Exploring the theme of Nusantara and Pacificscape, Biennale Jogja Equator Series will largely focus on practices to investigate how contemporary art and culture are intertwined with the local art in the region. In many literature, local art is often referred to as indigenous art. Recently, some Pacific countries even have developed cultural strategies which give top priority to the local art. In New Zealand, it has been a major concern to make Maori culture into the canon and include it in their art ecosystem development. In Australia, these indigenous people are then called the First Nation, whose culture is therefore called the First Nation Culture. Contemporary art museums in both countries have provided a better disposition for the indigenous people’s art practices, which are now no longer constrained as merely part of the domain of archaeology or anthropology.

However, following the development of the discourse, the terms ‘indigenous’ or ‘non-indigenous’ should be re-examined and redefined because they are closely related to the power relation which has been socio-historically shifting in a long period of time. Biennale Jogja will largely focus on how local art can always be so dynamic and open that it can last and adapt to new situations or coexist with and embrace the incoming new cultures.

While the journey of Biennale Jogja is not solely aimed at securing a position as the antithesis of Western art history and knowledge, it has been an attempt to open up and gather ideas, practices, and projections of local art so as to establish a counterbalance. This is an important thing to pursue because the West-based knowledge system (particularly the one which is the product of colonialism) has been hegemonic for centuries.

Biennale Jogja Equator 2021 will reveal a variety of Nusantara cultures as well as to connect them to those of other regions along the equator and Pacific.