Evi Pangestu

Evi Pangestu

“I am interested in the ironic interpretation on the conventional process of what constitutes a painting.”


Tell us about your background, where did you grow up and where did you study art?

I was born and grew up in Jakarta, Indonesia. I moved out of my hometown after high school to study Painting at the Indonesian Institute of the Arts in Yogyakarta. I was there for three years, then I transferred to the UK to finish my undergraduate in Fine Art at the Birmingham School of Art. I am now based in London, finishing my degree in MA Painting at the Royal College of Art.

How has your practice change over time?

I find myself keep coming back to painting. Occasionally in between, I refresh and experiment with other techniques or materials I am curious about. This keeps me motivated to progress and has been influencing changes in my practice. This is the first few years that I have moved completely out of figure and I am continuously surprised by how much my works have changed, moreover how much more excited I feel towards making paintings each day. Especially now that I decided to limit my use of colour, I learned that it has worked more effectively in translating what I want to address. I feel more focused on my practice and the endless possibilities of its development.

What is your artwork about? Tell us about your subject matter.

I primarily work with square as the base form because of its equal focus quality for being neither portrait or landscape. I recompose the structure by adding and subtracting the given material, then use colour to highlight my modifications. My process is all about painting and I think some of these aspects act as a form of rebellion that is limited to some extent.
I am interested in the ironic interpretation on the conventional process of what constitutes a painting. The floating space between success and failure, reconstruction and control, all take part in building a new system within the limitations.

Name some artists you're inspired by, and why?

Angela de la Cruz, Jo Baer, Joseph Albers, Barnett Newman, Agnes Martin, Frank Stella, Ellsworth Kelly, Rana Begum, Richard Serra.

Can you tell us about your approach to a new project? How do you find a starting point?

I normally start a new project by gathering pictures of my works, then write down what has been bothering me about them. Afterwards, I would go for a walk alone in a quieter place (like a park, preferably with dogs around) then find a spot to sit, reopen my notes and reflect on them. I take my time to think about things, sometimes it really helps to avoid the studio for few days. Once I have few thoughts on what I want to develop, I will go back to my studio and experiment on many smaller-scale works first so I get faster result finding out if my idea is going to work or not.

Tell us about your studio and your routine?

My studio at the moment is located in Royal College of Art Battersea campus. I wake up quite early on weekdays so I can have a slow breakfast while checking my emails and upcoming calls that I need to apply for. Then I go to the studio. I usually spend almost all day in there working and hanging out with my friends. We would also once or twice in a week go to current exhibitions then treat ourselves with good food around the area afterwards. Since I live far from my families, I tend to work on the weekend too but in a more flexible schedule.

Do you have any news, projects or shows coming up?

I will be in Japan for a three-week residency with PARADISE AIR this upcoming September. Prior to that, I will be showing my new series of paintings at the Royal College of Art degree show. Open to public from the 29th June – 7th July 2019. Hope to see you there!

Amy-Leigh Bird

Amy-Leigh Bird

Guy Marshall-Brown

Guy Marshall-Brown