Contemporary art in Indonesia was at the center of interest during the 21st “Sarasehan” conducted by the Indonesian Embassy in Berlin. More than 30 German citizens listened enthusiastically to the presentation by Claudia Seise, a former recipient of the scholarship Darmasiswa of the Indonesian Government of the year 2005-2006. Seise, who spent a year at the Institut Seni Indonesia (Art Institute of Indonesia – ISI) in Yogyakarta and a further year in 2008-2009 at the same city, dedicated her interest to the development of art in Indonesia, especially in Yogyakarta.
The former scholarship recipient published a book “One Year on the Scene: Contemporary Art in Indonesia” in which her experiences and knowledge on Indonesian art are articulated. Her rich experiences include participation in more than 50 exhibitions and a number of interviews and discussions with Indonesian artists. The book focuses on Yogyakarta because this city is historically at the center of traditional art and culture and is considered the birthplace of modern and contemporary art of Indonesia after its independence. Contrary to many other books which deal with Indonesian artists, Seise concentrates her attention to artists still unknown, most of them young. Seise sees in them a potential to develop and shape contemporary art in Indonesia.
In her book, Seise also draws the attention of the reader to the existence and difficulties of such artists in their daily endeavors as well as life, tradition and culture, family life, social policy, and religion seen from the perspective of art in contemporary Indonesia.
Seise is a student of the master’s program of the Humboldt University of Berlin and also contributes her writings to several publications, such as the Jakarta Post and Visual Arts, an art magazine of Indonesia. Seise has also adopted Islam three years ago and is active in the events of the Al Falah Mosque in Berlin. Sarasehan is a popular event of the Indonesia Embassy in Berlin which draws academicians, members of NGO’s and Friends of Indonesia to a discussion of interesting topics about Indonesia.