The blue room with gold roof in ‘When it Shook - The Earth stood Still’ references A.D. Pirous’ ‘Bila Bumi Bergetar II (When Earth Quakes II)’ 1991, a painting that was exhibited in ‘The 1st Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art’ (APT1) in 1993. A lone viewer peers at details of images of iconic Indonesian art precariously placed around a representation of award French artist Pierre Huyghe’s ‘After a Life Ahead’ 2017, an installation where the floor of an abandoned ice rink was dug up and left exposed to the elements through triangular panels in the roof. The scattered motifs relate to Indonesian artists who participated in the first three QAGOMA Asia Pacific Triennials: on the left is the installation ‘Berpikir dengan Dengkul (Thinking with the Knee)’ 1988-99 by Tisna Sanjaya (APT3); to the right standing on a hill is Arahmaiani performing her distinctly costumed ‘Handle without care’ (APT2); and in the centre is a smiling red chair which was part of Heri Dono’s performance, ‘The Chair’ (APT1). These figures are joined by a number of taxidermy animals, including a white rhinoceros, a siamang, a civet, a baboon and a quail — all of which are species currently threatened or endangered.

Zico Albaiquni’s paintings include a wide range of references and juxtapositions, examining Indonesian painting traditions and broader art histories, with a particular interest in how the Indonesian landscape has been treated and commodified throughout history. Underpinning these investigations is the Indonesian concept of ‘lukisan’ (roughly translating as ‘painting’) and its ethnic ties to ritual, exchange and the creation of sacred objects.

Albaiquni’s distinct palette arises from pigment combinations drawn from the colonial painting genre of Mooi Indie (‘beautiful Indies’), while different picture planes and points of perspective intersect, and combinations of irregular-shaped canvases create multilayered compositions. He borrows imagery from disparate sources: from the acclaimed nineteenth century Indonesian painter Raden Saleh, to museum dioramas, tourist art, signature works by contemporary Indonesian artists and installation views from international exhibitions such as the Venice Biennale and ‘The 1st Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art’ (APT1). The results blend elements of art history, religious figures and gallery settings, as well as incorporating the public art viewer and the private space of the artists’ studio into the image in order to probe the relationships between artist, artwork, the viewer and art history.

Exhibited in 'The 9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art' (APT9) | 24 Nov 2018 – 28 Apr 2019


  • Title: When it shook, the earth stood still (After Pirous)
  • Creator: Zico Albaiquni b.1987
  • Date Created: 2018
  • Location Created: Indonesia
  • Physical Dimensions: 120 x 200cm
  • Provenance: Purchased 2018. Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art Foundation
  • Subject Keywords: APT9, The 9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art
  • Type: Painting
  • Publisher: Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art
  • Rights: © Zico Albaiquni
  • External Link: The Triennial and the painter, An open platform for artists to flourish
  • Medium: Oil and synthetic polymer paint on canvas
  • Art Form: Painting

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