Independent Curators International supports the work of curators to help create stronger art communities through experimentation, collaboration, and international engagement.

Independent Curators International supports the work of curators to help create stronger art communities through experimentation, collaboration, and international engagement.

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Curatorial Intensive Indonesia 2024

Feb 26, 2024 – Mar 6, 2024

Yogyakarta and Bali, Indonesia

Indonesian Visual Art Archive, Yogyakarta
Bali Purnati Center for the Arts, Bali

ICI and in-tangible institute presented the Curatorial Intensive in Indonesia, in collaboration with the Indonesian Visual Art Archive in Yogyakarta, and the Bali Purnati Center for the Arts in Bali. Drawing from the history of independent art spaces and curatorial initiatives in the region, the program generated new thinking on how to foster a sustainable, socially responsible, and community-focused contemporary art ecosystem. It explored the ways in which artistic research can guide curatorial investment in community/site; how curatorial practice, collaboration, and intergenerational networks can form the foundation for resilient, inclusive arts infrastructures and institutions; and the role of curatorial research in attending to troubled histories and sociopolitical realities. 

In Yogyakarta, we were generously hosted by Riksa Afiaty (Curatorial Intensive alum, Auckland 2019) at the Indonesian Visual Art Archive (IVAA) and welcomed into their space for seminars and meetings among faculty and participants. During our time at IVAA, faculty member Khanyisile Mbongwa (independent curator, writer, and Sangoma) offered a generous and expansive seminar on the connections between curating and curing, a framing which would become a recurring theme in our discussions and which she continually demonstrated in her care-filled mentorship of participants and facilitation throughout the Intensive; and in Bali, Mbongwa held the line between the spiritual and institutional. In the first of numerous site visits, we learned about the political history of Yogyakarta and the mythmaking power of artistic practice with faculty member Grace Samboh (Curatorial Intensive alum, Tokyo 2013) at Griya Seni Hj. Edhi Sunarso and the Monument to the Recapture of Yogyakarta. We were also introduced to some of the many arts and culture workers in the KUNCI Study Forum & Collective, who offered insight into the tools for working and engaging together that have helped them organize collectively for over 20 years. The collective offered a look into the related group BAKUDAPAN, which focuses on food justice issues, and taught us some of the facilitation and informal learning techniques developed by the KUNCI School of Improper Education. Our time in Yogya concluded with a day trip to Sekolah Pagesangan, a “School of life” dedicated to strengthening local food systems through contextual education and community empowerment.

We then transitioned to Bali, where we spent extensive time together at the Bali Purnati Center for the Arts in deep discussion about the participants’ projects. The group reflected on the curatorial landscape and our learnings about the power of working in collaboration and across experimental formats, and considered strategies for both building resilience and enabling interruption in our work. Faculty member Zoe Butt (founder of in-tangible institute) discussed her multivalent experiences learning from artists and institutional leaders, the critical role of mentorship, and how curators can build and transform institutional structures through the exercise of strong core values. Lê Thuận Uyên (Artistic Director, The Outpost) led us in discussion from her experiences navigating the challenges of independent curatorial practice and developing experimental arts infrastructures. We also enjoyed a visit from Queer Indonesia Archive, a digital archiving project committed to the collection, preservation, and celebration of material reflecting the lives and experiences of LGBTQ+ Indonesia, and experienced the work of cross-disciplinary performing arts platform Mulawali Institute. The Intensive concluded with an open session of reflection, where each participant shared how their proposal project had changed and grown over the nine-day program.

Sarah Abdu Bushra

Sarah Abdu Bushra is an Addis Ababa-based curator of visual and performing arts exhibitions.

Ariana Chaivaranon

Ariana Chaivaranon is a Thai-born artist and curator based at in-tangible institute, Chiang Mai.

Allan Yuji de Torres

Yuji de Torres is a Filipino cultural worker and co-founder of kiat kiat projects, a nomadic curatorial initiative.

Van Do

Van Do is an independent curator and writer currently based in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Yu-Lun (Fiona) Hsu

Yu-Lun (Fiona) Hsu is an independent art worker based in Taipei, Taiwan, and a founding member of art collective 'tsit-uân.'

Diana Htwe

Thet Thet (Diana) Nway Htwe is an art historian, writer, and curator based in Myanmar.

Pychita Julinanda

Julie (they/he) is a Yogyakarta-based and partially Bali-based freelance cultural and media worker.

Vishal Kumaraswamy

Vishal Kumaraswamy is a Bangalore, India based artist-curator working across text, film, sound, performance and computational arts.

Erika Mei Chua Holum

Erika Mei Chua Holum is the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Assistant Curator at the Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston.

Sasha Shestakova

Sasha Shestakova is an interdisciplinary researcher.

Ibrahim Soetomo

Ibrahim Soetomo (he/him) is an art program manager, writer, and researcher and is currently the visual program manager at Salihara Arts Center, Jakarta.

Putu Sridiniari

Putu Sridiniari's research focuses on aesthetics and semiotics in a Balinese postcolonial context.

Mark Teh

Mark Teh is a performance maker, researcher, and occasional curator based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Dito Yuwono

Dito Yuwono is artist and curator focusing on the notion of collectivity, personal history as part of major historical narrative, and collective memory of a place.

Riksa Afiaty

Riksa Afiaty is an art worker living and working in Yogyakarta and is currently Head of Program at the Indonesian Visual Art Archive.

Zoe Butt

Zoe Butt is a curator, writer, and founder and director of in-tangible institute. She nurtures critical thinking and historically conscious artistic communities, fostering dialogue among cultures of the globalizing souths.



Khanyisile Mbongwa

Khanyisile Mbongwa is a Cape Town-based independent curator, award-winning artist, and sociologist who engages with her curatorial practice as Curing & Care. She is Curator of the 2023 Liverpool Biennial.

Renaud Proch

Renaud Proch is Independent Curators International (ICI)’s Executive & Artistic Director.

Grace Samboh

Grace Samboh (b. Jakarta) lives and works either in Yogyakarta, Jakarta, or wherever her friends are.

Lê Thuận Uyên

Lê Thuận Uyên is a curator based in Hanoi and is currently the Artistic Director of The Outpost.

The Curatorial Intensive in Indonesia was developed with in-tangible institute, and organized in collaboration with the Indonesian Visual Art Archive and the Bali Purnati Center for the Arts. Support for the program was generously provided by the Bali Purnati Center for the Arts, Friends of Yayasan Bali Purnati, Teiger Foundation, ICI's Board of Trustees, and ICI's Leadership Council. Special thanks to ICI Trustee Cindy Livingston. Additional support was provided by the Taipei Cultural Center in New York. 

About the in-tangible institute and POLLINATION​
in-tangible institute offers curatorial mentorship, educational programs, strategic advice, and industry consultation, towards the nurturing of productive, critical, and innovative relationships between curators and their various stakeholders in the arts. We work with artists, collectors, writers, teachers, researchers, business entrepreneurs and more in the interest of building a diverse interdisciplinary ecology for the arts. in-tangible institute will possess modest office, display, and residency space in Chiang Mai, Thailand, in 2024. Its programs are carried out with community and partners globally. 

This Curatorial Intensive collaborates with in-tangible institute and its ‘POLLINATION’ platform (established 2018). POLLINATION provides emerging curators and artists in South East Asia the opportunity to co-produce, collaborate, and share (or pollinate) their critical ideas and activities in the interest of building contextually responsive houses of culture. Its alumni, who are invariably leading their own institutions and initiatives across the region, have been invited as guest faculty for this Intensive. Learn more at

About the Indonesian Visual Art Archive
The Indonesian Visual Art Archive (IVAA), a nonprofit organization that focuses on serving as a central organizer of Indonesian visual art archives, was established in Yogyakarta April 2007. The IVAA evolved from the Cemeti Arts Foundation (1995–2007) and became a meeting point for artists, curators, scholars, and those engaged in the arts and humanities. In general, the IVAA collection consists of photographs, audio-visual recordings, and printed documents about artistic practices from pre-independence to the present. Printed documents include exhibition catalogs, research reports on the visual arts, newspaper clippings, artist portfolios, and textbooks. This collection can be accessed offline in the RumahIVAA library and online at

Starting from the necessity for an art infrastructure independent of governmental activities and the academic setting, IVAA then examined the platforms and information that Indonesian artists were attempting to communicate. IVAA believes that art, namely fine art, can provide insight and understanding into what is happening in the surrounding environment. Local knowledge and critical thinking need to be documented, researched, and shared. 

The IVAA recognizes the value of making the stories found in the archives accessible to the general public as one of the archival exploration initiatives. Through a variety of public activities, including archive exhibitions and interdisciplinary arts forums, history is portrayed as a fluid and friendly experience. The emergence of intimate interactions then generates new, frequently underappreciated histories.

About the Bali Purnati Center for the Arts
The Bali Purnati Center for the Arts was founded in 2000 as a nonprofit cultural foundation dedicated to supporting new multidiscplinary works of art and performance. The Center has developed over 150 projects with Indonesian and international artists and seeks to inspire and create bridges of exchange, collaboration, and understanding between people, traditions, and cultures. The Center engages in all art fields and especially in the development of ground-breaking works fusing original Asian traditions with contemporary artistic treatment.