Biennale Jogja XVI Equator #6 2021: Opening Programmes

Biennale Jogja XVI

Biennale Jogja XVI proudly announces programmes for opening week, held from 5th October to 10th October 2021. We gather performances and projects from various area of Indonesian archipelago to highlight the theme of identity, locality, decentralization and decolonization that captured in the title “Roots < > Routes”.

We present Mother Bank Band (Jatiwangi/West Java), Nova Ruth (singer/Arka Kinari Project) and Asep Nayak (Electronic Musician from Papua) to perform on 6th October 2021, 7pm (Indonesia time) through our website.


Curated by Elia Nurvista & Ayos Purwoaji

The main exhibition of Biennale Jogja XVI Equator #6 entitled “Roots < > Routes” raises a lot of issues regarding the relationship between Indonesia, which is an archipelagic country and the Oceania region. This connection is not only about a long history that occurs through migration routes, traces of language and cultural mixing, numerous religious missions and colonialism, but also though its association to contemporary socio-political situations. With many movements and efforts seek to decolonize and reclaim sovereignty over both culture, living spaces and resources, there are plenty of dialogue that can be reflected, such as between the indigenous people in Indonesia and Oceania.

Through this long bond, the Main Exhibition of BJ XVI Equator #6 invited 34 artists and art collectives to present ideas that sprung from various problems and concerns both in Indonesia and Oceania: from Papua to New Caledonia, from Banda to Samoa, and the crossover of diaspora identity. As one of the highlights, we collaborate with Museum MACAN in Jakarta with support of Project Eleven to present works by Collective Udeido, one of the most progressive artist collective in Indonesia from Papua where they discuss the complexity of Papuan issue today particularly within the discourse of political stand in looking into environmental issues and their relationship with spirituality.

This exhibition will take place at the Jogja National Museum and can be accessed virtually through the website.


A Pond is the Reverse of an Island (Yogyakarta-Jakarta-Majalengka), Antoine Pecquet (New Caledonia/Nouméa), Arief Budiman (Indonesia/Yogyakarta), Badan Kajian Pertanahan (Indonesia/Majalengka), Broken Pitch x Juanga Culture (Yogyakarta-Maluku), Dapur Umum 56 (Yogyakarta), Dyah Retno (Indonesia/Yogyakarta), Edith Amituanai (Samoa/Auckland), Ersal Umammit (Indonesia/Ambon), Eunike Nugroho (Indonesia/Yogyakarta), Greg Semu (Samoa-New Zealand/Sydney), Hayden Fowler (New Zealand-Sydney/Berlin), Ika Arista (Indonesia/Sumenep), Indonesia Art Movement (Jayapura), Jumaadi (Indonesia/Sydney), Kurniadi Widodo (Indonesia-Yogyakarta), Lakoat.Kujawas (South Central Timor), Maria Madeira (Timor-Leste/Perth), Mella Jaarsma (Netherland/Yogyakarta), Meta Enjelita (Indonesia/Yogyakarta), Motoyuki Shitamichi (Japan/Naoshima), Nicolas Molé (New Caledonia/Nouméa), Raden Kukuh Hermadi (Indonesia/Gunungkidul), Radio Isolasido (Indonesia/Yogyakarta), Riar Rizaldi (Indonesia/Hong Kong), Salima Hakim (Indonesia/Tangerang), Shivanjani Lal (Fiji-Australia/London), Simão Cardoso Pereira (Timor-Leste/Dili), Sriwati Masmundari (Indonesia/Gresik), Tohjaya Tono (Indonesia/Bangkalan), Udeido Collective (Jayapura), Vembri Waluyas (Indonesia/Jayapura), YB Mangunwijaya (Indonesia/Yogyakarta), Yudai Kamisato (Japan/Tokyo).


Docking Program is a series of connected programs conducted in Jayapura, Ambon, Kupang and Maumere. Each program is jointly-produced with the institution or art collective in each city. Each program designed to be directly linked to the major theme of the Biennale Jogja XVI Equator #6 which generally discusses the maritime culture and various socio-cultural narratives that link eastern parts of Indonesia and the Oceania region. The execution of this Docking Program is also an attempt to decentralize the format Biennale Jogja, which so far has only focused on venue in Yogyakarta.


Biennale Jogja’s equator series has been in its tenth year with the aim of contributing to the art discourse in the southern hemisphere and looking at how countries on the equator have specific history and culture, which then make up a part of the world’s heritage. In addition to presenting visually-engineered archives and documents, the exhibition gives emphasis on the speculative method of reading history, bearing in mind that there is direct connection between the past and the future. Curators invited a number of artists with different backgrounds to create artworks related to a broad spectrum of the exhibition theme, including examination of maps and of speech scripts, imagination on borders and migration, or a fictitious world in virtual realm. By employing the idea of playground, we would like to see this exhibition as a platform to demonstrate the mimicry and simulation of power contestation in the world today—between the north and the south, the local and the global, the traditional and the modern—in a joyous and lively atmosphere, which is also the typical characteristic and vibe of the southern communities.

This program is supported by International Relief Fund for Organizations in Culture and Education 2021 by German Federal Foreign Office, The Goethe Institute and other partners: www.goethe.de/relieffund



One of the country pavilions in Biennale Jogja XVI Equator #6 is the Korea–ASEAN Pavillion organized by curators Alia Swastika (Indonesia) and Jongeun Lim (South Korea). This booth exhibition specifically focuses on the relationship between the women’s movement, art, and women’s knowledge/experience. Seven artists from South Korea and Southeast Asian countries took part in the discussion platform to talk about their experiences related to landscapes, trauma, violence, etc. The artists involved were Agnes Christina (Indonesia), Ampannee Satoh (Thailand), Chang Jia (South Korea), Etza Meisyara (Indonesia), Fitri DK (Indonesia), Siren Eun Young Jung (South Korea), and Sao Sreymao (Cambodia).

This program is fully supported by KONNECT – ASEAN, an ASEAN Foundation arts and culture programme, supported by ASEAN Korean Cooperation Fund (AKCF).


“Pan-Austro-Nesian” embodies broader perspectives and possibilities of the past Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts’ focus on indigenous culture. It departs from solely focusing on Austronesian cultures and also challenges the public to become more flexible in interpreting the world from perspectives other than the dominant western narrative. What we care about is how contemporary ideas may mingle and intersect with memories, beliefs and traditions of the local land, including the use of ocean as a metaphor to create linkages and foster communications. Taking a southern perspective that reflects upon linearity and centralization, we attempt to build new paradigms that are no longer dominated by modern consumption and industrial civilization. Meanwhile, we pay close attention to the encounters, contacts and conflicts of different scenarios and possibilities, as well as the exchanges of pluralistic cultures. The Bilik Taiwan present the works of Rahic Talif, ChihChung Chang, and C&G Art Group (Chieh-Sen Chiu & Margot Gullemot).

Bilik Taiwan is a joint program with The National Culture and Art Foundation, Taiwan and Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Art.


The Viral Session is a public discussion forum organized as an introductory event to the Biennale Forum program. Parallel to the Biennale Forum, the Viral Session also brings together artists, curators, researchers, practitioners and academics. This discussion will be presented online. The discourses discussed including general issues as well as specific issues related to the Oceania narrative.

Jogja National Museum
8, 9, 10 October 2021

Biennale Forum is a platform that brings together artists, curators, researchers, practitioners, and academics to share their experiences to the public or with other experts from various disciplines. This program will be conducted both offline and online to reach as wide of audiences as possible.

The Biennale Forum aims to carry the discourse of artists through art and it is expandable to be discussed in different lights and possibilities. Some of the highlighted themes of this series of discussions including the inheritance of local knowledge in literature and music culture, curatorial practices and cultural archiving that was developed from local knowledge and decolonization perspectives, along with the problem of representation of indigenous peoples in art discourse and their urgency from a regional aspect. We invited Aaron Seto, Mella Jaarsma (artists), Badan Kajian Pertanahan, Greg Dvorak, and many others.

The Biennale Forum helds in partnership with Goethe Institute Indonesien.