〈Co-Prosperity #4〉 , 2019, UV-sensitive ink on paper, A4 size, copies (amounts variable) , Courtesy of the artist
Japanese artists had already been sent to the battlefields to create images in the first Sino-Japanese War and the Russo-Japanese War. But this practice was carried out on an unprecedented scale in the late 1930s and early 1940s when hundreds of Japanese intellectuals served in the military. About a third of them were sent to work with the propaganda department in Japanese occupied countries, where they managed to recruit a large number of prominent local intellectuals for propaganda activities. Antariksa has created an installation around the biographies of these intellectuals. The artist’s approach is one of using, so to speak, soft evidence as a counter to the conventional language of hard historical evidence. Co-Prosperity #4 is a continuation of his artistic experiments to develop audiences’ sensory experiences toward the subjects of his research. It is a rethinking of the ways in which the public can experience, participate and intervene with history, so that the public — through perception and sensory experience — can reinterpret the past from their present.
About the Artist
Born in 1975. Antariksa is an independent historian and co-founding member of KUNCI, a research collective in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. He is the author of Tuan Tanah Kawin Muda: Hubungan LEKRA-Seni Rupa 1950-1965 (Tuan Tanah Kawin Muda: The Relation Between Art and the Institute of People’s Culture 1950-1965) (2005). His current research concerns art and the mobility of ideas in Japanese-occupied Southeast Asia. Antariksa was the 2017 laureate of Global South(s) du Collège d'études mondiales/Fondation Maison des sciences de l'homme fellowship, Paris.