April 11, 2019 Back To News

Entang Wiharso Awarded 2019 Guggenheim Fellowship

Entang with his work. Credit: Boris Kirpotin, Bernier/Eliades

Entang Wiharso, whose artwork is exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the world, has received a 2019 Guggenheim Fellowship.

The announcement was made Wednesday by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in The New York Times. In a statement, the foundation writes, “This year, after considering the recommendations of panels and juries consisting of hundreds of distinguished artists, scholars, and scientists, the Board of Trustees has granted 168 Fellowships to a diverse group of scholars, artists, and scientists. Appointed on the basis of prior achievement ad exceptional promise, the successful candidates were chosen from a group of almost 3,000 applicants in the Foundation’s ninety-fifth competition.”

Wiharso is one of 25 artists selected from the United States and Canada. Guggenheim Fellowships are awarded by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation to artists who have “demonstrated exceptional capacity for significant exhibition or performance of their work or who have productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability and a significant record of publication as writers, scholars and scientists.”

Wiharso’s work has been exhibited in prestigious exhibition including at the 55th Venice Biennale, Prague Biennale 6, Prospect.3 and the Beijing Biennale as well as in international institutions including the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; Hudson Valley Museum of Contemporary Art, Peekskill; Jeonbuk Museum, Korea; Museum MACAN, Jakarta; Singapore Tyler Print Institute, Singapore; Museum of Modern Art, Gunma; Hilger Brotkunsthalle, Vienna; Singapore Art Museum; Singapore; Galeri Nasional Indonesia, Jakarta; Musée d’art contemporain, Lyon; Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; Samstag Museum of Art, Adelaide; RISD Museum, Providence; MACRO, Rome; GAMeC, Bergamo; Hangaram Art Museum, Seoul; Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai; Mead Art Museum; Amherst, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki; Michigan State University Museum, East Lansing, Michigan, USA, The Richmond Center for Visual Arts, Western Michigan University and the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Kalamazoo; and Herbert F. Johnson Museum, Ithaca.

The Guggenheim Fellowship will help support his current project, “Temple of Hope: Tunnel of Light,” during which he will extend his previous installations of temple structures into the landscape, bring the setting and background into focus. “Landscape plays an important role in human history, impacting the creation of civilizations that mark our existence and our ability to survive. Landscape also has strong associations with home. I plan to visit areas of the Unites States with important connections to the American story, particularly places connected with narratives about expansion, conflict, morality, belonging and equality. I’m interested in the origin stories of the American character and key historical experiences that shaped Americans’ relationship with the land.”

“My Guggenheim year will allow me time outside the studio to travel and explore protected landscapes, historic sites and places changed by industry like the oil fields in Texas,” he says. “I also plan to research and visit important artworks dealing with land, light and shadow. Having grown up in Indonesia, I compare the Hindu and Buddhist temples in Java with the works of James Turrell, especially Roden Crater, and Walter De Maria’s The Lightning Field in the US. I feel that their work, man-made structures like the ancient temples, underscore our connection to the earth, de-emphasize the now and force a reckoning of our ephemeral place in the trajectory of time. Architecture changes and marks the landscape, creating and building memory and history.”

An immigrant to the US from Indonesia, Wiharso notes, “I never felt a strong emotional or cultural connection between America and Indonesia, although Indonesia adopted and learned democracy from America. It is important to me to reconcile these two places and I hope to consolidate a connection between my country of birth and my adopted home in my artwork. I’m honored to receive a Guggenheim Fellowship and appreciate the support for my work.”

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