Boedi Widjaja Commissioned for APT9 and Singapore Biennale 2019

'Black—Hut, Black—Hut' is the first project in SAM and QAGOMA's partnership
By Ian Tee

Boedi Widjaja, 'Black—Hut, Black—Hut', 2018–19, installation view at Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art. Photograph by Natasha Harth. Image courtesy of the artist.

Boedi Widjaja, 'Black—Hut, Black—Hut', 2018–19, installation view at Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art. Photograph by Natasha Harth. Image courtesy of the artist.

Boedi Widjaja has been co-commissioned by the Singapore Art Museum (SAM) and Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) to develop an artwork which will be presented at ‘The 9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art’ (APT9) in Brisbane, Australia and the Singapore Biennale 2019. Titled 'Black—Hut, Black—Hut', it is a two-part site-specific architectural and sound installation. In its APT9 iteration, the work's structure references raised flooring found in various vernacular architectures such as the old Queenslander house, the Javanese joglo and the Malay attap.

The Solo-born Singaporean artist was selected for his distinctive practice which investigates concerns regarding diaspora, hybridity, travel and isolation. "The co-commissioning of an artwork by a Southeast Asian artist — one that draws from the artist's experiences in Indonesia, Singapore and Australia – is such a meaningful first project to come out of our five-year partnership with QAGOMA," says Joyce Toh, Head of Content and Senior Curator at SAM.

Boedi Widjaja at his childhood home in Solo, Java, Indonesia, 2012. Photograph by Audrey Koh. Image courtesy of the artist.

Boedi Widjaja at his childhood home in Solo, Java, Indonesia, 2012. Photograph by Audrey Koh. Image courtesy of the artist.

Established in October 2016, the partnership was forged on common interests to promote and advance art of the region. "We see this as the start of a longer-term and sustained engagement," Toh adds. "These conversations have delved into the art, our collections and programmes, and also how we as museums address common issues of audiences, fund-raising, sustainability and constructing new buildings for contemporary art." Audiences can expect more projects to unfold over the next few years, into the opening of the new SAM.

APT9 will be presented at QAGOMA from 24 November 2018 to 28 April 2019, while the 6th edition of Singapore Biennale headed by Artistic Director Patrick D. Flores is set to take place end 2019.