The Sweet and Sour Story of Sugar in Jogjakarta

9 November 2012 - 20 January 2013

For this exhibition, the Langgeng Art Foundation (LAF) invited  Akiq AW and MES 56 - an artist collective which is active in the field of photography exploration - to curate photos provided by Noorderlicht.
OPENING: Friday, 9th November 2012, 07.30 – 11.00 pm

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  • Langgeng Gallery
  • Jl. Suryodiningratan 37
  • Yogyakarta, Indonesia
  • Open Daily : 11.00 am – 18.00 pm (Monday – Saturday)

Exhibition Statement

This project is within the framework of the Noorderlicht’s The Sweet and Sour Story of Sugar  project: a photographic investigation of the globalization process through the commodity of sugar in the (former) Dutch sugar empire. 

Noorderlicht has been responsible for collecting the artistic ingredients of the project, the realisation of the new photography assignments and the archive research. Presentation partners are cultural institutes in Jakarta (ruangrupa), Yogyakarta (Langgeng Art Foundation), Paramaribo (Tembe Art studio), Sao Paolo (WZM-Platforma Brasil Holanda) that each independently design the process and realization in their respective country.

The global objective of this project is reviewing the historical and contemporary aspects in which the process of globalization is examined from the story about sugar, seen through the perspective of four different countries: Brazil, Suriname, Indonesia and the Netherlands.

By comparing the historical/colonial photographs about the sugar industry in the (former) Dutch sugar empire with the new ones on the same subject and geographical locations, we endeavor to unravel the continuities and discontinuities of globalization and its impact upon the respective societies over time as well as how these may be mediated, interpreted and critically commented through and within photography.

With this project we intend to encourage the creation of a new dialogue. Understanding The Sweet and The Sour Story of Sugar (as sugar plays an important role in Indonesian society) will specifically assists the community in understanding their national identity. While in general, this project aimed to provide an understanding about the world in which we live: either seen through the perspective of history, economics and politics by using the approach of art and cultural programs.

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A. Workshop Colonial Photography

31 October - 8 November 2012

A workshop that invites both local and international contemporary artists to process colonial photographs as their inspiration and to discuss possibilities of employing colonial photographs for further artistic explorations.

Invited artists will develop the archives into other artistic forms. These will be showcased in a future exhibition that will bring a richer and new perspective on the historical visual material about cultural issues of late colonialism in Java to a wider public. 

B. Public Lecture

10 November 2012,  02.00 – 05.00 pm


Agus Pakpahan: Head of Gabungan Asosiasi Petani Perkebunan Indonesia (GAPERINDO or Indonesian Plantation Farmers Association). This is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) associated to the Ministry of Agriculture of Indonesia that represents the collective interests of estate crop farmers in Indonesia.

Alexander Supartono: Independent Art Historian and Curator, Ph. D Candidate in the School of Art History, University of St. Andrews, UK. Together with Noorderlicht, he has been involved as a researcher for the project. 


Antariksa: a cultural researcher, co-founder of the KUNCI Cultural Studies Center and iCAN (Indonesian Contemporary Art Network).

C. Book

At the end of the project, LAF will publish a book with the contents of the project, such as discussion/public lectures transcripts, photo documentation and essays/reviews on the project.

Further info & details 

  • Ms. Mala
  • Langgeng Art Foundation
  • Jl. Suryodiningratan 37 Yogyakarta
  • Tel. +62274 417043 / +6281215500083
  • Email:

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