Rob Pearce Statement about His Exhibition


The inspiration and the artistic practice of the work owe almost everything to the streets of Jakarta. Elements of enlightenment came from years exploring the underpasses and below the bridges, rumbling, noisy places filled with clouds of exhaust fumes.


A place where advertising posters proliferated, layers upon layers would build up before being ripped away by the competition who would then start the same process to be met with the same result. The city council would occasionally drive by and sporadically attempt to clean by dabbing paint slothfully across, saving bits of money by substituting thinned cement. Random pockets of insight arose, humor and beauty could appear. And these were photographed. Here were my initial teachers and this the classroom.


My parents died within a couple of weeks of one another, as if they couldn’t be parted. The truth being that they had divorced for 40 years and lived in different countries. After returning to Jakarta I retreated to my garden to make a place to say a proper goodbye. On the walls of my garden I started to work, bringing with me the first fundamentals of my art. Paper in layers and the beauty of decay.


During the next 1,000 days, with offerings, burnings and long silent vigils but now with a blade I began to cut into and through the layers, carving out their silhouettes. Soon the leaves and plants began to appear, and then to predominate as the 1,000 days passed. 38 pictures later I had the basis of a craft. Layers of paper and a blade. My homage to nature, love, fortune and Jakarta’s wonderful chaos.


Taken from the walls of a garden in Cipayung, the skills learned during this time are those you see before you. You need to come close to read the stories below; and perhaps feel with your fingertips those lessons learned.–


Rob Pearce


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