Following long periods of border closing and limited travel opportunities brought about by the pandemic, the Institute of Southeast Asian Arts thought that it is important now more so than ever to re-establish learning opportunities through a virtual residency. This process firstly consists of an artmaker engaging his own practice and following this, continues to engage the community where he was confined. For a period of two weeks in August, ISEAA hosted the Yogyakarta-based Indonesian graffiti artist and UOB Painting of the Year 2019 winner, Anagard.
Over the course of the residency, the artist achieved several key outcomes directly accountable to a specific community in society, while addressing lager questions of ethnic and historical identity and the miscibility of cultures in a cosmopolitan environment. Firstly, he conducted a photovoice and stencil making workshop over 3 sessions. Further, as a final product of this residency program is a mural, which stands as a direct intervention to its viewer’s daily life. It is a place for contemplation, for people to stop and wonder. It is a space to look back on our history and the community we are part of. It is a window to the mind of an artist who took to the streets and contemplated how communities are formed, neighborhoods flourish, and people coexist, against all odds, despite all differences. For Anagard, the secret lies in the fact that they all speak the universal language of diversity.