Jakarta Contemporary Ceramics Biennale (JCCB) was initiated by two curators with a formal background in ceramics: Asmudjo J. Irianto (also a lecturer at FSRD-ITB) and Rifky Effendy (an independent curator). Despite being better known as curators of contemporary art, they both aspired to hold a ceramics biennale with wider and more fluid boundaries. In 2009, this idea came to fruition with the support of North Art Space, Jaya Ancol, Jakarta.
The following are some background and basis of Indonesia’s first ceramics biennale (2009):
An escalation of contemporary art activities at the time, providing space and opportunity for object-based works and sculptures using ceramics as their medium—either as their main medium or as an auxiliary element.
The emergence of new ways of thinking, understanding, and looking at the contemporary art world and ceramic art practices.
The emergence of various international ceramic art forums in Asia, especially in Taiwan and Korea.
The increasingly intensive interactions between ceramic artists, alongside the increasing ease of communication and information gathering. Consequently, there was an increased awareness for the need to contend with the art’s social (and capital) landscape, either locally, regionally, or internationally.
The great and ever-increasing diversity of ceramic art idioms that have provided potential inroads for the public to further appreciate the way ceramics have built livelihoods and fostered the development of social culture of the time.
Contemporary art, often considered as a plural art form, is a world where anything goes. It seems that the contemporary art era has opened the way for ceramic artists to enter inside it. However, this is far from the truth. In developed nations, the well-established ceramic art sphere—existing separately from the contemporary art world—seems to hinder ceramic artists from becoming part of contemporary art praxis. In addition, for ceramic artists who emphasize upon medium, technique and skill, “anything goes” is a creed that presents a paradox.
The firm presence of ceramic art as a separate sphere surely provides its own dilemma. On one hand, contemporary ceramic art must be able to accommodate ceramic art history and traditions handed down through the generations. On the other hand, contemporary ceramic artists are not detached from the influences of avant-garde contemporary art. We can certainly look upon this condition as ceramic art’s plurality, but it also demonstrates the ambivalence of ceramic art itself. Many ceramic artists have looked unfavorably upon the paradigm of contemporary art—one that is often too instantaneous and too decadent; they have no desire to become part of contemporary art. On the other hand, there is no shortage of ceramic artists wishing to become part of contemporary art production and consumption.
Unlike East Asian countries like Japan, Korea, Taiwan and China; Indonesia does not have a cutting edge ceramics tradition. As such, the cultural capital, technology and public appreciation towards ceramic art is considerably low. It is unsurprising, therefore, to witness the slow growth of ceramic art. However, this may also serve as a “blessing in disguise”. Since [Indonesian] ceramic art as not established itself as a distinctly separate sphere, Indonesian ceramic artists are able to avoid a diametric confrontation with contemporary art. Therefore, it is quite easy for Indonesian ceramic artists to become part of contemporary art. In addition, the “unestablished” infrastructure of contemporary art in Indonesia has prevented the outright exclusion of ceramic art—often considered as an art practice that is unrelated to (or, divergent from) the contemporary art paradigm.
These past few years, there are plenty of ceramic artists who have immersed themselves in the contemporary art sphere. It appears that the urge to seek alternatives to painting and new media, has opened up opportunities for ceramic artists to enter into the sphere of contemporary art production and consumption.
The most fundamental difference between a ceramic art event in other countries and in Indonesia—in this case, JCCB—is in the choice of participating artists. In Indonesia, ceramic art events often extend their invitations to ceramists and non-ceramists alike (cross-media artists). In these events, artists experiment using ceramics as their chosen creative medium. Therefore, Indonesian ceramic art events tend to expand ceramic media concepts beyond the [tradiational] boundaries of ceramic art disciplines.
1. JCCB #1
Curated by Asmudjo Jono Irianto and Rifky Effendy, with the theme of Ceramic Art: In Between, the event drew the participation of artists from South East Asia, USA, Australia, and Europe. It was held at North Art Space (NAS), also the event’s main sponsor. Works exhibited ranged from pottery, sculpture, video art, performance art, to installation art. The exhibition program also included seminars and workshops. The event garnered widespread appreciation from the public, art critics, media, and fellow artists.
2. JCCB #2
The second biennale was titled Crafting Identity. It was curated by Sudjud Dartanto, with Asmudjo Jono Irianto and Rifky Effendy serving as counsels. The biennale was organized by Museum Seni Rupa dan Keramik, with North Art Space as partner. Both institutions also hosted the exhibition at their respective venues. An international line-up of artists participated at this exhibition, with seminars and workshops rounding out the event. However, the seminars adopted a more serious tone compared to its predecessor, and the workshops were crafted to be more specific. Works exhibited here showed more diversity; they were braver and more spontaneous. There were more installation art pieces. Video and performance art works had generally become more interesting.
The success of both JCCB#1 and #2 has raised the optimism of its organizers to launch a third contemporary ceramics biennale, JCCB#3, from September to October 2014, at National Gallery of Indonesia. Inspired by a mission to continuously develop ceramic art practices in Indonesia, JCCB#3 will take a different route, involving the government—represented by KEMENPAREKRAF (The Indonesian Ministry for Tourism and Creative Economy)—as its main endorser/partner. It will also invite the active participation of various foreign cultural councils/institutions, as well as providing residency opportunities for a number of shortlisted domestic and foreign artists.
will showcase the development of the following ceramic-related practices:
The programs including :
Public Education Programs
Ceramics Craft Bazaar
The 3rd JCCB: https://jakartacontemporaryceramic.wordpress.com/jccb3/