Meaning ‘collaborate’ in Indonesian, Kerjasama was a three-year creative exchange initiated by Asialink Arts, and delivered in partnership with Artback NT, Alice Springs and Cemeti – Institute for Art and Society, Indonesia.
Open to Australian Aboriginal and Indonesian artists interested in exploring an international residency opportunity, the initiative also responded to sustained interest from artists in experiencing the Australian desert and Indigenous cultures.
Working in partnership with Cemeti – Institute for Art and Society, and Artback NT, Asialink Art's role was as a catalyst and a connector, initiating and managing the exchange, while our host collaborators connected the artists within their respective communities.
Over the three years of the project between 2014 and 2016 residencies were awarded to Reko Rennie (AU) + Akiq AW (IN), Karla Dickens (AU) + Doni Maulistya (IN) and Tony Albert(AU) + Timoteus Anggawan Kusno (IN).
Residencies often have a ripple effect, initial connections, research and creative developments evolve and expand exponentially and Kerjasama was no exception. Karla Dickens has visited Indonesia since her residency and has another trip planned. Timoteus Anggawan Kusno and Tony Albert presented a joint exhibition in Singapore based on work created during their residency, and Reko Rennie has an international exhibition in development with an artist he collaborated with in Indonesia.
Since the Kerjasama exchange the artists have continued to build their careers in extraordinary ways, working within both a local and specific context while achieving national and international success. All three Aboriginal Australian artists were included in the 3rd National Indigenous Art Triennial ‘Defying Empire’ in 2017 at the National Gallery of Australia
Indonesian artist Akiq Aw’s 2014 Kerjasama residency in Alice Springs culminated with an exhibition called ‘Border’ at Northern Territory’s Watch This Space gallery. In a subsequent solo show ‘Border 2’, Akiq AW extended his survey of everyday borders to his hometown of Yogyakarta, Indonesia, using the same approaches as he did in Alice Springs. Timoteus Anggawan Kusno and Tony Albert continued their collaboration, exhibiting together at Sydney Contemporary in September 2017.
These six extraordinary Indonesian and Australian Aboriginal artists took inspiration from immersing themselves in new cultural contexts. They formed influential collaborative relationships that have extended well beyond the three-year Asialink Arts Kerjasama Creative Exchange (2014-2016).