Voicing Social Matters with ‘Social Design for Social Living’ Exhibition

Voicing Social Matters with ‘Social Design for Social Living’ Exhibition

Some art exhibitions only present their story within the  gallery where they are exhibited.  However, 'Social Design for Social Living’ exhibition delivers something on a much bigger scale. As a collaboration between Indonesian and Polish artistic communities, it represents ongoing projects involving various organizations like Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle Warsaw, Jatiwangi Art Factory (non-profit arts & culture-focused organization) and Jakarta-based art community SERRUM. Organized by (Foundation for Art and Present Time), the exhibition presents art projects happening both inside and outside the gallery.

Showcasing artworks in varying in mediums like videos, photographs, sketches, or even soaps and inflatable letters, the exhibition might seem random and non-uniform at first. But once you explore deeper into the arts, you’ll see that each of them is speaking with the same voice. One of the most apparent connections between all of them is how they involve a community in every art-making process.

One of the examples is showcased in a video titled Bródno 2000 where an artist organized 200 families to form a giant 2000 number on the windows of several apartment blocks. The same goes with Construction Site project where a group of people is assigned to deliver a message using inflatable letters in various public spaces. Both requires a number of people to collaborate, thus creating a sense of community between them whilst making art. Therefore, instead of highlighting personal stories, this exhibition use a more communal narration in describing their art.

Conjoining artists from two countries in the exhibition, Krzysztof ?ukomski and Marianna Dobkowska who acted as editors in this project also wish to highlight the similarities between the two countries. And whilst it might not be stated blatantly, the connection between them can be seen through in the art displayed. One of the example is how “You Get Cheese for Breakfast, I’m Stuck With Cassava” project (which involves pengamen  from Jakarta) and “Bróniow Song” (which involves local Bróniow musician) both reveals that people often address social and political issues through song. Another similarity can be seen in Sabun Tanah and Flag of Ursus where both projects aim to preserve local traditions in a way that is relevant to society today.


Overall, the exhibition aspires to build communication between people with seemingly distant culture and promote unity through art. And whilst the way they represent it can feel a bit educational, it is inspirational for the most part. Moreover, those who wants to witness this Bilateral art showcase can visit Indonesia National Gallery where the exhibition will be held until July 22.

Photos by: Yofi Pradana

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