By Fay Ryan, Digital Content Manager

30 May 2017 - 23:17

Water-Connections showcase booklet at FACT Liverpool

As the final preparations are under way for the Water-Connections showcase at FACT Liverpool this evening, curator Irma Chantilly reflects on her time in Liverpool as part of a six-week residency with Indonesian artists.

"Indonesia and the UK; our histories are profoundly shaped by water; by our rivers and the sea. But how we approach water and how we live alongside our rivers and ocean is very different. We were impressed by how formal and organised the relationship with water is in the UK, quite unlike our everyday experience in a tropical country where water probably only come to mind when it floods. The pieces in this exhibition are all ‘works in progress’ which symbolise each artist’s response to the multitude of stories and interesting facts that they have encountered in Liverpool.

There are two main ideas around water that this exhibition wants to bring to surface. The first idea invites the audience to trace hundreds of years of human achievement in learning about and understanding rivers and the sea. By doing so, we are developing instruments to control and manage water to bring safety, security and wealth. Sometimes that wealth has been drained from the many and shared by the few, making control of water a source of inequality. You can see all this floating around in the works of Bombo and Ndaru + Jack Lowe. 

The second idea is to reflect how people’s relationships with water, rivers, and ocean are very dependent from the social, political and cultural circumstances in which they live. The works by Tanti and Andreas are especially relevant for us because they offer us a way to re-imagine these differences and how we might want to change our approaches, and show that learning about our differences can actually be invigorating and fun!"

What is the relationship between art and technology for our Indonesian artists in residency?

The relationship between art and technology has also been key to the development of this work-in-progress exhibition, with all of the artists using technology as a way to engage their audiences both in Indonesia and the UK.

The artists express their views around this relationship below.

Image of Tanti
Tanti: In Indonesia I work closely with the young generations, so that’s a methodology that I want to duplicate here. What we create now - in digital or technology - is going to become second nature for the young people of today, just like us when we grab a toothbrush, for example. So we need to empathise more with them.
Image of the artists bombo
Bombo: We've decided to start using more analogue stuff like overhead projectors. Most of our current projects are about how we live inside our cities, identifying problems and responding through our art.
Image of the artist Andreas
Andreas: I’m always working with technology in a practical way. I want to show that technology shouldn’t only be seen as digital technology - it can be simple. At home, people always say technology is too far removed so we need to think about it in a simple way. Three words to describe my art? Chaos, low-tech and raw!
Image of artist Ndaru
Jack and Ndaru: Our work is people focused. We've been looking at how to explore the stories of the people from Liverpool through different types of technology. Ndaru’s background is online, hacking into different ways of seeing information. I’ve been bringing visual video aspects. We've put together a collection of stories accompanied by a CymaScope - an instrument used to visualise sound.

If I could only keep one piece of technology? Printing, definitely. Books are the start of all of this; without books we cannot exchange knowledge. Ndaru.

Water-Connections will exhibit at FACT Liverpool till 12 June 2017. The works will then be developed further upon their return to Indonesia and will be exhibited as a part of the upcoming UK/ID Festival 2017 in Jakarta, Indonesia.