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DELMAR GALLERY, SYDNEY Curator: Catherine Benz

Indonesian artist Bagus “Gonk” Prabowo was international artist-in-residence at Ashfield Council’s Thirning Villa from February to April,, 2016. Bagus studied at the Indonesian Institute of Arts in Yogyakarta, completing a Bachelor of Traditional Art & Craftsmanship. He is a founding member of Frog House art collective, based in Yogyakarta and has exhibited regularly in group and solo shows since 2002. This is his first solo exhibition in Australia.

In Javanese culture, Gunungan is a symbol for good living. When it is used in shadow puppet theatre, Gunungan represents the beginning of the story which usually starts in a peaceful place. In a ceremonial feast, the rice is arranged in a shape of Gunungan as a symbol of blessing and abundance. In a farming village, the Gunungan is filled with vegetables, fruit and crops, to represent the spirit of sharing. In this exhibition, the elements of Gunungan are expressed in many ways and juxtaposed with human hands, which always try to touch, hold and possess the universe.

One of the artworks, Four Siblings, expresses the Javancese belief that when each person is born, s/he is accompanied by four spirits: kakang kawah (amniotic fluid), adi ari-ari (placenta), darah (blood), and pusar (navel). These spirits stay with people throughout their lives, protecting and inspiring. They are a reminder of how humans belong to a cycle of life, not at the top of a pyramid. The “Gunungan” exchange installation invited visitors to take one of Bagus’s drawings on the shelves; photograph themselves with it and post it to social media with Bagus’s tag; then do a drawing expressing their ideas, feelings and experience; and finally place it in the installation where Bagus’s drawing was. At the end of the exhibition, this piece was filled with visitors’ contributions, creating a cycle of art.



Gunungan 2016 batik colour on canvas 75cm x 58cm

Little girl (Sari) 2016 soft sculpture

Eggplant 2016 soft sculpture

Woman in the Bush 2016 batik colour on canvas 75cm x 58cm

Father 2016 soft sculpture

Big Creatures 1 - 4 2016 soft sculpture

Farmer’s fate 2016 batik on canvas with soft filling 90 x 64cm

Mother 2016 soft sculpture

Tooth 2016 soft sculpture

Mangir 2015 batik on canvas 260 x 80cm

Dog 2016 soft sculpture

Human intervention 1 & 2 2016 soft sculpture

4 Siblings 2015 batik on canvas 152 x 73cm each

Sacred 2016 batik on handwoven cotton 200 x 100cm

Chilli 2016 soft sculpture

Bushes 2016 batik colour on canvas 75cm x 58cm

Complexity 2016 batik on handwoven cotton 200 x 100cm

Gunungan 2015 batik on canvas 300 x 80cm

Atmospheric 2016 batik colour on canvas 75cm x 58cm

Cut Tree 2016 soft sculpture

Woman & Rabbit 2016 batik colour on canvas 85 x 68cm

Dream 2016 soft sculpture

Bagus Gonk Prabowo: Gunungan  

Exhibition by Indonesian artist, Bagus 'Gonk' Prabowo, held at Delmar Gallery, Sydney in March 2016

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