Sun, 26 Mar 2000

Intu's dream comes true at prestigious French art school

By Kunang Helmi

PARIS (JP): Everybody wants their dream to come true. Recent art graduate Agni Klintuni Boedhihartono, known as Intu, realized her's by using them in her art.

Her works are among those on display at the prestigious L'Ecole Nationale Supirieure des Beaux Arts (Ensba) on the banks of the River Seine. The 1999 art graduate's exhibition, curated by Jean-Louis Froment, was officially opened on March 6 and runs until April 23.

Intu's Indonesian dream series for her final exams was judged to be one of the 26 best works chosen for the show, out of 102 exam candidates. Eight were foreign students, of whom two were from Asia. After the opening ceremony, art critics judging the GS art prize (sponsored by the company Gras Savoye), chose the winner of this year's award.

During the week-long preparations for the graduate's show, the energetic daughter of anthropology professor Beodhihartono and Ibu Andri, professor of art and design at Jakarta's Trisakti University, covered a 3-by-7 meter wall panel with finely penciled drawings. The dreams she had during the week were principally of Indonesia, more specifically of the Mentawai islands, where she spent two months doing research for the Bougainville expedition at the Musee de L'homme. Feminine curves and feathery shapes, filled in with delicate details, characterized this mural.

Intu began her dream series in 1999: "Everyday I try to capture my dreams in drawings. This is what one calls 'work in progress'. At the same time, I have also kept a diary of all the different voyages I have undertaken in the course of my studies and cultural exchange projects, like those to Australia, Canada, Cuba and Mentawai. Multiculturalism is very important for my work. I consider my dream drawings to depict the voyages I undertake during my dreams while reflecting the thoughts and souvenirs I experience discovering the world."

Intu, the only Indonesian graduate here, was born in 1971 in Jakarta and came to France because, as she pointed out at the opening, "For me Paris is the center of the art world!". This conviction gave her the force to pass the stiff entrance exams, in which she was competing against over 1,000 fellow candidates.

She was accepted at Ensba in 1996 after having obtained a preparatory degree at the national art school in Dijon. Parallel to her art studies, she also studied ethnology at the University VII of Paris, where she obtained her M.A. in 1998. She is now preparing her Phd. in visual and sound anthropology at the same university.

This young Indonesian participated in a performance during the 1995 show Fluxus at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Marseille as well as in the Mail Art show in the Grangier Post in Dijon. Intu has also taken part in an Ensba show Gericault - Contemporary Points of View and in an exhibition at the Design and Art Gallery of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. She is currently planning her next project, a joint show with her parents at Taman Ismail Marzuki in Jakarta.

Professor Pierre Buraglio played a central role in Intu's studies. Two of her fellow students under Buraglio's tutorage were also chosen to exhibit their work. This professor was one of the first in France to emphasize the importance of the support on which a work of art is based. New materials, including different kinds of paper in various media, were used in his artistic experiments. For instance, in the realm of sculpture, the base on which the work rests upon is given the same consideration as the work itself. Buraglio also encourages his students to take a multimedia approach and incorporate photography and video in their work as well.

Among the conceptual exam projects presented, Great Britain's Rebecca Young's light installation, Book of the Sky, part of the series Camera Obscura, won the important 10th GS art prize for young creation. Although Intu does not always appreciate conceptual art, she agreed this work merited the award. "I generally find conceptual work too universal and anonymous without any particular characteristics. However, her work using daylight denotes a very personal and poetic approach to art."

Later this year at the Musee de l'Homme Parisians will be able to see Intu's photographs and drawings she made while on the Mentawai islands for the Bougainville Expedition. Meanwhile, she is preparing for another ethnographic expedition in Indonesia in April.