Listed by Kreavi and Zillum.com as one of 28 promising creatives under 28 in 2015, Moniaga has figured prominently in the Indonesian art scene for his group and solo exhibitions over the years. He has an audience. And, with everything that’s happened, he’s not all too worried about whom he ought to impress. This isn’t out of bravado, though, quite the opposite: he just wants to keep it real.
Each of the eight large-scale watercolor works that comprise his first online solo exhibition Confide, presented as an online slider in the Kohesi Initiatives website, chronicles a pivotal (and often unfortunate) moment in the artist’s past year. Alongside each piece are a write-up and a personal recording. Through them, the artist recounts the event that inspired the work in almost disarming candor. The formidable “GOD IS A WOMAN” is the outcome of listening to Ariana Grande; “SUPERSTITIOUS” is a visual account of a conversation among strangers in an airport discussing 2020’s portents. When listening to Moniaga speak freely about the artwork, you can’t help but want to be a friend. It’s like listening to someone enjoying a quiet reprieve before a darkening sky.
However calm his recorded anecdotes and commentary may be, hardship and misfortune stalk his artworks, and they refuse to be underplayed. Snakes lurk behind flowers in-bloom, ghouls aren’t too far behind the colossal red whale, and that might be blood staining the black swan’s neck. There’s also something indiscriminately pervy with those almost toothless moons. Jump in.
Take a second look.