This is the first in a new series of exhibitions working with contemporary artists to help re-define our understanding of the diverse communities that now call the Northern Beaches home. Indonesian born artist Jumaadi, recently moved his Sydney studio to Brookvale, the industrial, and increasingly cultural, heartland of the Northern Beaches.
Jumaadi works fluidly across a range of mediums, including painting, drawing, performance and installation. His practice is informed by personal experience as well as the political and aesthetic lineages of his homeland, including wayang kulit, a tradition of shadow-puppet plays that originated in Java and Bali. With a poetic sensibility and subtle symbolism, Jumaadi weaves together a personal iconography of human and organic motifs to explore universal themes such as love, conflict and belonging. Storytelling is intrinsic to his personal history and psyche.
This new project for MAG&M is conceived in three parts. The first is a selection of paintings exploring the theme of immigration through the symbol of the boat, which is a carrier of dreams, people, diseases, flora and fauna. Dee Why is home to Indonesian and Pacific Island communities that sustain seafaring traditions, as well as large Tibetan and Chinese communities whose cultures will inform this project.
The second part is formed by a series of watercolour drawings, created in his Brookvale studio, looking at the idea of the migration of flora to the region, brought by immigrants to their new country. The symbol of the plant acts as a metaphor for the diversity within plant and human communities, their dependence on each other for survival, and the journeying of people and culture. Plants live in communities, just like people. Creating a special body of narrative work around the Asian and Muslim history of the Northern Beaches is compelling and is an important story to share.
The third section of the exhibition will be focussed on community engagement – an installation and participation space. Using Jumaadi’s fig-like ‘tree of life’ as the framework, the audience will be invited to create and add their own stories to the tree by way of a unique cut-out.
Jumaadi was born in Sidoarjo, East Java, Indonesia in 1973. He now lives and works between Sydney and Imogiri, Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Jumaadi moved from East Java to Sydney in 1997 to study at the National Art School. He graduated in 2000 with a Bachelor of Fine Art, and then in 2008 with a Master of Fine Art. Before immigrating to Australia, from 1994 - 1995, Jumaadi was an Art Educator at the PPLH Environmental Education Centre in Seloliman, East Java.
Jumaadi has had 35 solo exhibitions since 1999, including a survey exhibition Staging Love at Maitland Regional Art Gallery in Dec 2018 and My Love is an Island far away at Mosman Art Gallery in Dec 2019.