Ari Bayuaji: The Ocean Called Home

Presented at Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain, Montréal

Until August 5, 2023

Ari Bayuaji, still from video at the gallery.

Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain is pleased to present an exhibition of works by Ari Bayuaji from his Weaving the Ocean (2020-ongoing) series entitled The Ocean Called Home. His series transforms the jetsam of plastic ropes disentangled from the roots of mangrove trees along the coast of Indonesia into hauntingly beautiful tapestries. Ari Bayuaji is inspired not only by the rich textile culture of the artist’s homeland, but also by the weaving cultures from many different countries worldwide as a living heritage.

Aesthetically engaging, Bayuaji’s tapestries result from a creative salvage and up-cycling process that saw the artist and locally recruited assistants scour the shoreline of Bali to collect and clean plastic ropes that washed up on shore and then unravelled them into fine colourful threads. In collaboration with a traditional Balinese weaving workshop, Bayuaji designs and creates unique textile pieces in an environmentally conscious way that has provided financial security to local crafts persons and economies since the beginning of the global pandemic. Bayuaji’s sculptural practice also draws upon the ocean’s detritus as source material – including ropes, minerals and other elements that wash up on shore.

Ari Bayuaji, Early Morning Underwater Sun Rays, 2023. Woven plastic and cotton threads, crocheted plastic threads, 63 x 41 1/2. Click here to see a list of all available works.

For The Ocean Called Home, Bayuaji has also created sculptural artworks inspired by forms found in nature and architecture. He employs many materials traditionnally used as building materials, such as copper, wood, plywood, etc., integrated with the artweave (woven artworks) pieces.

Nature and architecture are, for Bayuaji, the foundations of the notion of “home” for humanity and for other species. We are all connected. Every drop of water that runs within the pipes of our homes goes on to impact our lands, rivers, and oceans.

Watch the video sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia to learn more about the project’s process, community engagement and mission to help the environment.

About the Artist

Ari Bayuaji was born in Indonesia in 1975. Moving permanently to Canada in 2005, he studied Fine Arts at Concordia University (2005-2010). Dividing his time between Montreal and Bali, the artist is known especially for his art installations in various parts of the world, which incorporate found and ready-made objects, thereby exposing himself to multiple mechanisms at work in different cultures.

His artwork has been collected by major institutions such as Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal, la Musée national des beaux-arts du Quebec (Canada), Musée Pointe-à-Callière (Montreal), la Fondation Agnès B. du Paris, the Coral Triangle Center of Bali, Precious Plastic of Bangkok, and Danfoss (Denmark).

His work has been exhibited in international solo exhibitions, including Mizuma Art Gallery of Singapore (2023), Warin Lab Contemporary in Bangkok, Thailand (2022), Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts Singapore (2022), RedBase Art Gallery of Sydney, Australia (2022), Coral Triangle Center of Bali, Indonesia (2022), The Esplanade Theatre on The Bay, Singapore (2014 and 2019), NunuFine Art Taipei, Taiwan (2018, 2021), Parkhaus in Malkasten Düsseldorf (2018), Conseil des arts de Montréal (2018), a collaboration with Agnès B. Fondation Paris in Ste-Alvère, France (2017), and Kunsthal Rotterdam in The Netherlands (2017). Artwork from Ari’s Weaving The Ocean project was recently featured as part of the Kennedy Center’s RiverRun festival in Washington, DC (2023). Just recently, in early June 2023, Ari Bayuaji created a major installation work for the Kempinski Hotel of Bali, Indonesia, in partnership with the hotel for their 2023-24 programming focus on ‘sustainability.’ The artist will next be creating significant installation works for the Cheongju Crafts Biennale 2023 and Busan Sea Art Festival 2023, both in South Korea.

Bayuaji was recently selected as the Critic’s Choice by Iain Dawson, Director of the South East Centre for Contemporary Art (SECCA), in Art Collector’s 2023 summer publication.

Click here to read the latest article in Art + Market, “Weaving the Ocean with Ari Bayuaji” May 2023, Between the self and the community, by Nadya Wang.

Installation view of The Ocean Called Home at Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain

About Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain

Founded in 2001 in Montreal, Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain supports artists whose work brings a singular and authentic voice to today’s art world. It is recognized for the innovative proposals of its multidisciplinary artists, who express themselves in various mediums, from video to painting, sculpture to photography.

963 Rue Rachel E, Montréal, Québec
(514) 395-6032 |
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Gallery Hours
Tuesday to Saturday: 11 AM – 5:30 PM

The gallery Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain is partially accessible, including a ramp access upon request and wide and unobstructed pathways within the interior.

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Image descriptions
1. Video still of Bayuaji standing within the gallery, holding a cord of plastic fishing net.
2. Tapestry by Ari Bayuaji, Early Morning Underwater Sun Rays, 2023.
3. Diptych: Left, close-up of colourful tangled plastic threads. Right, community member photographed behind the loom, weaving a plastic tapestry in Bali, Indonesia.
4. Installation view depicting a 70-inch monster-like sculpture (The Rangda, 2022) made of plastic threads.