Jatiwangi art Factory’s ‘Lair’ brings collaborative music to Kingston

Art collective from Indonesia embraces the beauty of clay

Kingston and Toronto venues host JaF’s ‘Lair’ micro-residency.
Credit: 
Supplied by JaF

Jatiwangi art Factory (JaF), an artistic collective from Jatisura, Indonesia, is bringing their music ensemble to Kingston for a micro-residency.

Sebastian De Line, associate curator at Agnes Etherington in Indigenous Art Care and Relations, was introduced to JaF during his residency in Indonesia.

“I've always thought it would be a nice opportunity to eventually invite JaF over to my home and have a kind of reciprocal exchange where they could come here, see our art scene, and participate in some different programming,” De Line said in an interview with The Journal.

The collective’s use of clay is influenced by the Jatiwangi District’s historic terracotta industry, highlighting the region’s reputation for clay tile making.

“From sculptural practices to music practices, and even perfumes [and] architecture, everything is made from the clay of [Jatisura’s] land,” he said.

The collective includes approximately 50 multimedia artists, musicians, designers, and curators. Their music ensemble, Lair, is composed of six musicians who use clay instruments.

In partnership with the Agnes, Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, and Toronto Biennial of Art, Lair will deliver a range of programming to the communities of Kingston and Toronto.

Mar. 6 marks the residency’s first event—a jam session hosted in the Agnes Etherington House.

“It'll be a nice chance for everyone here to meet and share different stories and music, [as well as] how we relate to the land and [artist’s] music practices,” De Line said.

The jam session will be an informal drop-in where attendees can listen to musicians and speak with local artists and professors from the DAN School.

“It's about hanging out together—that's a part of art practice that I find [is] the glue which is not always recognized,” he said.

De Line finds inspiration in how JaF works together as a collective unit, differing from European art’s traditional focusing on individual artists.

“[It’s] that kind of collective mentality that's very grounded in the land and in your community,” he said. “[Collective collaboration is] something [I’ve noticed becoming] more and more of interest here at home, but they've been doing that for a really long time in Indonesia.”

Lair will also record new music in the Isabel’s Jennifer Velva Bernstein Performance Hall, culminating in a public streaming event on Mar. 8 at 7:30 p.m.

“It's kind of like an incubation period where they get to just go wild with all the really amazing people that work there,” De Line explained.

“[They can work with [the Isabel’s] world class technicians, equipment, and really beautiful facilities, and spend time with our music experts [while] recording some songs.”

De Line can’t wait to see what JaF produce during their micro-residency.

“Something as a curator that I strive for is to facilitate the conditions which make a space comfortable, [and] feel warm [and] welcoming,” he said. “[So, I] really sit back and let the artists do their thing, [since it’s] what they do best, and see what beautiful things come out of this.”

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