be an exhaustive selection. Some geographical zones such as the Middle East are under represented because of the lack of art publications. The personal view point of many curators who have an intimate knowledge of what is happening on the art-scene of each country represented is crucial for the show.

The editor of Asian Art News based in Hong Kong, Ian Findlay- Brown comments, "Although shaken by the financial and economic crisis of 1997, Asian art has reacted with dynamism and optimism. It owes a part of its force to the development of the art market between 1980 and 1990, a period where museums and galleries opened at a fast pace, creating a solid base for progress."

Findlay-Brown chose Balinese I Made Palguna among those young Indonesian artists he knew from Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Bandung and Bali, because of the vigor of Palguna's recent work evoking current difficulties in Indonesia. However, the painting which was chosen, entitled Relax Once in a While, is more humorous in feeling. In recent interviews Palguna, who unfortunately could not attend the opening, reminds us: "Paints, canvasses, even that which appears inexpensive, is still much too expensive for young artists in Indonesia."

Hopefully the fact that Palguna was chosen for this show of young artists, besides spotlighting Indonesian art, will also give a boost to his career, contributing to international recognition of his talent.

The 36 editors made their choice of other young artists who explore various mediums and techniques that include: - painting: from the poetic abstractions of Iranian Bahar Behbahami to the figurative painting of Anju Dodiya, who projects Indian mythology on the universe of decorative arts. -sculpture: from the wooden primitivist sculpture of Polish artist Sylvester Ambroziak to the plastic, glass and moss objects of Hungarian Maria Chilf, which represent a cosmonaut traveling to the imaginary country of Alice in Wonderland. -photography: from the futuristic photography of Finnish Anu Tuominen to the feet-portraits of urban passersby taken by Cuban Luis Edgardo Fomez. -video film: from the autistic lunch presented by Canadian Manon Labrecque on a screen to the complex video installation incorporating induced current machines by Indian Tallur LN. -installations: from the refrigerators with glass sculptures and videos of Israelian Sigalit Landau to the tables and atomic lighting by the Czech Lukas Rittstein. -performances: including that of the concert Hooded Quartet by the Albanian Sisley Xhafa.

Indeed this applies to the 99 young artists whose work will remain on display until Nov. 8 in Paris.