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When the world of humanity and divinity meet, expect powerful things to happen in our contemporary society and be inspired.

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Nothing is as good as being in a state of balance and being truly connected to our inner creativity. While our daily life is invaded by technological democracy which leaves almost no distance in personal relationships, we still have the urge to maintain our ‘vertical’ connections which embrace the spiritual dimension, creativity, and depth of life. Therefore, Vertical Horizon, as the core theme of the sixth Indonesian Contemporary Art & Design (ICAD) last year, intended to be the metaphor for people to dig deep and find the meeting room between those two worlds to reflect issues happened in contemporary society.

“Vertical Horizon is our reality in life nowadays. It can not be separated, where the two lines will eventually meet, whether it’s in the form of visual or philosophical,” stated the ICAD 2015 curator, Hafiz Rancajale. He also said that these intervention of the art and design works, creeped through the hotel walls without changing the hotel rooms into the exhibit hall or gallery. Not only did it bring the different vibe to the hotel, these creative endevours and the messages behind them also tried to infiltrate subtly into the hotel visitors’ daily lives.

Held in grandkemang hotel Jakarta, ‘Vertical Horizon’ became the creative collaborations between 30 chosen interdisciplinary artists coming from different eras that continuosly inspired everyone. Look for Hotline Service by The Secret Agent, Indra Ameng and Keke Tumbuan. The artist duo provides a set of vintage telephone devices in the grandkemang hotel lobby as a hotline service for those who want to call the room which is on the top of floor of the hotel. If you’re lucky enough, someone will answer the call directly. “But if not, please leave a message after the tone,” said the instruction.

Another interesting piece came from Marishka Soekarna, pairs of legs dangling from the ceiling, using only black undies. Following them up to the second floor, there were the other half of the bodies in the form of long-haired life-sized dolls in black bras, with their hands also dangling to the floor. Marishka’s work, I Need A Room With A View of My Room, was a reflection on the social relations of an antisocial person. The artist’s observation on people’s fear of the mediocrity labeling came from the perspective of a familiar space that brings the comfort zone which created the reluctance to step up.

What made ICAD 2015 special was the presence of Queen of Denmark, Margrethe II as part of ICAD’s cooperation with the country and the debut of Creative Economy Agency head, Triawan Munaf, who is also a former musician as the contributing artist. He horizontally and vertically arranged two piano keyboards and created an interactive artwork called Vi.Cis.Si.Tude. While the rattan products, made by 14 Danish emerging artists during their recidency in Cirebon, West Java, was also beautifully arranged and exhibited.

Although these 30 artists created their artworks in various mediums, such as paintings, sculptures, ceramics, mural, photography, multimedia arts, architecture, and fashion, there was a similar pattern in their creative process, using site-specific approach elaborated with ideas of spirituality. The result is not only the audience were invited to set their knowledge of the reality and the imaginary, but also use it as a personal reflection.

Photo by Stephanie Mamonto


Stephanie Mamonto
Stephanie Mamonto
Stephanie Mamonto is a Writer, Content Strategist, and Translator with a multidisciplinary collaborative approach to writing. She began her career as a print journalist and has been writing profiles and features for over 15 years, exploring people—their ways of life and connections within themselves.