Not only signaling the end of the Equator Biennale Jogja Series that’s been going on for almost 10 years the Closing Ceremony on Saturday evening (13/11) was also an awarding night for Lifetime Achievement Award (LAA) Biennale Jogja XVI Equator #6 2021, given to two dedicated artists.
They are Nunung WS (Wahid Sahab), a female Indonesian abstract artist, and Hermanu, the head and curator of Bentara Budaya Yogyakarta.
The award was given on the main stage at Jogja National Museum (JNM). The drizzle during the event did little to diminish the solemn atmosphere for the visitors.
The greeting speech was given by Ali Swastika, the Director of Biennale Yogyakarta Foundation (YVY). Alia explained the history of LAA and its recipients through the years. “Traditionally, the award has started since the 8th Biennale Jogja in 2005.”
Next, Alia explained the criteria used as the reference for the awarded artists.
“These two were chosen from several names proposed by the Board of Trustees and Supervisors of Biennale Yogyakarta Foundation, by considering their dedication, loyalty, integrity, and art practice contribution for the forming of art ecosystem in Indonesia, and even more so in Yogyakarta,” said Alia.
After the introduction from Biennale Yogyakarta Foundation Director, Nunung and Hermanu climbed the stage. They were each given flowers as a sign of respect from Alia Swastika, a charter from Diah Laksmi as the head of the Culture Office of Yogyakarta, and the plaque or souvenir from the Kolektif Udeido to the LAA awardees.
Each of the two artists then expressed their feelings after receiving the fruits of their dedication as a closing statement.
“Thank you for the Biennale Jogja 2021 Committee. The award I received is a driving force and a whip for me to keep on creating art. And thank you also to my teacher, Nashar, who guided me to understand how to be a true artist. And also to my family, my husband, Selebar M. Soekarman, my son Seno Ahmad, and to my friends who have always supported me and cheered me on,” Nunung said.
Next, after a greeting, Hermanu also expressed his feeling. “Thank you to Biennale Jogja who have given this lifetime award and achievement. I have managed Bentara Budaya Yogyakarta for 40 years, and until now work as a curator there. There are many ups and lows throughout my journey and for that, I express my gratitude to the artists who have worked alongside me these 4 decades, and to the loyal visitors who kept track of our activities. Bentara Budaya means nothing without its visitors and its artists.”