Stories about communities seized by the escalating flooding crisis in Java

Featuring works by Irene Barlian (Indonesia)
Recipient of the Objectifs Documentary Award 2022, Open Category
Curated by Siddharta Perez

Chapel Gallery, Objectifs
31 Mar to 7 May 2023
Free admission

Opening | 30 Mar 2023, 6pm – 9pm

Artist Talk with Irene Barlian and Siddharta Perez | 1 Apr 2023, 3pm – 4pm (Read a recap of the session here)
Embodying the Climate Crisis: A Somatic Experience led by Chloe Chotrani | Wed 26 Apr 2023, 7.30pm – 8.30pm
Beyond the Image: Visualising Climate Change | Thu 27 Apr 2023, 7.30pm – 8.30pm 

Rise by Indonesian photographer Irene Barlian is a developing body of stories about communities seized by the escalating flooding crisis in Java. As Irene’s first solo art exhibition, Rise harks to her ongoing advocacy towards inclusive and sustainable environmentalism as expressed in her project “Land of the Sea.” In Rise: a Land of the Sea project, these images immerse in the axis of human agency and the broader issues of the climate crisis and all other infrastructural recourse that besiege villages in Pekalongan and Cirebon. Between these images, environments imprint on bodies (human and architecture) as registered in the estrangement of people from their homes and their adapting livelihoods. 

Irene Barlian started materialising her engagements with families affected by flooding in 2019. She sustains the documentation of their eroding homesteads, volatile subsistence and social ecologies until this recent iteration of “Land of the Sea.”

About the artist

Irene Barlian is an independent documentary photographer based in Jakarta, Indonesia. Her documentary photographic interest primarily focuses on social, environmental, cultural, and women’s stories. The most significant element of her professional ventures is devoted to personal, long-term projects. 

In 2022, Irene was shortlisted for the Leica Oskar Barnack Award and Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award while she was granted the Photo Reportage Grant for the Seventh Edition of Eyes on Main Street in 2021. Her works were recently exhibited at the Ernst Leitz Museum in Wetzlar Germany, the Jakarta International Photo Festival and the Bucharest Photo Festival. Iterations of “Land of the Sea” were shown in ‘Mengabarkan Tenggelam’, an exhibition with Greenpeace Indonesia as well as at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta. Irene is part of Women Photograph, a photography collective centring women-led practices. 

About the curator

Siddharta Perez is a curator whose custodial and creative work is centred around Southeast Asia collections and regional collaborations. Starting her vocation in Manila, Philippines, she has then contributed to transcultural discourse through her affiliations with university museums, galleries and self-initiated projects by artists, writers, educators and artist-run spaces. 

Presented by Objectifs
Supported by Cultural Matching Fund

Past events:
Artist Talk with Irene Barlian and Siddharta Perez | 1 Apr 2023, 3pm – 4pm
Artist Talk with Yong Li Xuan and Muhammad Fadli | 1 Apr 2023, 1.30pm – 2.30pm
Artist Talk with Jomar Tingson and Muhammad Fadli | 1 Apr 2023, 4.30pm – 5.30pm
Portrait Photography Masterclass by Muhammad Fadli | 31 Mar 2023, 6pm – 10pm