Zico Albaiquni’s paintings include a wide range of references and juxtapositions, examining Indonesian painting traditions and broader art histories, with a particular interest in how the Indonesian landscape has been treated and commodified throughout history. Underpinning these investigations is the Indonesian concept of lukisan (roughly translating as ‘painting’) and its ethnic ties to ritual, exchange and the creation of sacred objects.
Albaiquni’s distinct palette arises from pigment combinations drawn from the colonial painting genre of Mooi Indie (‘beautiful Indies’), while different picture planes and points of perspective intersect, and combinations of irregular-shaped canvases create multilayered compositions. He borrows imagery from disparate sources: from the acclaimed nineteenth century Indonesian painter Raden Saleh, to museum dioramas, tourist art, signature works by contemporary Indonesian artists and installation views from international exhibitions such as the Venice Biennale and the first Asia Pacific Triennial in 1993. The results blend elements of art history, religious figures and gallery settings, the public art viewer and the private space of the artists’ studio into the image in order to probe the relationships between artist, art work, the viewer and art history.