Kencut's "Guardian Galaxy" @ GR Gallery for Context Art, Miami
Putu Adi Suanjaya, also known as "Kencut," is an up-and-coming artist with a blended style of modern and traditional art. Born in Bali and based in Yogyakarta, Kencut is known for his button-eyed figures and humanoid-shaped dolls who are portrayed to have human-like behaviors. Although the actions of these figures can be seen clearly, their motives are deeply hidden in their emotionless button eyes.
Titled Guardian Galaxy, this presentation with GR Gallery at Context Art Miami will showcase a series of paintings, never revealed before, focused on the exploration from different perspectives of the figure of an unconventional superhero. This new body of works includes five round canvases, 60 inches in diameter, and four slightly smaller rectangular canvases. The artist in his childhood, like most kids, has always wondered if he could have become a superhero and fly up into the sky through the clouds while wearing an old blanket as a cloak. But then was suddenly discouraged because the traditional characters are depicted as athletic, powerful, and dashing men. He didn't have the stocky, strong manly body seen every day on television. Another frustrating issue was that commonly all the aliens that were landing from other planets looked like monsters, were treated like enemies, and needed to be exterminated. These facts were raising further questions about aliens being evil or not, life outside our world, and if other planets had superheroes too.
These multi-generational childhood fantasies could appear shabby but can lift extremely sensitive and contemporary issues as long as to generate a strong interest from a very variegated audience, boosting from Kawaii art lovers to sci-fi movies, comic and video game aficionados to figures collectors and rising diversified social, gender and psychological interpretations. This pushed Suanjaya to bring his childhood reveries into this new series. He fantasizes about superheroes not following any predetermined physical or gender stereotype, not only existing in the human world, but in other parts of the universe, and about aliens being friendly, graceful, and inclusive, not scary or belligerent. Kencut created his own planet inhabited by individuals who have radar-shaped ears, used for communicating with each other, as well as connecting with living forms on other planets and in between galaxies.
In the Connection Series, he describes how they can walk in the air, swarm with each other accept everyone's diversity, free from any discrimination, like an advanced social community. The ‘Guardian Galaxy’ is the paladin of this progressive society and the cloak, a symbol significant to the artist as a childhood memory and previously explored in other series, defines the character's stature. With the existence of the superhero, there is also his counterpart, the enemy, traditional and contemporary, with Africa at its forefront. depicted in the painting ‘The Villain’ without dreadful appearances or monstrous features, defeated by ‘The Captain’, with the help of his friends, who, after the strenuous battle, like every regular being, is tired and need to • will chill a relax, together with the companions he just saved, in the artwork ‘The Break’.
Visit GR Gallery and Kencut's work at Booth A30 at Context Art Miami.