Inaugural Artist-in-Residence: Arahmaiani

May 3 – May 16, 2022 in Charleston, SC.

One of Indonesia’s most seminal and respected contemporary artists, Arahmaiani inaugurates FSA’s Artist-in-Residence program this May, aimed at bringing artists, performers, and writers from around the world to the Holy City for creative residencies and community collaborations.

During her residency, Arahmaiani will be engaging Charleston and its communities through several gatherings and public performances. For details about her world-renowned “Flags Projects” performance on the streets of Charleston and houses of worship as part of the Spirited Brunch on Sunday, May 15th, please click here.

“Shadow of the Past”

A new iteration of Arahmaini’s “Shadows of the Past” performance project will be organized and produced by Foundation for Spirituality and the Arts. Previously performed in Europe, Indonesia, and Tibet, the original performance as pictured in the image grid below showcases Arahmaiani dressed in Buddhist attire and covered with mud, evoking the long buried Buddha statues of ancient Javanese temples. She is seen walking through the empty buildings of an abandoned Javanese town once inhabited by ethnic Chinese Indonesians, stopping to meditate in various key locations, including an empty Buddhist temple, the remnant of the spiritual life of the former inhabitants.

A new iteration of Arahmaini’s “Shadows of the Past” performance project will be organized and produced by Foundation for Spirituality and the Arts. Previously performed in Europe, Indonesia, and Tibet,  the original performance as pictured in the image grid below showcases Arahmaiani dressed in Buddhist attire and covered with mud, evoking the long buried Buddha statues of ancient Javanese temples. She is seen walking through the empty buildings of an abandoned Javanese town once inhabited by ethnic Chinese Indonesians, stopping to meditate in various key locations, including an empty Buddhist temple, the remnant of the spiritual life of the former inhabitants. 

The 2022 iteration of “The Shadow of the Past” will be taking place throughout the streets of Charleston with Arahmaiani quietly walking, meditating, blessing, and paying homage to various Charleston sacred sites, as well as historical and cultural monuments.

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About the Artist

Arahmaiani has been internationally recognized for her powerful and provocative commentaries on social, political, and cultural issues. Born in 1961 in Bandung, Indonesia, she established herself in the 1980’s as a pioneer in the field of performance art in Southeast Asia – although her practice also incorporates a wide variety of media.

Arahmaiani has been internationally recognized for her powerful and provocative commentaries on social, political, and cultural issues. Born in 1961 in Bandung, Indonesia, she established herself in the 1980’s as a pioneer in the field of performance art in Southeast Asia – although her practice also incorporates a wide variety of media. Since 1980, Arahmaiani has been included in over one hundred solo and group exhibitions around the world. Her works have been performed and exhibited widely in museums and biennials, including: the Venice Biennale (2003), Biennale of the Moving Image, Geneva (2003), Gwangju Biennale (2002), Biennale de São Paulo (2002) among many others. In New York City, she was included in the landmark exhibition, Traditions/Tensions, at Asia Society in 1996, as well as Global Feminisms at the Brooklyn Museum in 2007. She also had a major retrospective, Arahmaiani: The Past has not Passed (Masa Lalu Belumlah Berlalu), at the MACAN Museum in 2018.

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Still Images from the Performance