When I was asked if I could imagine organizing an international exhibition with Teguh Ostenrik, Lili Voigt, Odo Rumpf and Irene Lee in Asia and Europe under the motto “Identity Nomads”, I did not have to think about it for long. With Teguh Ostenrik, I have already organized several exhibitions in my gallery; I very much appreciate his artistic work both in sculpture and in painting, as well as Teguh’s commitment to nature. I was familiar with the innovative digital photo and video works of Lili Voigt, and the extraordinary and imaginative scrap metal sculptures of Odo Rumpf from the media and as a visitor to various exhibitions. In Singapore Singaporean calligraphy artist and global citizen Irene S.M. Lee joined the exhibition. I immediately found the idea of a joint intercultural project with these four artists, each with a distinctive strong own language, to be very exciting! On the other hand, the question of identity as the daughter of an Indonesian and a German also plays an important role in my own life.

The development of identity in recent years, both nationally and internationally, has been expanding
continuously. Growing globalization is shaping our identity and how we define ourselves, not just though our gender, the influence of our family of origin, our religious world view and our social environment.
The rapid development of international networking in almost all areas has made the worldwide availability of influences and characteristics of all cultures possible. Through the use and offerings of digital media and social networks, we are constantly confronted with different mentalities, value systems and traditions. As a result, conscious and unconscious perception, evaluation and acceptance are a continuous process. The question of who we are, the question of our identity, therefore arises for each of us almost every day anew.

For some time now, we have been experiencing worldwide how, in the digital media world, personal and geographical borders seem to dissolve easily, while, in contrast, new or already dissolved borders are being erected again in the real world. Examples of this are the refugee movement, Brexit, or the shift toward a nationally oriented policy in various countries. Such situations challenge and overtax our own understanding of identity and this uncertainty often leads to rejection, exclusion and intolerance.

A universal definition of identity is therefore difficult to put into words today due to the variety of different influencing factors and forms of a definition of the self. In times of social upheaval, however, the visual arts play an important role in questioning social developments, offering new perspectives, providing a mirror and stimulating discussions. Identity Nomads therefore want to show, as artists, how the influences of different cultures have enriched their lives and creative work.

In this interactive project, this group of artists, consisting of two German, one Indonesian and one
Singaporean artists, looks not only at the question of their personal identity, but also at the different forms that identity can have today. Each artist offers his or her own identity journey as a basis for thinking,
sharing and reflecting for everyone who is ready for it. A journey that is long from coming to an end.

Ira Musnadi-Weskamp
Gallerist, Curator
Chief Curator Identity Nomads

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