Since 1996, Gajah Gallery has been a pioneering body in the Southeast Asian arts scene, representing a portfolio of the region’s leading artists as well as engaging the brightest emerging talents in contemporary art today. From humble beginnings in Singapore at Monk’s Hill, the Gallery has since expanded to a huge, beautifully-designed industrial warehouse space in Tanjong Pagar, and opened a second exhibition house in the thriving arts city of Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Both exhibition spaces are fuelled with a unique atmosphere, that invites an interplay of contemporary aesthetics and critical discourse.
Gajah Gallery remains dedicated to promoting artists from the region and highlighting their international relevance. Over the years the gallery has built a legacy of initiatives such as re-invigorating academic contributions to the category of Indonesian art and history, creating landmark shows such as Lokanat: Ground Zero which travelled to Yangon, Intersections: Latin American and Southeast Asian Contemporary Art which travelled to Havana, Cuba and the founding of art institute Yogya Art Lab (YAL). Through significant collaborations with Singapore Art Museum (SAM), National University of Singapore Museum, and hosting at least five spectacular exhibitions each year, Gajah Gallery cements its commitment to supporting leading artists and nurturing emerging international talent, ensuring our content is as compelling as our curatorial concepts.
YOGYA ART LAB
The Yogya Art Lab (YAL) is Gajah Gallery’s major initiative based in Yogyakarta, a major arts hub in Indonesia. YAL is an experimental platform for prominent and emerging artists to come together to produce works across various mediums such as paper, sculpture, performance and digital visual production. The lab has collaborated with outstanding artists like Yunizar and Ashley Bickerton to produce some of their finest bronze and aluminium sculpture pieces respectively.
In an increasingly customised world where control over inputs, processes and outputs has made a definite return to the hands of contemporary artists, YAL takes progressive measures by teaming international artists with local craftsmen in order to re-define the term artistic collaboration within our contemporary circumstances.
Jasdeep Sandhu had been a gallery director and founder of Gajah Gallery since 1996. A graduate of University of Warwick, Jasdeep’s interest in arts, particularly contemporary Indonesian art, inspires him to build the gallery showcasing different works from South East Asian artists.
While Gajah's work promoting and positioning South-east Asian art has been extensively documented, one little-known fact is that Mr Sandhu was the first to bring "the master of the unbroken line", Jogen Chowdhury, to Singapore. The Indian painter is called that because his work is often defined by characters and settings created through the use of unbroken lines. He decided to focus on South-east Asian art as there were several established dealers handling Indian art, even at that time.
Another lesser known fact is that he is a trained lawyer whose first job was in a bonsai shop. Smiling at the recollection, he says, his love for art could have started there.