Modernist Networks: Take 1

by JB2021 ESOK Curatorial Team

Modernist Networks seeks to engage in conversations that trace the multiple genealogies of ideas and visualities in the development of modernism and modern art in Indonesia. Following the movement of thoughts about modern art that circulated amongst intellectuals and artists during the colonial and subsequent decolonization periods in and out of Indonesia, this panel articulates the processes of double translations of the ideas and categories of the modern. Key to this discussion is an awareness to challenge the enduring legacy of colonial scholarship on Indonesian (modern and contemporary) art through rethinking and repositioning established figures and prominent ideologies in Indonesia and Southeast Asia’s art historical discourse; expanding existing debates on modern art in Indonesia during the periods of occupation and emancipation struggles; and addressing the absence of Islam and religiosity in art historical narratives of Indonesian modernism. 

Through the generosity of the Jakarta Biennale 2021 ESOK team, this talk is a precursor to a symposium and an exhibition titled ‘Modernist Networks: Art, Decolonization, and Early Cold War in Indonesia’, initiated by Anissa Rahadiningtyas and Kerstin Winking. This collaborative project will bring together scholars, artists, and researchers and will unfold in public conversations and a traveling exhibition focusing on the overlooked engagements of Indonesian artists and intellectuals with transnational discourses of modernism.



Anissa Rahadiningtyas is an art historian and curator of modern and contemporary art in Indonesia and Islamic Southeast Asia. She received her Ph.D. from the History of Art and Visual Studies Department at Cornell University in 2021. She was a 2019 fellow at Cornell Digital Collections in Arts and Sciences and has held the position of a graduate Curatorial Assistant of Asian Art at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum (2020-2021). At Cornell, she was an instructor of record for a course about traveling objects and images in Islam. She has also worked as an independent curator since 2008 in Indonesia. Her interests include postcolonial theory, Indian Ocean studies, comparative modernisms, and Islamic studies. Anissa accepted a position of Assistant Curator of Islamic Aesthetics of Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Art at the National Gallery of Singapore in 2021.

Antariksa is an independent historian and artist. In 1999 he co-founded KUNCI Study Forum & Collective, a collective focusing on experiments with methods in producing and sharing knowledge through the acts of studying together at the intersections between affective, manual and intellectual labor. His main research interest is art history and mobility of ideas in 1930s-1940s Japanese-occupied Asia.

Kerstin Winking is a PhD candidate at the Institute for History at Leiden University. Her PhD research explores the intersections between modern art and politics in a non-aligned inflection. She examines the transnational art and knowledge networks with which Indonesian artists were in touch between circa 1920-1970, specifically their historical connections with modernisms in India, and the geopolitical frameworks in which ideas about modern art were exchanged. Her research extends to the discourse on Asianism and the practice of social art history. In the past Kerstin has worked with institutions such as the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum on projects addressing the theme of decolonization through art and curating. In 2019, she was a curatorial fellow at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College.

Sally Texania is an independent curator based in Jakarta, Indonesia. Her research interests include public art collection development and art & cultural diplomacy. She earned her bachelor’s from the faculty of Art and Design at the Bandung Institute of Technology (2009) and her master from the faculty of International Relations at University of Indonesia (2012). Previous experiences includes non-profit institutions, commercial galleries, private museum such as selasar sunaryo artspace and ciputra artpreneur museum. She was selected as a member of CuratorsLAB – Goethe Institut (2015-2017) and International Research Fellow of Museum of Modern and Contemporary art of Korea (MMCA), Seoul (2018). Her curatorial works includes: the collection exhibition of Ciputra Artpreneur Museum (2014-2016), Senandung Ibu Pertiwi, Art Collection of Presidential Palace of Indonesia (National Gallery of Indonesia, 2017), Mutual Unknown (National Gallery of Indonesia, 2017), and the new narrative of Museum of Fine Art and Ceramics Jakarta “Seni Rupa Indonesia, Kota dan Perubahannya” (2019).


Image used in our publications for this event is courtesy of Haryadi Suadi.

This monthly event is supported by Plus Jakarta, Enjoy Jakarta, the Ministry of Education and Culture, SAM Fund For Art And Ecology, and jointly held with Jakarta Arts Council.


JB2021 ESOK Monthly Event is a platform run by the curatorial team as a way to expand and share ideas, thoughts, and the process of working towards making JB2021 ESOK happen. Stay up to date on our upcoming event through our social media channels on Instagram and Facebook.