Baik Art presents Carrier, a solo exhibition by Dutch-Indonesian (Yogyakarta based) artist Mella Jaarsma, whose handmade garments (“flexible housings”), drawings, and photographs explore the hairline links between the stability of tradition and the exploration of new worlds.
Carrier addresses some of the central questions that arise when one assigns cultural identity to objects such as costumes and cloaks or when one assumes authority over others by creating division between one thing and another—one style and the next. For the purpose of this exhibition, the self-personality is observed by a different delegated ‘other’ self, sometimes resembling a (refugee) tent in attendance as decision maker.
Mella Jaarsma has become known for her complex costume installations and her focus on forms of cultural and racial diversity embedded within clothing, the body and food. She was born in the Netherlands in 1960 and studied visual art at Minerva Academy in Groningen (1978-1984), after which she left the Netherlands to study at the Art Institute of Jakarta (1984) and at the Indonesian Institute of the Arts in Yogyakarta (1985-1986). She has lived and worked in Indonesia ever since. In 1988, she co-founded Cemeti Art House (with Nindityo Adipurnomo), the first space for contemporary art in Indonesia, which to this day remains an important platform for young artists and art workers in the country and region.