Mandy La Lune is an Indonesian artist/curator currently residing in Lille, France. Her work focuses on identities in South East Asian contemporary art. She is currently finishing her Master's Degree in contemporary art exhibition at the University of Lille III while also working for "Artconnexion". For more of her work, check out her site.
1. What is your aspiration as an artist? Who inspires you as an artist?
My main goal is to direct the public’s attention to emerging artists. I enjoy providing the infrastructure for young artists to deliver their art.
I look towards my own reflections on social and cultural issues to inspire my works of art. Other than that, I think that I am pretty much influenced by my childhood, anecdotes of my every day life, and my daily interactions with people.
2. Tell us about your recent artwork(s).
My most recent work is called “What you see is what you get” (2016). It is based on experiments conducted using eye-tracking technology.
Several subjects sat in front of an eye-tracking device, while observing photographic work (Tri City Drive-In, 1993) by my favourite Japanese artist, Hiroshi Sugimoto.
Traces of their eye movements formed individual dots, which I then connected to each other using Photoshop in order to create geometrical shapes. This is very much inspired by our collective childhood experiences of drawing and connecting dots.
The shapes are then printed on transparent sheets of papers and combined with one another to create sophisticated abstractions. This piece was exhibited late April of this year in a gallery here. Julien Prévieux, best known as “Prix Marcel Duchamp” 2014 laureate, curated this exhibition.
3. How significant is Indonesian culture in your work as an artist?
I tend to reflect on what’s happening now. So when I refer to Indonesian culture, I talk about the transitions and tensions between the traditional and the contemporary, the old and the new.
I’m often tempted in reflecting the contradictions between the stereotype given to Indonesia by the rest of the world and the actual condition of the country; the fast-developing, somewhat westernized Indonesia.
4. Can you describe your relationship with Batik?
Batik to me is a medium of reflection regarding cultural hybridization. In a series of artworks called “Culture Hybrids”, I worked with African and Indonesian batik to express the cohabitation between history and present, authentic and banal, oriental and occidental.
Batik, introduced by Indonesians, brought the Dutch to open Batik factories in Africa during the colonial era. The products, signed “Holland wax textile”, are shipped worldwide even today.
This proves that art is a melting pot for multiple nations and races, as well as different places and time. I invented my own style of Batik to emphasize this idea. My contemporary Batik cohabits with the figurative traditional Batik pattern by painting it on top of the existing patterns on my fabric medium. This is a way for me to show that harmony can arise from differences.
5. What is your favorite thing about Indonesian culture?
I always enjoy Indonesian dance and music performances as well as religious ceremonies. I like that feeling of attending something sacred. I’ve been practicing Indonesian dances since I was young, starting with Balinese and moving on to other regions as I got older.
I realized that, much like my Batik work, it made a lot of sense for me to re-arrange traditional dances into something contemporary. I really want people to feel the same magic I feel about Indonesian performing arts in a fresh and nuanced way.
6. What is next for you?
In 2017, I plan to move to Asia in order to build more relationships, produce more exhibitions, and most of all achieve my main goal; build a structure for emerging artists residing in Asia.