Artists and the People

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Tisna Sanjaya and colleagues shooting episode of Si Kabayan Nyintreuk about folk hero Si Kabayan. PHOTO: Elly Kent

Artists and the People

Ideaologies of Art in Indonesia

This talk, based on Elly Kent’s recently published book of the same title (NUS Press, 2022) examines why so many artists in the world’s largest archipelagic nation choose to work directly with people in their art practices. While contemporary and historical participatory art has gained enormous attention in recent decades, this book is the first to explore this engagement in Indonesian terms, where the practice has unique historical, modernist precedents. How do formal and informal institutions, communities, and artist-run initiatives contribute to the practices and discourses behind socially engaged art in Indonesia? Elly will focus on particularly on a body of work by Tisna Sanjaya, which draws on the traditional Sundanese trance dance reak, and collaborations with reak performers to create new performances, prints and even a television show. (See TAASA Review June 2019).

Elly Kent is a visual artist, writer, translator and researcher with a strong personal and professional history in Indonesia. She is Editor of the Australian National University’s New Mandala blog on Southeast Asia. Elly was a visiting fellow in the Centre for Art History and Art Theory, College of Arts and Social Sciences, ANU, from 2019 to 2021, and a postdoctoral research fellow in the Faculty of Art and Design at the Institute of Technology Bandung from 2021 to 2022. Elly has published widely on artists and art practices in Indonesia and has also worked extensively as a translator for arts organisations in Indonesia.

Elly is an alumna of the Prime Minister’s Australia-Asia Postgraduate Award, was the 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art’s emerging artist award winner in 2012 and is a member of the advisory board of the ANU’s Indonesia Institute.

How to Book: Please email Chris Manning by 15th August to secure your place.

Registered participants will be sent the Zoom link a day or two before the lecture.

How to Pay
1. By Direct Debit (“your name KENT” as reference)
BSB: 012 003 Account Number: 2185 28414
Account Name: The Asian Arts Society of Australia

2. By credit card on this website – see booking button on top right of this page


17 August, 2022
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm AEST
Event Category: