Mella Jaarsma

Netherlands / ROH

Mella Jaarsma is an artist who has become known for her complex custom installations and her focus on forms of cultural and racial diversity embedded within clothing, the body and food. She was born in the Netherlands in 1960 and studied visual art at Minerva Academy in Groningen (1978-1984), after which she left the Netherlands to study at the Art Institute of Jakarta (1984) and at the Indonesian Institute of the Arts in Yogyakarta (1985-1986). She has lived and worked in Indonesia ever since. In 1988, she co-founded Cemeti Art House, now called Cemeti Institute for Art & Society together with Nindityo Adipurnomo, which to this day remains an important platform for young artists and art workers in the country and region.

Jaarsma’s works have been exhibited in Indonesia and abroad, in venues including the Museum MACAN in Jakarta, Singapore Art Museum, National Gallery of Australia, the Garage Museum Moscow, etc. Her latest solo exhibition, titled Performing Artifacts: Objects in Question (2022) was held at ROH, Jakarta, Indonesia, showcasing works created between 2010 – 2022. Jaarsma has participated in the 3rd Asia Pacific Triennale at the Queensland Art Gallery of Modern Art, Australia, (1999) The Thailand Biennale (2018), The Sydney Biennale (2016) and Yokohama Triennale (2005) amongst others.

Mella Jaarsma is presenting her film at S.E.A. Focus Fringe Film Programme 2023, OFF Focus.