Komaneka Fine Art Gallery is proud to present 57 x 76, a collaboration between Hanafi and Goenawan Mohamad (GM). The ‘x’ sign in the title of this exhibition not only reinforces the meaning of a meeting or dialogue, but also the fusion of the artistic visions of two figures who have long been important in the arts scene in Indonesia. When working on this project, Hanafi and GM were 57 and 76 years old, respectively.
The paintings in 57 x 76 were done with a particular procedure: Hanafi started by painting on a piece of canvas or paper, then gave it to GM to continue. Likewise, GM handed over the paper or canvas he had painted for Hanafi. Only once or twice did Hanafi and GM ‘paint together’ in one place. Most of the works in this project were finished in the artists’ respective studios, without face-to-face contact with each other. Over several months, this collaboration produced hundreds of paintings and drawings. Completion of a single sheet of paper or canvas usually took one round of work.
By opening up to each other’s responses or ‘interventions,’ both Hanafi and GM are actually uncovering the boundaries of their personal ideas. The pattern of creation in this project is not linear, because both have to work from unexpected beginnings, which they often do not fully understand or master. In the final stage, both Hanafi and GM must surrender to surprises, when the forms that each imagined in the beginning undergo a shift or expansion to become major changes.
Exhibition curator Agung Hujatnikajennong calls the collaboration of Hanafi and GM an ‘aleatoric project’ (Latin, aleator: dice thrower) in that it is based on random uncertainty or coincidence. Aleatorism, as a method of artistic collaboration, regards unpredictability as something that overcomes the determination of the subject’s consciousness and will. In this project, collaboration becomes a subversion of the artistic paradigm that places the individual at the center of creation.
This 57 x 76 project certainly would not have happened without mutual understanding between Hanafi and GM. Agung Hujatnikajennong says, “But what’s even more interesting is how this collaborative project does not dwell on long discussions, let alone debate, between the two artists. 57 x 76 more like a teaching, exploring how two artists can come up with strokes of subjective ideas and thoughts, through images, symbols and signs, and of course openness, learning from and respecting each another. The artistic hierarchy is gone. There is no longer any Hanafi and GM as individuals in these works.” Enjoying paintings in 57 x 76 may be compared to listening to a ‘counterpoint’ — the result of juxtaposing a series tones of one or more types of musical instruments presented simultaneously.
The 57 x 76 exhibition, held in collaboration with Komaneka Fine Art Gallery and Studiohanafi, is a continuation of the exhibition with the same title, which took place at the National Gallery of Indonesia, Jakarta, in 2018.