NANZUKA is pleased to present three concurrent exhibitions of new works by Yogyakarta-based Indonesian artist Roby Dwi Antono (b.1990) at NANZUKA UNDERGROUND, NANZUKA 2G, and 3110NZ. These exhibitions mark the artist’s first solo presentation with the gallery.
The extraordinary talent of Roby Dwi Antono who had expressed a keen interest towards painting from childhood, was naturally cultivated with the support of his parents who valued freedom and allowed him to doodle as he pleased on the walls of their house, as well the time he spent in his father’s metal workshop. While Antono did not receive any formal education in art, he had acquired the technique of painting beautifully with the utmost skill and finesse entirely through a self-taught method of looking for references. The success of his exhibition organized by his friend in 2012 naturally resulted in the flourishing of his artistic talent.
Antono’s oeuvre strongly reflects the influence of his beloved artists such as Mark Ryden, Yoshitomo Nara, and Javier Calleja, along with inspiration from Japanese comics and visual culture like Kamen Rider, Godzilla, and Dragon Ball. His work, derived from the act of “copying” which is a common practice for children around the world who love to draw and paint, still continues to change and evolve day by day through the amassment of his pure yet intellectual pursuits.
The exhibition at NANZUKA UNDERGROUND and NANZUKA 2G will consist of a series of canvas paintings and drawings in oil stick and oil pastel. The works, which appear reminiscent of children’s doodles, were indeed inspired by the artist’s childhood sketches of dinosaurs and cartoons that he had drawn on the street with pieces of charcoal while helping at his father’s workshop. For Antono, who states that, “expressing oneself through paint and oil pastel doodles proves to be cathartic,” it is a natural matter of course that the vague images within his memories come to reemerge in his diary-like drawings repeatedly created in the midst of his daily production process.
The tile of this exhibition, “Rumpus,” draws inspiration from Maurice Sendak’s 1963 children’s book Where the Wild Things Are, which was adapted into a feature film directed by Spike Jonze in 2010. Focusing on a line from the film in which protagonist shouts, “let the wild rumpus start!,” Antono places the story’s consistent theme of “childhood feelings” as the core pillar of his latest series of works.
“This new series of works is about bringing back the soul of a child that may have been lost. It is my attempt to visit the memories floating on the surface and dive into the memories buried deep below. It’s not an easy thing to collect all the memories, put them together and then organize them neatly and in order according to time. Memories are scattered in the middle or piled up in the corners of the room. Maybe they are not meant to be forced into sequences, but random and not even traceable. In this dive process of finding memories, I choose to revisit past memories one by one from the simple, trivial and insignificant to the very emotional–memories of the joys and sorrows of the past. Then I engage in processing the random memory to be presented into a visual language that might give birth to new meanings and feelings from the memory pieces that have been collected, either to be simple or even to be more complicated and complex.” (Roby Dwi Antono)
The exhibition at 3110NZ will feature a series of portraits depicted with spray paint on a single tone background. The portraits, conceived in a symmetrical composition and at once seemingly boy and girl, appear to serenely convey Antono’s own spirituality, ethnicity, and historicity as an artist with Indonesian roots. While slightly teary-eyed, it is not possible to perceive any particular emotion from the subjects. They harbor no sense of melancholy, but rather, emit a divine and almost sublime aura.
“My works are like a mirror in which I see a reflection of myself. Very often it is where I would criticize the undoing of my past self as well as impart some hopes to my future self. I feel the urge to collect all these scattered fragments of memories and transform them into paintings.” (Roby Dwi Antono)
It is in Antono’s scrupulous and unassuming works that veer away from any signs of eccentricity that we viewers discover the very essence of cultural activities that have long persisted in the short yet extensive history of humankind. We look forward to welcoming you to the exhibitions.
Roby Dwi AntonoRUMPUSJanuary 9 (Sun.) – February 6 (Sun.), 2022NANZUKA UNDERGROUND MAPTuesday – Sunday / 11:00-19:00*Closed on Mondays and HolidaysRUMPUSJanuary 8 (Sat.) – February 6 (Sun.), 2022NANZUKA 2GMAP*Opening hours are same as Shibuya PARCORUMPUSJanuary 11 (Tue.) – February 5 (Sat.), 20223110NZ by LDH kitchenMAPTuesday – Thursday / 11:00-16:00, Friday – Saturday / 11:00-17:00*Closed on Sundays, Mondays, and Holidays