Mind Set Art Center is honoured to collaborate with Indonesian artist Albert Yonathan Setyawan and present “Speaking in Tongues”, his first ever solo-exhibition in Taiwan. The show is scheduled to run from June 4 to July 14, 2022. The artist will attend the opening on the afternoon of June 4. We extend a warm invitation to you to join us and discover the profound reflection behind his latest works.
The ephemerality and strength of clay and the infinite realms derived from the repeated kneading of the material are what compel Albert Yonathan Setyawan to devote himself to his art. Born in 1983 in Bandung, Indonesia, Albert Yonathan Setyawan graduated from the Bandung Institute of Technology in 2012 with a Master of Fine Arts. He subsequently moved to Japan and enrolled in the doctoral studies of ceramics at the Kyoto Seika University. In 2013, Setyawan was one of five Indonesian artists who represented their country in the 55th Venice Biennale. At the event, he presented “Cosmic Labyrinth: the Silent Path”, a floor installation that consisted of 1200 ceramics stupas. Setyawan often experimented with large-scale arrangements of ceramic sculptures, the making of which requires the artist to repeatedly shape and fire ceramics. It is during such laborious process that he steadily observed the gradual transformation and hardening of clay, which mirrors humans’ own constant transformation. By displaying large, expansive arrangements of ceramic sculptures, Setyawan leads our thoughts into a spiritual realm beyond the physical space, where we can reflect on and explore the depth and significance of life.
Speaking in Tongues is the artist’s latest collection of artworks, on which he had been working for the last 2 years. Despite the title’s biblical origin, the artist does not intend to add any religious connotation to his project. He borrows the expression only to highlight the fact that one’s spoken language needs to be unpacked and decoded for another person to understand. Setyawan’s artistic practices involve ceramics making, drawing and performance, which come to fruition in the forms of icons, symbols, images, myths, legends, truths and half-truths. The complex nature of his work means it begs to be interpreted and deciphered. He once said, “I could explain the origin of the symbols I used in each work, or specify a certain form I adopted and point to the origin of my inspiration, however words always fail to convey the entirety of my thoughts and sensation of the work. For me the experiential aspect of making the work, the monotonous act of making, moulding and firing do not just complete the meaning of the work but forms an integral part of the core of the art.” The artist has often felt the inadequacy of language when it comes to explaining the meaning of his work. Thus, he uses a religious expression as the show’s title as both a metaphor for its intricacy and as a joke. The layered and nuanced aura is reflective of his art, which can only be fully experienced in person.