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Mella Jaarsma

The Size of Rice


Vipash Purichanont, Curator

Introduction

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he Size of Rice is a solo exhibition by Mella Jaarsma, an artist born in the Netherlands but who has been living and working in Yogyakarta since 1984. The exhibition takes inspiration from a grain of rice, a traditional measurement unit in a shared agrarian heritage of Southeast Asia. It was this common measurement unit that made the commerce in the region possible. However, measurements also serve other purposes beyond commerce. Measurements are also a system of quantification for building and dwelling. In an archipelago country like Indonesia which consist of 1,340 ethnic groups, a diversity of systems of measurement also diversifies the process of worlding itself. Taking inspiration from the significance of the size of rice in measurement as a key concept of this exhibition, Jaarsma invited four performers with diverse ethnical and cultural backgrounds in Indonesia to collaborate with her. Based on each dancer’s ontological understanding of preferred correlations, namely length, weight, time and distance (inter-space), the artist created an object for each individual. After the art objects took shape, she welcomed the performer to interact with the artwork that came into being through their own understanding of the world. The exhibition is a showcase of objects, drawings, paintings and video works from this new series.  π 1


Artist’s Statement

Mella Jaarsma, Yogyakarta, 14 January 2021

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easurements and distance plays an import part in our lives and is the basis of our mindset, instinct and intelligence. How we perceive the world and how we shape the world around us is a directly reflect on measurement and proportion in relation to the human body. I have been working with the idea of proportions and human scale for quite some time. It starts from the idea that, as an artist, I include in my concept, where the viewer stands in the space and how he/she gets confronted with my work. The physical appearance is part of the work, and my work is created in relation to the position and scale of the viewer. I look at how the world that surrounds us is constructed by laws of nature. We have to deal with limitation, scale and human proportions. There are logics. I am interested in measurements that are taken without using the metric system. I learned about the principles of Asta Kosala Kosali, a Balinese Hindu belief, which is a way of structuring land with housing and sacred buildings, based on the

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anatomy of the body. Body parts of the head of the family are measured and become the basic units of measurements for structural elements such as the circumference of bale pillars, door widths and distances between family shrines. These building codes are in accordance with the philosophical, ethical, and ritual foundations once recorded on lontar leaves. I am fascinated by the relation between architecture and the body and how architecture becomes an ‘extension’ of the body. It is the idea of size and measurement; it is in our instincts — we are always measuring — from which perspective? This is where spirituality enters measuring and translates from the body to a design and construction. The theory of Asta Kosala Kosali is an effort where the body is as close as possible with the space surrounding the body. ‘Urip’ or life/spirit is given to a construction by adding the wide of a pink to the height of the pillars. Or, ‘urip’ is given by adding the wide of a foot for space in between two house shrines.

I read through my notebook and concluded that 2019 and 2020 are the years of the awareness about the limitations of the earth surrounding themes like occupied space, environmental issues and protecting the sources. During the pandemic, the notion of measurements and distances has forced us to new experiences. When I see a photo of friends for example on Instagram, which are standing close together without masks, I directly think, oh this was before 2020, or, oh that is dangerous. The psychological effect of this one year living with the pandemic is already embedded in our brains. This notion of distance is now reflected in our behaviour and our forced behaviour of keeping distance, is stored somewhere in our brains. For the exhibition at A+ Works of Art, I created a series of works that start from this notion of distance and measurements and how that contributes to our perception of our surroundings.  π

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Kosala Kosali III 2021 Acrylic, charcoal on canvas and barkcloth 200 × 105 cm

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Undagi 1 2021 Gouache, pencil, ink on paper 27 × 19 cm

Undagi 3 2021 Gouache, pencil, ink on paper 27 × 19 cm

Undagi 2 2021 Gouache, pencil, ink on paper 27 × 19 cm

Undagi 4 2021 Gouache, pencil, ink on paper 27 × 19 cm

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A Grain of Rice, (Un)Anthropometric, Nonwearable

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ella Jaarsma is known for artistic practices that develop around creating sophisticated costumes and playful participations. For decades, the artist has been producing works that engage with social and cultural issues in Indonesia and beyond. I have had the honor to work with Jaarsma occasionally, the one prior to this exhibition was in the Thailand Biennale, Krabi 2018. Krabi is known for its beautiful seascape of Phi Phi islands and Maya Bay. Neither was a site for the exhibition because tourists already overcrowded them. However, other natural sites such as beaches, island, mangrove forest and waterfall were offered. Rather than working in a natural site that the national parks offered for the biennale, Jarrsma was one of a few artists that worked with local communities in Khlong Prasong subdistrict, and she was totally at home in that Kampong-like environment. Her project Silver Souls (2018) deals with the faded history and practice of making Batik

Vipash Purichanont

in the province because of the modernization and cultural revolution during the Second World War. The production period is the monsoon season. I occasionally saw Jaarsma riding a motorbike to the town to buy supplies. Visiting her at the village also provided an escape from the business of Krabi town and Ao Nang, which are Thailand’s tourist hotspots. Entering the village, we needed to pass through a vast rice field that is famous for its local variant of rice called “Sang-yod”. The rice is specific to the island because it consumes brackish water that the area provides. The variant has been known and circulated around for centuries. To think about it again, “Size of Rice” is not an entirely new journey, but a conversation that continues where it left off. Similar to other international activities around the globe since 2020, we had been postponing this exhibition several times because of the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 8


Before it became long overdue, Jaarsma and I had an important discussion at the beginning of 2021. As we cannot travel and visit each other in person, we agreed to work together remotely by starting to develop the exhibition from a single concept that we were both interested in, that is “measurement”. At first glance, it seems like we opted for something universal, but our research and development create a thread between Thailand and Indonesia that may contribute to the philosophical, historical and cultural understanding of the term in the region. Measurement provides connection between human beings and their environment. To measure is to compare, contrast and communicate. It is not a coincidence that traditional cultures around the globe share a similar unit of measurement in length when it relates to the body, especially in the category of length,as humans might have a different color of skin, but our bodies are equal in scale. For example, nue in Thai traditional system is equivalent to inch in the British imperial system. The act of measurement is thus performative, as it involves creation of movement and communication. As measurement does not end at the body, its usage extends to the most fundamental everyday object. Traditional measurement became more environmental and cultural as it includes the application of an everyday object that is specific to the shared context. The Size of Rice has taken inspiration from a grain of rice, a traditional measurement unit that is a shared agrarian heritage of Southeast Asia as a unit in a commerce. In the Thai traditional mass measurement system, rice was measured by different hand gestures: open hand, close hand and both hands; acts of measuring is in itself performative. From a grain of rice, the unit of measurement gradually scales up to the palm of a hand, one scoop of a coconut shell and one cartwheel for instance. As the unit grows, it serves

Pralina – A Fire Altar (1993) — Permanent cremation place in Bali at Munduk Village.

other purposes beyond commerce. While scaling up, measurement is also a system of quantification for building and dwelling as appeared in asta kosala kosali, a Balinese manuscript from the sixteenth century that included measurement as a system of house construction and harmony living. In the Kingdom of Siam an area would be divided into rai (translated into a field, as in a rice field), with tiese space to agricultural seasons, offerings, and taxation. It means that measurement is also a tool in the system of administration and governance on a greater scale. Ironically, at its minimum and maximum level, the unit took philosophical and religious meanings as they were used to explaining the birth of the universe or beings themselves. This is a core understanding which would reemerge throughout the exhibition. Traditional measurement is not a concept that is alien to Jaarsma’s artistic practice. Her early work Pralina – A Fire Altar (1993) as the first work where she created a cremation site for Munduk village in North Bali. The artist learned the system of belief and different architectural practice from the locals while navigating herself through production. In 2018, the artist revisited Balinese culture in the series Bale I, Bale II (2018) in which she created 9


Bale I, Bale II, 2018, mixed technique on paper, digital print on fabric, barkcloth, bamboo.

A photograph from Jaarsma’s studio shows a process of making the costumes. 10


mixed technique drawings from asta kosala kosali, the principle of Balinese architecture design. In the artwork, the artist incorporated Balinese architectural components into her costume design, in which the distinction between wearing and dwelling became blurred. This visual experiment is being explored further in this exhibition. Kosala Kosali I is one of a few paintings in the exhibition. The artwork expresses the relationship between the body of a woman, and the space derived from that which is measured. By superimposing a woman’s body over the contour of the building, Jaarsma suggests a subtle relationship between two entities that is the body that lived and the built environment as an extension of the body. The creation of the residential complex from the measurement of the woman who is the head of the household ensures that the family will live in harmony. The black and white half circles measuring stick that the person holds in her two hands signifies the act of measuring that would continue to reappear throughout the series, as senses of distance, volume, and duration have overcome the domination of form and colour. Another large painting, Kosal Kosali II, shows a dissimilar approach where a body and architecture combined. The body is in a process of transformation, a metamorphosis, in which the built environment is inseparable from a living body. The series of drawings titled the Size of Rice shows other attempts to express the relationship between woman bodies and the traditional architecture. Also, the painting and drawing shows bodies in motion where architecture-costumes are opened-up, inter-act, and lived-through rather than just put-on. However, this exhibition expanded her interest beyond Bali and architecture. In an archipelago like Indonesia, which comprises 1,340 ethnic groups, a diverse system of measurement also diversifies the process of worlding itself. The cultures of Southeast Asia underwent the process

of modernisation, with the widespread adoption of the metric system that came with colonisation and standardisation. If this causal dimension is also an aesthetics dimension, our knowledge of the world that is fundamental to diverse artistic production would also cease to exist. The loss of a notion of measurement based on traditions also indicates the loss of unique senses of distance, volume, duration and so on. Taking inspiration from the significance of the size of rice in measurement as a key concept of this exhibition, Jaarsma invited four performers with diverse ethnical and cultural backgrounds in Indonesia to collaborate with her. Although most of them are performers who are trained in traditional and contemporary performance and based in Yogyakarta, they were encouraged to think of this collaboration based on their tradition. Adbi Karya from Makassar in Sulawesi chose measurement of length based on his Makassar’s culture that is similar to Asta Kosaka Kosali. Siska Aprisia is the only female performer in the group. She selects measurement of weight in reflection to her Minang matriarchy culture and society. Pebri Irawan who came from a coastal town in Riau Island is interested in the measurement of time, as it relates to the experience within and outside of the body; the time of one breath underwater and the time of shadow in the afternoon. Ari Dwanto who originated from Cilacap in Southern coast of Java, is interested in a concept that Jaarsma described as “Inter-space” [1] It is “a natural distance, between seeds when planting.” [2] It is a space to move in martial arts and theatre; a space between two persons, or between the performer and the viewer. After a series of discussions and interviews over weekends, Jaarsma then measured their physical bodies based on the given concept. She later created an artwork for each individual as a response. After the art objects took shape, she welcomed the performer to interact with the 11


artwork that came into being through their own understanding of the world. In this exhibition, Jaarsma advanced into a new territory that a costume, or an object that covers the body, gains other functions as wearable and equipment. They disclose a new set of conditions for the wearer and beholder alike. The Size of Rice I, II, III, & IV is a result of collaboration. They are not only costumes but also artworks that function as wearable and equipment. They do not merely cover the body but were designed for the body to perform certain tasks, which were enacted by performers. For example, ancient wisdom declares that our neck is stronger than our back. Minang culture believes it can withstand twice the weight twice of your back. The traditional shape of a rice container is designed with the shape of the head. Corresponding to Jaarsma’s conversation with Siska, the artist created a giant handbag-like object for the performer to put on her head instead of holding by her shoulder. The uncanniness of the objects calls for creative response from those who bore. As a result, Attributes of Measure, I, II, III, IV are an astonishing collection of videos of exchange and dialogue between the performers and their extended concepts which were converted into artworks. With each video, Jaarsma would choose a location for filming that relates to the concept. For example, Abdi’s measurement of length occurred within a complex of traditional suburban housing of Yogyakarta. Interestingly, Jaarsma did not let the performer familiarize himself with the object. The video is, in fact, a record of the first encounter between the person and his measurement. Abdi later described the encounter with the artwork as creating as an “agrarian conflict”. He recalled that he needed to prevent himself from holding the object as a long gun [3] It was a moment of realization where modern anthropocentrism was undone by artistic practice and ancient wisdom. At the same

time, it is the moment that the contemporary conflict surfaced. The videos documented a rare occasion where the costume is also a non-costume, which opens up for other possibilities and brings forth correlations that have been eclipsed by modernization, a force that standardized everything. One may ask why principles from the past are crucial to our contemporaneity. In the present, everything known to science is being measured, mined, and analysed, the unstandardised and unanthropometrised are a ripple in our experience. This element of “error” and “randomness” of the ancients were eliminated from modern science but being conserved in the arts. The Size of Rice is a threshold that led to the concealment of other potential attributes that are currently withdrawn or forgotten. With artistic research and practice, Jaarsma has disclosed the ancient “harmony” in asta kosala kosali, which conceals from our architectural practice that is dominated by modern anthropometry. The collaboration with performers has expanded this weird harmony to other concepts and mediums. The artworks and videos in the exhibition rather mark a beginning, an entrance or a threshold forward into the ancient wisdom.π

1

Mella Jaarsma, The Size of Rice 2, Journal of the Artist (February 27, 2021).

2

Ibid.

3 Aplusartasia, A Conversation between Mella Jaarsma and Vipash Purichanont, YouTube video, 1:14:55, May 5, 2021, https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=HvcN9vR_bm8.

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Kosala Kosali I 2021 Acrylic, charcoal on canvas 105 × 180 cm

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Attributes of Measure II (distance- inter-space) 2021 Wood, leather, hand-woven cotton, acrylic paint Variable dimensions

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The Size of Rice II 2021 Video 5 min 34 sec 27


The Size of Rice 1 2021 Gouache, pencil, ink on paper 42 × 30 cm

The Size of Rice 2 2021 Gouache, pencil, ink on paper 42 × 30 cm

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The Size of Rice 3 2021 Gouache, pencil, ink on paper 30 × 42 cm

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The Size of Rice 4 2021 Gouache, pencil, ink on paper 42 × 30 cm

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The Size of Rice 10 2021 Gouache, pencil, ink on paper 42 × 30 cm

The Size of Rice 16 2021 Gouache, pencil, ink on paper 42 × 30 cm

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Attributes of Measure III (weight) 2021 Wood, leather, metal, hand-woven cotton, rice Variable dimensions

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The Size of Rice III 2021 Video 7 min 16 sec 33


The Size of Rice 1 2021 Acrylic, charcoal on canvas, dried rice plants 120 × 200 cm

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The Size of Rice I 2021 Video 5 min 55 sec 36


Attributes of Measure I (length) 2021 Wood, leather, barkcloth, metal, rice plants Variable dimensions

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Asta 5 2021 Gouache, pencil, ink on paper, barkcloth, dried rice plant 57 × 38 cm

Asta 6 2021 Gouache, pencil, ink on paper, barkcloth, dried rice plant 57 × 38 cm 38


Asta 7 2021 Gouache, pencil, ink on paper, barkcloth, dried rice plant 57 × 38 cm 39


Attributes of Measure IV (time) 2021 Wood, leather, metal, handwoven cotton, buffalo horn Variable dimensions

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Kosala Kosali II 2021 Acrylic, charcoal on canvas 200 × 105 cm

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The Size of Rize IV 2021 Video 3 min 35 sec 43


Asta 1 – Inyong 2021 Gouache, pencil, ink on paper, barkcloth 60 × 42 cm

Asta 2 – Abdi 2021 Gouache, pencil, ink on paper, barkcloth 60 × 42 cm 44


Asta 3 – Siska 2021 Gouache, pencil, ink on paper, barkcloth 60 × 42 cm

Asta 4 – Pebri 2021 Gouache, pencil, ink on paper, barkcloth 60 × 42 cm 45


Notes from the performers of The Size of Rice

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n the past, when a family was about to have a wedding or build a new house, a few days earlier, the neighbors would come to their house with work tools: Women and teenage girls bring knives to cut and peel onions or other food ingredients to be processed, while men bring work equipment such as a crowbar or carpentry tools needed to build a bridal tent or construct a new house. Many regions in Indonesia, especially in rural areas, still maintain this custom. This ecosystem has worked beyond space and time without any written rules, agreed upon by the residents who carry it out. This is about the manifestation of the awareness of space-time-events, in which the body is trying to unite with its surroundings, entering into things that are happening at that very moment. This term in Sanskrit is called Desa-Kala-Patra. In the joint process with Mella for the production of The Size of Rice, we are collaborators: Siska Aprisia (dancer, choreographer from Padang-Sumatra), Ari Dwianto (actor born in Cilacap – Java), Pebri (dancer, choreographer from Riau) and Abdi Karya (director, performer from Makassar). We gained valuable experience in our capacity as performing artists. This process is a momentum for us to learn more about how the body and materials outside the body are working. In this process discussing measuring and measurements, we had interesting conversations about an idea that was put forward by Mella, which finally resulted in the keywords: length, weight, time, inter-space or distance. These four keywords got broken down into four performers and each of them was tasked with translating these into his/her body, remembering the discussions about measurements in relation to our specific cultural backgrounds, which is different for each of us. (Abdi Karya) 46


Pebri Irawan – Time There are so many things related to measuring, weighing and counting that are always present in my daily life. In this case, the body becomes the most practical tool to be used as a comparison of the object outside the body being measured. For example, I remember one day when I was walking with my grandfather, I asked him how far the village we were going to visit was and my grandfather answered, “it’s close; just a cigarette”. We are familiar with the terms ete (Malay) or eto (Minang) or hasta in Indonesian. These words refer to certain body parts that serve as a guide for measuring certain objects. For example using parts from the ends of the hands to the elbows, spans, the size of the soles of the feet or foot steps. It can be used to measure the length or area of ​​an object. Another example occurs in domestic affairs, especially the kitchen. For example, measuring the amount of water used to cook rice with your index finger into a pot that has been filled with rice and water, then inserting your finger until it touches the surface of the rice and if the amount of water is equal to the second knuckle, then the measurement is considered appropriate. This method of cooking is still widely practiced even though there is already a rice cooker and a scale in the pot. Siska Aprisia – Weight The measurements that we are talking about in this joint process are units of time, weight (or mass), distance and inter-space or what I term as pause. Related to these few keywords, I have experiences embedded in the tradition and culture where I come from, namely Minang. Like most Minang people, our lives are tied to the philosophy of Alam Takambang Menjadi Guru or Nature is Our Teacher, so that whatever we do, think or feel has a link with events or events in nature. The measure 47


of mass used in my hometown always uses figurative language or philosophy related to nature. One of them is Baban Barek Singguluang Batu (Heavy Load of a Pile of Stones) which means the burden of life is so large that it cannot be carried anymore. In addition, several ways to measure mass relates to social status in society and can be seen from the way people carry a mass:

reduce assumptions about form and tried more to process memories from the previous discussion. This object felt foreign in terms of shape but so familiar in terms of mass and weight. Ari Dwianto – Inter-Space/Distance I grew up in the city of Cilacap, a city in Java, far from things that smell of traditional customs. However, I have experiences in my daily life about size related to the games of my childhood. I also remember how my mother used the kethip to measure the weight of gold on her scale. Sekethip or two kethip. I remember another size in the form of a can of sweetened condensed milk. This can is a measure of rice to be cooked and consumed by the family. As I recall, one meal for our family is one and a half cans of milk. Meanwhile, for a distance unit, when I played soccer and marbles with my friends, the width of the goal was measured by two to five steps and the penalty point was determined from a point 12 steps from the goal. In the marbles game, the distance between the target hole and the shooting point is measured using a span or length from the tip of the thumb to the tip of the index finger. The player furthest away will get the first turn. I started by finding a way to measure my height using my other body parts. In this case, I found several ways to measure my height, namely:

• Dijunjuang or dijunjung means upheld or to carry on the head to represent a heavy mass. • Dijinjiang or dijinjing represents a medium mass holding / carrying with the hands. • Dipikua or dipikul indicates a light mass, hanging in balance from a wooden stick, carried on a shoulder. The application of these measurements can be seen in various cultural occasions, which involve many people, between families or even between one person and another. When giving something with this measurement, the container that is used can be a jamba, cloth wrap, a hollow bamboo (lamang) and so on. As a performing artist, I have been curious about how a visual artist translates ideas and physical materials into an object for the dancer’s body to respond to. I found it a different experience collaborating with Mella and she broadened my view on the principle of choosing colors, shapes and materials related to visual appearance, and how these choices went through a series of searches and trials. Along the way, local issues or traditional aspects and our daily lives were the foundation. When the object/costume was given to me and the performance began (without rehearsal), because my body just met the object, I tried to

a. 4 ∑ regular steps b. Stretched arm length c. One jump d. 6 ∑ foot length + 3/4 foot length e. 8 ∑ trisik steps (type of foot movement in classical Javanese dance) f. 4 ∑ the width of my feet together Regarding the experience during production or shooting, I find that this material-based 48


work opens up a different perception. In this work, body movements depend on the material/form, which was attached to my body as a performer. The important points in the process of our discussions were used by Mella to translate them into objects, but these points also became a guide for the performers in creating motion. When the encounter of body and material (costume) occurred on the day of the video shooting, I tried to play with the material. The factors of space, material and costume give limitations to the body to move, but I tried to keep intensity with constant searching for motion. If you look back at the process of creating motion, a careful attitude with the objects as well as the tendency to play with the materials present limitations on the body to move.

that are used as a basic size for measuring the height under the house. The width of the house is based on the length between the woman’s nipples. This is intended so that the house and its occupants are physically and spiritually matched. Even though I have little experience related to the Bugis tradition since I was a child, it has really helped me in exploring collective memories during the process of creating work. The rich experience of each of these performers gave me a different sensation regarding my experience working with cross-disciplinary artists. Watching Mella work enriched my knowledge of the material (physical)-based creation process. It’s different from when theater or dance artists use their bodies as the main medium of expression, so here, I see how fabric, wood and paper materials are positioned the same way a body is allowed to run wild, play and explore. The new object/costumes reached the hands of the performers on the day of the video shooting. The playing stage for my body is a costume created by Mella in such a way that it could be folded, moved, sounded and dropped. I had very little time to ‘get acquainted’ with my costume, however, this gave ample room for “possibilities of errors and misinterpretation”. Mella placed boundaries through the costume, which created spontaneous and occasionally repetitive gestures, which lead to associations of verbal forms. This is important to me so that the layers of interpretation remain in their best position: there is no standard interpretation. I have found a new understanding of the way bodies and objects are seen as collaborating materials.  π

Abdi Karya – Length In the tradition of the people in South Sulawesi, the house is a small universe or a miniature of the macro universe. Just as nature or the world is believed to consist of three parts: Botillangi’ (Upper World), Ale Kawa (Middle World) and Peretiwi (Underworld), the house is also a representation of that nature. That’s why the house is divided into three main parts: the attic, the body of the house and under the house. The smallest universe is represented by the body. Bugis communal society (South Sulawesi) is generally agrarian and still consults a farming calendar based on seasonal or astrological phenomena. When a family decides to build a new house, the head of the family will go to the ‘house expert’ who sets the best date according to this calendar to start the related rituals. The expert will then begin to determine how to measure the height, length and width of the house using the body measurements of the owners (husband and wife). There are certain positions and body parts 49


Artist and Curator Profiles

Mella Jaarsma

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ella Jaarsma has become known for her complex costume installations and her focus on forms of cultural and racial diversity embedded within clothing, the body and food. She was born in the Netherlands in 1960 and studied visual art at Minerva Academy in Groningen (1978–1984), after which she left the Netherlands to study at the Art Institute of Jakarta (1984) and at the Indonesian Institute of the Arts in Yogyakarta (1985– 1986). She has lived and worked in Indonesia ever since. In 1988, she co-founded Cemeti Art House, now called Cemeti Institute for Art & Society with Nindityo Adipurnomo, one of the first spaces for contemporary art in Indonesia, which to this day remains an important platform for young artists and art workers in the country and region. Mella Jaarsma’s works have been presented widely in exhibitions and art events in Indonesia and abroad, including: Dunia Dalam Berita, Macan Museum, Jakarta (2019); The Setouchi Triennale, Japan (2019), the Thailand Biennale (2018); the 20th Sydney Biennale (2016); The Roving Eye, Arter, Istanbul(2014); Siasat – Jakarta Biennale, Museum of Ceramics and Fine Arts, Jakarta (2013); Suspended Histories, Museum Van Loon, Amsterdam (2013); Singapore Biennale, Singapore Art Museum (2011); GSK Contemporary – Aware: Art Fashion Identity, the Royal Academy of Arts, London(2010); RE-Addressing Identities, Katonah Museum, New York (2009); Accidentally Fashion, Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei (2007); Yokohama Triennial (2005), and many others. Her work is part of the collection of the Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, National Gallery of Australia and the Singapore Art Museum, amongst others. π

www.mellajaarsma.com 50


Vipash Purichanont

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ipash Purichanont is an independent curator and a co-founder of Waiting You Curator Lab, a curatorial collective based in Chiangmai. Purichanont received his doctoral degree in Curatorial/Knowledge from the Department of Visual Cultures, Goldsmiths, University of London. Purichanont’s practice has its roots in collaboration. Most of his theoretical work focused on notions of collectivity and community as well as caring and sharing. Although most of Purichanont’s curatorial projects are structured around Southeast Asia, his main objective is to initiate a meaningful conversation between the region and the globe. He was an assistant curator for the 1st Thailand Biennale (Krabi, 2018). Purichanont is shortlisted for the ICI Gerritt Lansing Indepdendent Vision Curatorial Award in the same year. He is currently a lecturer at the department of Art History, Faculty of Archeology, Silpakorn University, Bangkok. π

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Published in conjunction with The Size of Rice, a solo exhibition by Mella Jaarsma, curated by Vipash Purichanont. Held at A+ WORKS of ART, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 13th April to 28th August 2021.

Mella Jaarsma and A + Works of Art, would like to thank the following individuals for their support and contribution to this publication and exhibition: Siska Aprisia Phiraya Ardwichai Octo Cornelius Ari Dwianto Pebri Irawan Abdi Karya Anita Reza Zein Lee Weng Choy

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Artist Mella Jaarsma Curator Vipash Purichanont Assistant Curator Phiraya Ardwichai Editor Aminah Ibrahim

A+ WORKS of ART d6 - G - 8 d6 Trade Centre 801 Jalan Sentul 51000 Kuala Lumpur Malaysia +60 18 333 3399 info@aplusart.asia www.aplusart.asia Facebook/Instagram @aplusart.asia

Copyright © 2021 Mella Jaarsma and A+ WORKS of ART. All rights reserved. All articles and illustrations contained in this catalogue are subject to copyright law. Any use beyond the narrow limited defined by copyright law, and without the express of the publisher, is forbidden and will be prosecuted.

Graphic Design & Installation View Photo Kenta.Works A+ WORKS of ART is a contemporary art gallery based in Kuala Lumpur, with a geographic focus on Malaysia and Southeast Asia. Founded in 2017 by Joshua Lim, the gallery presents a wide range of contemporary practices, from painting to performance, drawing, sculpture, new media art, photography, video and installation. Its exhibitions have showcased diverse themes and approaches, including material experimentation and global conversations on social issues. Collaboration is key to the ethos of A+ WORKS of ART. Since its opening, the gallery has worked with artists, curators, writers, collectors, galleries and partners from within the region and beyond, and continues to look out for new collaborations. The gallery name is a play on striving for distinction but also on the idea that art is never without context and is always reaching to connect — it is always “plus” something else.


Profile for A+ WORK of ART

Mella Jaarsma: The Size of Rice  

Published in conjunction with The Size of Rice, a solo exhibition by Mella Jaarsma, curated by Vipash Purichanont. Held at A+ WORKS of ART,...

Mella Jaarsma: The Size of Rice  

Published in conjunction with The Size of Rice, a solo exhibition by Mella Jaarsma, curated by Vipash Purichanont. Held at A+ WORKS of ART,...

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