Mizuma Gallery is pleased to announce our representation of Indonesian artist, Ari Bayuaji.
Ari Bayuaji (b. 1975, Mojokerto, Indonesia) graduated as a civil engineer and worked in Indonesia before deciding to move to Canada permanently in 2005. Once in Montreal, he studied Fine Arts at Concordia University from 2005 to 2010 and now divides his time between Montreal and Bali. The artist is known mainly for his art installations that incorporate the use of found and ready-made objects he collects from various parts of the world, thereby exposing himself to the different cultural traditions. He is an expert in conveying aspects of daily life within a culture as his works often expose the overlooked artistic value in everyday life expressed through objects and places and their roles within a society. Ari Bayuaji has taken part in numerous artist-in-residency programs in Canada, France, the Netherlands, Indonesia and Singapore. The artist’s work has been exhibited in major solo exhibitions in Singapore, Taipei (Taiwan), Ste-Alvère (France), Dusseldorf (Germany), Rotterdam and The Hague (The Netherlands), and Yogyakarta (Indonesia).
“ My artworks are always inspired by the contemporary challenges in my surroundings. It could be social, environmental, or political issues. The challenges help me to address the issue with arts in a poetic way and create conversation with the audience. ”
– Ari Bayuaji
Mizuma Gallery (MG): When did you first start making artwork?
Ari Bayuaji (AB): The very first artwork I remember clearly was a drawing of carnation flowers I made when I was 6 years old. I got the best mark in my class and I thought I was a great artist. Then I started to make drawings as artworks when I travelled around Europe in 2000-2001 as I visited some major art museums such as the Louvre in Paris, V&A in London, and Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.
MG: How did that lead you to become an artist? Can you talk a little about your formative years as an artist?
AB: I used some of the drawings I produced in Europe to apply for fine art study at Concordia University of Montreal, Canada. I was a civil engineer at that time. I officially became an art student at Concordia University in Autumn 2005.
My artworks are always inspired by the contemporary challenges in my surroundings. It could be social, environmental, or political issues. The challenges help me to address the issue with arts in a poetic way and create conversation with the audience.
In my career, I have visited many different countries all over the world through artist residency programs. The experiences have helped me to create artworks from a more universal point of view instead of just personal judgments.
MG: Can you tell us about your current artwork series?
AB: Weaving The Ocean began with the idea of replacing vanishing natural materials with new “natural” materials that can be found easily.
One day, I discovered an abundant supply of plastic ropes tangled in the roots of mangrove trees near Sanur on the coast of Bali. Entwined with the roots, the plastic rope appeared almost to be like a naturally growing part of the trees. This discovery led me to use plastic threads as the material for weaving. Plastic is so abundant in our environment these days that it has essentially now become a major element of the natural world. I have been working with my collaborators in Bali since the beginning of 2020.
MG: What do you find most challenging when you make artworks?
AB: The most challenging thing for me is to find a way to create poetic artworks that touch people’s hearts.
MG: How does forming collaborative relationships with individuals of different backgrounds contribute to your artistic development and research?
AB: Most of my collaborators have no formal art backgrounds. At the beginning when we started to work with plastic ropes none of us were familiar with it. We discussed how to execute the material and did some ‘trials and errors’ until we could find the best way to use it while incorporating references to their cultural background. The process has really helped me to understand the local’s ancient wisdom of making arts. I think this collaboration is very important for my artistic development.
MG: What are you currently working on and do you have any exhibition plans for the future?
AB: I have been really busy working at my studio in Bali preparing for my next exhibitions: a group show in Mizuma Gallery, Singapore (October 2022), a solo show at Redbase Art Gallery in Sydney (November 2022), a solo show at Mizuma Gallery, Singapore (February 2023), and a solo show at Galerie Pierre François Ouellette in Montreal, Canada (April 2023).