Tromarama ‘Private riots’ at Encounters section of Art Basel HK 2016

[22.03.16 - 26.03.16]

Visual narratives, as communicated by signs, are the cornerstones of contemporary urban communication. Where linguistic terms are oft contained to certain geographical boundaries, signs transcend limitations of exchange. Edouard Malingue Gallery, Hong Kong is thrilled to present in the Encounters section of Art Basel Hong Kong, the major installation ‘Private Riots’ (2014) by the Indonesian collective Tromarama (est. in 2006 in Bandung by Febie Babyrose, Ruddy Hatumena and Herbert Hans). Composed of a flash sequence video, a platform and towering swirl, from floor to ceiling, of seemingly playful protest banners, the monumental creation presents how the trio observe the rapidly evolving urban Asian cultural environment, whilst extrapolating its social, political and visual undercurrents.

‘Private Riots’ (2014) presents an interactive and impressive pictorial dialogue surrounding the act of protest and political engagement. The first section resembling a plywood stage rising from the floor, is composed of two propped singular video stands flashing the ‘Private Riots’ film and a circular series of poster banners, stills from the video itself. The second section, a towering chandelier of poster panels hanging from the ceiling, is an incredible structure that stands above the first, a striking metaphor for the height of collective yet individual power.

Reality thus becomes more complex and mixed since the images that emerge are constructed not only by our consciousness of the world, as recalled through our sensory receptors, but also those produced by digital devices. They design and construct our perception, understanding and concepts of the physical and virtual. Our consciousness in knowing the seemingly tangible one from the truly tangible one becomes more exclusive because each person has a greater number of different experiences. It means a more subtle border is drawn between our current reality. The physical and the virtual co-exist. They are interacting and transversing in various forms.

Colourful, engaging and pictorially naïve, the lightly dangling spiral hardly seems associable with weighty political commentary. This contrast, however, between form and content, resounds throughout Tromarama’s work. Indeed, play, in the sense of ‘fresh, intriguing and humorous’[1] pulsates through their practice, which combines video art with new music and installation. ‘Private

Riots’ in particular though, introduces a political leaning yet does so in a manner that invites rather than threatens. From the pop-like extractions of key images from protest banners – time (a clock), marching (feet), speeches (mouths) – to the rhythmic beats, Tromarama present how political engagement is accessible to all.

Ultimately, ‘Private Riots’ is a seminal installation by Tromarama and a key example of how, at the heart of their practice, is the creation of an inclusive narrative through the use of form and colour, objects and figures, sounds and rhythms. Their practice literally animates the ordinary and weaves its existence into a tale of tribulations fuelled by consequence. As such, their work, and ‘Private Riots’ in particular, infuses the ordinary with novel means of contemplation in the context of urban life, developments and political reverberations.

Tromarama are widely considered one of Indonesia’s most exciting rising talents and have been widely exhibited around the world. They’ve held solo exhibitions at the Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), National Gallery of Victoria (Melbourne), Mori Art Museum (Japan) and have upcoming shows at the Frankfurter Kunstverein. Group exhibitions include the Samstag Museum of Art (Adelaide), APT 7 QAGOMA (Brisbane), Singapore Art Museum (Singapore).

[1] Alia Swastika, ‘When Playing Is Not Only a Game’, (2011)

Venue: Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Encounters Section: E1

Further reading

TromaramaExhibition e-catalogue

Related files:
Exhibition Coverage

(Related Artist News)

(047)  Tromarama

'Must Dream About Blue Tonight', Group Exhibition

Sifang Art Museum, Nanjing, China, [25.07.20 - 18.10.20]

Read the full entry

(046)  H A N D | Tromarama

'Have A Nice Day', News

Read the full entry

(045)  Tromarama


Jogja National Museum, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, [25.07.19 - 25.08.19]

Read the full entry

(044)  Condo New York 2019

'Condo New York 2019', Group Exhibition

Petzel Gallery, 35 E 67th Street New York, New York 10065, USA, [27.06.19 - 26.07.19]

Read the full entry

(043)  Tromarama

'Contemporary Worlds: Indonesia', Group Exhibition

National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Australia, [21.06.19 - 27.10.19]

Read the full entry

(042)  Tromarama, Samson Young

'52 ARTISTS 52 ACTIONS', Group Exhibition

Artspace, Sydney, Australia, [17.05.19 - 04.08.19]

Read the full entry

(041)  Tromarama

'Lost and found: imagining new worlds', Group Exhibition

Gallery 1, Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore, LASALLE, 1 McNally Street, Singapore, [02.02.19 - 10.04.19]

Read the full entry

(040)  Taipei Dangdai 2019

'Taipei Dangdai', Art Fair

Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center, Taipei, Taiwan, [18.01.19 - 20.01.19]

Read the full entry

(039)  Tromarama, Wong Ping, Samson Young

'ASIA NOW 2018 ', Group Exhibition

Parisian Mansion, 9 Avenue, Hoche, Paris, France, [17.10.18 - 21.10.18]

Read the full entry

(038)  Tromarama

'Rebel Souls', Group Exhibition

Marina da Gloria, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, [27.09.18 - 30.09.18]

Read the full entry

(037)  Chou Yu-Cheng, Tromarama

'The Extra Extra Ordinary', Group Exhibition

MCAD, Manila, Philippines, [20.09.18 - 18.11.18]

Read the full entry

(036)  Tromarama, Ho Tzu Nyen

'Tangled Unity: New Histories in Film and Video from Southeast Asia', Group Exhibition

Art Cologne, Cologne, Germany, [19.04.18 - 22.04.18]

Read the full entry

(035)  Tromarama

'Perceiving the Omnipresent Sound', Group Exhibition

Spasial, Bandung, Indonesia, [09.03.18 - 15.03.18]

Read the full entry

(034)  Art Fair Philippines 2018

'Art Fair Philippines 2018 ', Art Fair

The Link, Ayala Centre, Makati, Philippines, [01.03.18 - 04.03.18]

Read the full entry

(033)  Tromarama

'52 ARTISTS 52 ACTIONS [January 2018-2019]', Public Programme

Various locations, Australia

Read the full entry

(032)  Tromarama

'The Sun teaches us that history is not everything', Group Exhibition

Osage, Kwung Tung, Hong Kong , [24.03.18 - 06.05.18]

Read the full entry

(031)  Shared Coordinates 2018

'Shared Coordinates', Group Exhibition

The Art House at The Old Parliament, Singapore, [20.01.18 - 26.01.18]

Read the full entry

(030)  Tromarama

'Cinemara: Art and the Moving Image in Southeast Asia', Group Exhibition

Singapore Art Museum (SAM), Singapore., [17.11.17 - 18.03.18]

Read the full entry

(029)  misty clouds scattered colours II

'misty clouds scattered colours II', Screening

Spazio Ridotto, Calle del Ridotto 1388, San Marco, Venice, 30124, [10.11.17 - 08.12.17]

Read the full entry

(028)  Tromarama

're: emergence', Group Exhibition

Selasar Sunaryo Art Space, Bandung, Indonesia, [16.09.17 - 22.10.17]

Read the full entry

(027)  Tromarama

'Multiple Spectacle: Art from Asia', Group Exhibition

Ningbo Museum of Art, Ningbo, China, [21.09.17 - 10.10.17]

Read the full entry

(026)  Tromarama

'Floor 9 Salon Series', Artist Talk

Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, 900-675 West Hastings St., Vancouver, BC Canada, [06.09.17]

Read the full entry

(025)  Tromarama, Wong Ping, Samson Young

'Art in the Bar', Screening

Various venues, [14.09.17]

Read the full entry

(024)  Tromarama

'Amphibia', Solo Exhibition

Centre A, Vancouver, BC, Canada, [08.09.17 - 14.10.17]

Read the full entry

(023)  ART STAGE Jakarta 2017

'ART STAGE Jakarta', Art Fair

Sheraton Grand Jakarta Gandaria City Hotel, Jakarta, Indonesia, [11.08.17 - 13.08.17]

Read the full entry

(022)  Tromarama

'4th Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art', Biennial

Ekaterinburg and cities of the Ural region, Russia, [14.09.17 - 12.11.17]

Read the full entry

(021)  Tromarama

'Beyond Boundaries: Globalisation and Identity', Group Exhibition

Liechtenstein National Museum, Vaduz, Liechtenstein, [08.02.17 - 11.06.17]

Read the full entry

(020)  Tromarama

'Indo Pop: Indonesian Art from APT7', Group Exhibition

Queensland Art Gallery, Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA), [11.06.15 - 24.09.17]

Read the full entry

(019)  Art Fair Philippines 2017

'Art Fair Philippines 2017', Art Fair

5F / 6F / 7F, Roofdeck The Link Carpark, Ayala Center, Makati City, [16.02.17 - 19.02.17]

Read the full entry

(018)  Tromarama

'Shared Coordinates', Group Exhibition

The Arts House, Gallery 2, 1 Old Parliament Lane, Singapore, [10.01.17 - 14.01.17]

Read the full entry

(017)  Edouard Malingue Gallery at Art Basel Miami Beach

'Art Basel Miami Beach', Art Fair

Miami Beach Convention Center, 1901 Convention Center Drive, Miami Beach, FL 33139, USA, [01.12.16 - 04.12.16]

Read the full entry

(016)  Tromarama


Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts, Taipei National University of the Arts, [30.09.16 - 11.12.16]

Read the full entry

(015)  Tromarama

'PLAY2', Group Exhibition

Federation Square, Swanston St & Flinders St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia

Read the full entry

(014)  Tromarama

'Liverpool Biennial Fringe', Solo Exhibition

6th floor, One Park West, 31 Strand Street, Liverpool, L1 8LN, United Kingdom, [08.07.16 - 31.07.16]

Read the full entry

(013)  Tromarama

'Gwangju Biennale 2016', Biennial

Gwangju Biennale Exhibition Hall, [02.09.16 - 06.11.16]

Read the full entry

(012)  Edouard Malingue Gallery at Art Fair Philippines

'Art Fair Philippines 2016', Art Fair

Booth 40, The Link Carpark, Parkway Drive, Ayala Center, Makati City, [18.02.16 - 21.02.16]

Read the full entry

(011)  Tromarama

'Root. Indonesian Contemporary Art', Group Exhibition

Frankfurter Kunstverein, Markt 44, 60311 Frankfurt am Main, Germany, [26.09.15 - 10.01.16]

Read the full entry

(010)  Tromarama

'Screen Series: Displaced Agency', Group Exhibition

BLINDSIDE, Level 7, Room 14, Nicholas Building, 37 Swanston St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia, [07.07.15 - 25.07.15]

Read the full entry

(009)  Tromarama

'Open House', Solo Exhibition

National Gallery of Victoria, 180 St Kilda Road Melbourne, Australia, [22.05.15 - 18.10.15]

Read the full entry

(008)  Tromarama

Solo Exhibition

Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam Museumplein 10, 1071 DJ Amsterdam, Netherlands, [12.06.15 - 06.09.15]

Read the full entry

(007)  Tromarama, New Collaboration


Read the full entry

(006)  Hong Kong Art Walk



Read the full entry

(005)  CIGE China International Gallery Exposition 2011


[21.04.11 - 24.04.11]

Read the full entry

(004)  ART TAIPEI 2011

Art Fair

[26.08.11 - 29.08.11]

Read the full entry




Read the full entry

(002)  ART HK 12

Art Fair

[17.05.12 - 20.05.12]

Read the full entry

(001)  ART TAIPEI 2012

Art Fair

[09.11.12 - 12.11.12]

Read the full entry