17 Jan 2019 - 31 Mar 2019 /free
A portrait is not just a representation of a person’s likeness. It is imbued with cultural references and speaks of the milieu in which it is created. In the past, only the affluent and influential had their portraits painted; while in today’s technology-driven world, everyone has access to creating images of themselves. Self-Portrait investigates the value of a portrait in contemporary society and how this value has evolved over time.
The installation features a diversity of portraits drawn from different eras, cultures and sources. Bayuaji juxtaposes Indonesian wooden masks with images of faces appropriated from paintings by old European masters and advertisements. Pivotal to the work is the use of mirrors that capture the expressions and appearances of people passing through—a subtle hint at today’s prevalent “selfie” culture where anyone can create their own portraits. The installation presents different interpretations of portraits and attests to their power to tell stories about the human condition that transcends time, cultures and geographical borders.