Ruth Marbun (b.1985) is a visual artist based in Jakarta that works much with the depiction of deconstructed figures as a form of her profound interest towards human behavior in connection to the inner self and society as paralleled issue. She embraces details and subtleness from the patterns in life such as imperfection, contradiction, resistance, and honor it as part of growth and process.
Her mini-solo exhibition with Clear Gallery Japan at Art Jakarta in 2018 questioned how family is portrait as sacred value with picture perfect quality in the heritage of her Indonesian root and the contradictory that it causes, creating a void and distance with the natural being of human and relationships that truthfully come with flaws and mistakes.
“One is A Million” is a mixed media installation that she presented at #Perempuan exhibition in Melbourne on December 2018 as part of a group exhibition featuring emerging contemporary artists from Indonesia. The work is an open proposal to add perspective in the construction of value towards women in modern society, to give credits not only to the quantified achievements but also in the daily act and resistance that are more inclusive for women, who are dealing with different circumstances in life.
Ruth has also been exhibiting in Kyoto, Jogjakarta, Osaka, and recently Sydney at Darren Knight Gallery with Indo Artlink and John Cruthers featuring her recent works in textile medium, where she has been extending possibilities from the limitation as a familiar medium off her fashion background to a new approach and narration in the current art practice.
During her residency at Rimbun Dahan, Ruth will be focusing in documenting her experience of working and living closely with nature, something in contrast to her upbringing as a city inhabitant. She will be recording the process through visual journal and also creative writings, which embodies intuitive observation and attentive interaction towards the environment during the one-month period stay, engaging in a reversed rhythm from her regular practice that relies on momentum and practicality. The course of adaptation is often taken for granted for being wired automatically into the operational system as human, despite its importance as an essential survival virtue that advances us from other species. Ruth considers the state of newness and to look elsewhere is a far-reaching of understanding the element of absence inwards, that will create new possibilities off the mundanity as a result from updating to an extensive context.
Ruth will be our Southeast Asian Arts Residency artist for a month in February. You can check out her Instagram here.