ISA Art & Design announces its new solo exhibition with Balinese artist Sinta Tantra, opening on 6 August 2022 and on view through 30 September 2022 at ISA Art & Design Gallery in Wisma 46, Jakarta. Sinta Tantra is a Balinese artist based in the UK and Indonesia. She is known for her fascination with color and composition and her expressions through colorful abstract paintings and site-specific murals. Her highly regarded works include murals and installations in the public realm from Hong Kong to Liverpool, including the most notable, a 300-meter-long painted bridge in Canary Wharf, London, commissioned for the 2012 Olympics. She has recently also engaged in public art projects with the completion of Poins Square Mall and Apartment in South Jakarta.

For her balanced compositions, Tantra’s work has drawn on art movements such as Bauhaus, Art Deco, Abstract Expressionism, and Modernism. Meanwhile, for her style, she is pretty much influenced by Nyoman Lempad and the prolific two- and three-dimensional lines of Sol LeWitt. Tantra’s solo exhibition illustrates her stories and family histories, which she describes as “constellations.”

After meticulous research for over two years throughout the pandemic, the exhibition draws inspiration from silhouettes of tropical foliage floating against a backdrop of abstract geometric forms and linen. Here we see Tantra has breathed the influences from European painters such as Henri Matisse and Jean Arp layered together with the symbolic forms of Balinese artist Nyoman Lempad.

To get the inspiration, Tantra asked her parents to tell her about their family histories and memories, resulting in a beautiful painting collection that talks of past, present, and future as well as family connections or “constellations” between mother-father-daughter and grandfather-cousin-granddaughter. These paintings explore the sense of being and belonging, the fluidity of migration, identity, and the shift from human to the global, merging the colonial past with the present to form new dialogues and ways of relooking and reconnecting. The series explores Tantra’s past within past family constellations to create new constellations of history, emotions, experiences, shapes, colors, and materials.

“I want to connect with people on a level that transcends words and cultures. I have a vocabulary of shapes and colors that I can arrange and de-arrange and a self-constructed set of rules that I can adhere to or, at times, break,” said Tantra. “I’m interested in creating a kind of tension for the viewer in the compositions and combinations, a place where they can find their narrative, where I can find my narrative.”

Tantra creates her paintings with tempera paint on portrait linen, working with organic materials and minerals, which she describes as ‘living and breathing.’ She recently experimented with gold, applying gold leaves to her paintings. While the visual compositions for most of her paintings are the product of digital creativity, the works are executed by hand in the studio through meticulous preparation.

The Constellations of Being exhibition is curated by Sadiah Boonstra and brought to life with the help of Sound Artist Sound Thibaut Vandamme and Studio Assistant Puti Azalia Ichsan.

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