Antonius Kho: Connecting Countries Through Arts
Born in Klaten, Central Java, in 1958, Antonius Kho is an experienced artist who had been working on arts for over a decade and focused his works on sculptures and paintings. He has received a lot of national recognitions and international exposures for his artworks. Some of the awards he got were 1st Prize Mask at Art Addiction Annual in Venice and Gold Masks Diploma of Excellence in Italy.
Antonius Kho has held dozens of solo exhibitions and group exhibitions not only in Indonesia, but also in a lot of other countries like Germany, Malaysia, Singapore, United States, Vietnam, South Korea, and many more. In 2018 alone, he had 7 group exhibitions in Indonesia, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Taiwan, and 4 solo exhibitions in Indonesia, China, and South Korea. His latest group exhibition, “Art Connection”, was his own pioneered art exchange project between Sri Lankan and Indonesian artists. The art exchange project was exhibited in Lionel Wendt Gallery, Colombo (Sri Lanka) and ARMA Museum, Bali (Indonesia).
That wasn’t his first art exchange project.
In fact, he has done quite numerous projects with other countries like Art D’Asia with Taiwanese, Singaporean, and Indonesian artists, Yangon Bali Chiang Mai with Myanmars, Thai, and Indonesian artists, and No Boundaries with Indonesian and Cambodian artists. All these projects were aimed to introduce each of the country’s arts and culture and provides a platform for each country to communicate through their artworks.
Currently, other than actively producing more paintings and sculptures, Antonius Kho is also managing an art gallery he founded in 2002, Wina Gallery. Located in Ubud, Bali where he lived, Wina Gallery is an art gallery, art studio, and Antonius Kho’s own house altogether.
We understand that you have a background in painting and sculpture. How would you describe your style of art and what are some of your inspirations to create?
My background is a painter, I studied at the FH-Cologne academy of art, Germany, majoring in textiles painting and glass painting, from 1984 to 1992. Since 2006, I have started making sculptures until now, with various materials, from wood, glass, aluminium, stone, and bronze.
From my educational background, the style of my paintings is more to the flow of cubism, mosaic in my life, and my works are a blend of eastern and western touch.
Besides making work, you’re also currently managing Wina Gallery. Are there certain values or philosophy you want to convey to Wina Gallery’s visitors?
Since I came home from Germany in 2002, I lived in Ubud, Bali, and founded Wina Gallery & Foundation until now. Wina gallery is a gallery, a studio and a house together, I live and work there, in the front is a gallery, behind it is my studio and home.
Besides my works on display in galleries, there are also several other artists’ works, especially young artists.
What is the role of the gallery in today’s world, where almost all experiences are being digitised?
Besides the gallery as a real display space, there are also online galleries, displayed on social media like Instagram, Facebook, and also my own website. Both (physical and digital galleries) are run together.
Now, from making art to giving space for other artists to showcase their art, you have arranged an art exchange project, Art Connection, in Bali as well. What is Art Connection about?
Since 2004 I created art foundation, and I started with art exchange project activities with various countries from Asia and Africa, such as Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Reunion, China, Thailand, Cambodia, Taiwan, South Korea, Laos, Myanmar, India , Nepal, Sri Lanka, etc., until now I have done this art exchange project for 20 times.
The mission and vision of the art exchange project that I have done so far is to introduce Indonesia contemporary art and artists in other countries and vice versa, introducing contemporary art from other countries to Indonesia.
How do all your endeavours within art inform or support one another?
Since I held several art exchange project activities, I have provided many opportunities for young artists to participate in this project, so that they learn and get to know art and culture from other countries.
Any advice to give to young Indonesian artists today?
In the current digitalisation era, there is a lot of information about world art activities that can be easily accessed, especially for young artists, millennials, and I hope to provide input into their works.