Born in Jakarta in 1990, Ella Wijt’s interest in art began at a young age through drawing and painting. She graduated from the School of The Art Institute of Chicago majoring in Contemporary Studies and Painting. Ella enjoys cleaning her home, exploring the garden and working alone in her studio, walking with her thoughts in rather quiet surroundings, in which everything seems normal, nothing stands out, although the space is physically crowded. Ella enjoys a space that reveals itself over time as she is living with it, not seeking attention but longing for intimacy which requires all senses. Her work mainly explores topics on mythology and womanhood expressed through painting, sculpture, installation and photography.
Ella has been working on an installation project called BUMIDUNIA, a series of research and work that she began in 2012. BUMIDUNIA is the mothership of all her works, where she sees it as a collaborative work between her current environment and herself. It is play, it is a question that leads to another question, it is a challenge, and it is mythology. It articulates history and language through its artifacts, which include drawings, modified objects, found materials and images which become her studies about the world in which she lives. It meanders through re-imaginings of objects that may seem familiar to humans but delve into the uncanny. Familiarity shifts and distorts through material transformations, accessing broader psychological recollections in humans. BUMIDUNIA is also the foundation of her childhood dream – a library and home for collected objects where people could imagine, explore and discover the new. This dream would become Rumah Tangga, an artist-ran space and library in Depok, West Java, where she lives and works now.
At Rimbun Dahan, Ella is looking for new questions while exploring the gardens, learning about plants, biodiversity and their relationship with human beings. Ella hopes to create works that communicate with and honour the land, collaborating with what she finds and learns here. Ella is our resident artist in our Southeast Asian Arts Residency program.