Aliansyah Caniago (*1987 Indonesia) works between Indonesia and the UK. Through site-specific interventions, installations and durational performances, he integrates his work with society, creatively addressing conflicts to reclaim damaged environments. He observes how industrialisation raises issues of urbanisation and gentrification and how they affect a particular community: land use conflicts, waste, resources and contested spaces.

His current research is on Barus, a village in North Sumatra named after an extinct camphor tree, a project that explores Indonesia’s modernity and its colonial legacy.The Barus camphor tree prompts an exploration of indigenous knowledge that has been lost due to colonial practices. In 2023, he created an installation In Search of Nan Tar Tar Nan Tor Tor, a spirit living in the camphor tree, based on a scene in the film of L.P. de Bussy, a Dutch early filmmaker stationed in North Sumatra in the early 1900s. He used highly processed materials such as celluloid and processed wood to create a funeral house installation as a way to deliver the ecological grief.

Aliansyah has presented his works in various events and institutions, including MuseumQuartier, Austria (2024), Science Museum: Reconnect/Recollect, UK (2023), Documenta 15: Lumbung - Wagi Wagi ArtLab, Germany (2022), Loughborough University: Radar - Ecological Thinking, UK (2021), Contemporary Art Tasmania: Composing Archipelagos, Australia (2021), MUMA-Monash University Museum of Art: Unsettlement, Australia (2018), Jakarta Biennale: Jiwa, Jakarta, Indonesia (2017), 14th Lyon Biennale: Rendez-Vous, Institute d’Art Contemporain, France (2017), Kunstencentrum STUK Leuven: Europalia-Monsoon Project, Belgium (2017), Alongside his practice, he is also one of the founder of an artist collective in London, Unground Collective, which provides a platform for experimental works with a focus on artist’s process and research. In 2023, Aliansyah was awarded as the recipient of Unconditional Trust: Indonesia from Asian Art Archive and ParaSite in Hongkong.
AliansyahCaniago © 2024