Elia Nurvista / Indonesia b.1983 / Sucker Zucker (detail) 2016 / Isomalt, water, mahogany and mixed media /Dimensions variable / Installation view, ‘Dialogue with the Senses’, Galeria Fatahillah, Jakarta, 2016 / © The artist / Photograph: Fajar Riyanto /Image courtesy: Arcolabs

Elia Nurvista
Sucker Zucker 2016

On Display: GOMA, Gallery 2.1

Elia Nurvista’s sugar sculptures are colourful, jewel-like objects produced with the assistance of local artisans in Yogyakarta. For APT9, her sculptures are accompanied by a mural, and explore some of sugar’s complicated history, including its links with global exploitation. Sucker Zucker 2018 builds on a 2016 work, for which she created a series of crystalline sugar sculptures, displayed like gems atop pedestals, with take-home containers decorated with diamond shapes. According to the artist, sugar and diamonds have a shared appearance and narrative, from their colour and shape to their material extraction and history of labour, slavery and exploitation.

Elia Nurvista is a young Indonesian artist whose practice focuses on food production and distribution, and the associated broader social and historical implications. Nurvista uses food and its related activities — from the planting of crops to the act of eating and the sharing of recipes — as entry points to exploring issues of economic and political power, labour, culture, gender and status. She also runs Bakudapan, a food study group that undertakes community and research projects.

Contemporary context

How does Elia Nurvista:

  • use materials, technologies or approaches to affect the audience experience?
  • employ imagery and/or display techniques to challenge aesthetic traditions?
  • provoke discussion about twenty-first-century issues and concerns?

Personal context

How does Elia Nurvista:

  • create sensory experiences to generate emotional responses from the viewer?
  • connect with the viewers’ experiences and/or expectations to construct meaning?

Cultural context

How does Elia Nurvista:

  • reflect community interests through social commentary?
  • respond to cultural influences?

Formal context

How does Elia Nurvista:

  • employ specific art elements and principles to communicate meaning?
  • enhance the interpretation of the artwork through processes, materials and media?