Installation view of Nadia Bamadhaj’s <em>Charmed by Anxiety</em> on display in NGV Triennial from 3 December 2023 to 7 April 2024 at NGV International, Melbourne. Photo: Sean Fennessy<br/>

Nadiah Bamadhaj

Photo: courtesy of the artist

Nadiah Bamadhaj
Malaysia born 1968, lived in Indonesia 2002–

Level 1
NGV International
View on map

Tepersona dengan Kegelisahan (Charmed by anxiety), 2022, is based on the online viral yel-yel TNI videos made by the Indonesian military (Tentara Nasional Indonesia, TNI), which are choreographed dances depicting military power and strength. Nadiah Bamadhaj collaborated with the Garuda Merah troops from the Yogakarta Infantry Battallion 403 who perform to the popular song ‘Tepersona’, which is about unrequited love. Set against a black-theatrical space, the song and dance was edited in extreme slow motion, where the sound is like that of a dirge. Bamadhaj’s interest in examining various intricacies and displays of power in Indonesian society has often used the language of architecture and public monuments. In Tepersona dengan Kegelisahan (Charmed by anxiety), the ‘military spectacle operates as a forceful and hyper-masculine war cry’.

Born in Malaysia in 1968, to a Malaysian father of Yemeni descent and a New Zealander mother, Nadiah Bamadhaj studied sculpture Fine Arts in New Zealand. She now lives and works in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, after undertaking a year-long Nippon Foundation fellowship in 2002. Her academic pursuits and art-making are influenced by these numerous geographical ties. In her work, the self is inextricably tied to ideas of place. Over the past decade, Bamadhaj’s practice has been motivated by a strong personal interest in political events and social phenomena that have shaped or affected her identity and outlook. She has recently exhibited at the Jakarta Biennale 2021, The Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, The Netherlands 2022, The Villa Arson, Nice, France 2023, and co-curated ARTJOG 2023, the leading contemporary art festival in Southeast Asia.

Purchased NGV Foundation, 2022