The Nigerian artists featured on the residency program of Biennale Jogja XIII landed on Jogja in November 6. Five artists started working on their projects and there will be one more artist joining them in the coming week. Previously, the curator Partner of Biennale Jogja XIII, Jude Anogwih worked with the team in Jogja to shape his ideas on the exhibition. The five artists working in Jogja are Amarachi Okafor, Aderemi Adegbite, Olanrewaju Tejuoso, Ndidi Ndike and Victor Ehikhamenor. Almost all of them admit that this is their first time coming to Asian continent, thus being a part of BJ XIII as well as enjoying Indonesia in their one-month stay are things they feel excited about. During their few days tasting a bit of Jogja, most of them adored the city, and particularly, savored super spicy foods in street food stalls.
In their first week experiencing Jogja, the artists acknowledged a few corners of the city. Guided by the volunteers as their assistants, they took trip around the city to find relevant spaces and sites for their art projects in Jogja. Some of the artists create a project directly involved with the locals, thus the artists should make a quite intensive approach to them. Among others are Aderemi Adegbite with a photography project on the people of Ledok Ratmakan resided at the banks of Code river and Amarachi Okafor with a series of workshop involving students in Yogyakarta.
Ndidi Ndike explores traditional markets in Jogja and compares them with the traditional markets in Lagos. Meanwhile, Olanrewoju is busy building his temporary museum site located in the middle of a village in Jogja. Victor Ehikhamenor designs a large-scale installation work and is preparing a lot of materials and sketches.
Aside from preparing their art projects, the artists were invited in several sharing-knowledge programs. They visit some classes at several universities and share their knowledge and experience on the practice of cultural movement in the scope of socio-political dynamic particularly in Nigeria and more specifically in Africa. Some of the universities are University of Gajah Mada, Indonesian Institute of Art, and so forth. In addition, they will involve in some open discussions agenda dedicated for a wider audience.
Residency program plays a vital role along the journey of Biennale Equator. The meeting of artists with different backgrounds makes art scene in Jogja grows and slowly indicates rich blend of diverse cultures.