From Another Island

From Another Island

FEB 24 – MAR 9 2024
Artist: Budi Gugi

From Another Island is a solo exhibition by Budi Gugi which will run in Claremorris Gallery from February 24 th to March 9th. Budi Gugi is an Indonesian painter who lives on the Island of Bali.

The exhibition will feature twenty paintings and this is the artist’s first time exhibiting outside of his home country. The title of the show refers not only to Ireland and Bali, two islands contrasting starkly in culture and climate, but also to the notion of the artist himself as an island.

Budi is a self-described loner, who spends 99% of his time in solitude. His paintings reflect this isolated existence and express the beauty of life, with an equal appreciation of both joy and sorrow.

FEB 24 – MAR 9, 2024
wed to sat, 1 – 6pm, or by appointment

His poetic paintings bring to mind the words of William Blake:

“It is right it should be so;
Man was made for joy and woe;
And when this we rightly know,
Thro' the world we safely go.
Joy and woe are woven fine,
A clothing for the soul divine.
Under every grief and pine
Runs a joy with silken twine.”

A typical Indonesian art education differs enormously from the training offered in art institutions in Ireland, the UK and indeed the rest of the Western world. Art colleges in Indonesia, in line with other Southeast Asian countries, such as Vietnam, Thailand and Laos, adopt a more traditional pedagogical approach. One that is heavily influenced by the government’s cultural policy, with syllabi often based on Indonesian cultural values described as “playing an active role in the creation of pure art that produces Indonesian identity based on these values” . The artist’s alma mater, for example, offers a Traditional Weapons and Keris Programme as part of its fine art degree. Many of Gugi’s contemporaries work in this vein, producing art that espouses the values set forth by the Indonesian Education ministry. In this way, artists are encouraged to work in service of national identity and to keep alive ancient and traditional crafts, for which there is a strong tourist demand.

Budi Gugi, I Know What You Feel Vincent, Acrylic on Canvas, 2023

Taken in this context we see how Budi’s work is a radical departure from prevailing Indonesian trends. Gallery director, Rosemarie Noone says that, “Budi is an outlier amongst this peers making work that is deeply personal. His command of colour and proficiency as a painter are instantly recognisable but his compositions are have a strong “outsider” aesthetic.

According to Budi, “Being an artist is like taking a small and lonely path, where we can see beautiful scenery, we can see mountains, river, jungle, bird, sky, everything but in the end, the only one we can talk to is ourselves.”

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Claremorris Gallery is founded on being an innovative showcase for the ongoing presentation and promotion of strong, visceral and visionary contemporary art.