Printemps Francais, which was first held in 2004, showcases creative talents from both France and Indonesia, encouraging various forms of collaborations, residencies and concerts. This year’s event is very special since it is being held in ten big cities across the archipelago, namely Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya, Yogyakarta, Bali, Medan, Balikpapan, Semarang, Malang, and Makassar.
With this expansion, Printemps Francais 2016 is expected to engage a wider audience with lots of new artistic activities that can hopefully strengthen the relationship between the two countries, specifically in the cultural sphere. In total, there are twenty artistic events being held during the festival, and apart from highlighting the beauty of French art, Printemps Francais also offers an opportunity for Indonesian artists to share their experiences and collaborate with French artists in several joint projects. The festival started with an enchanting performance entitled L’Oiseau (the Bird) by Les Rémouleurs, the renowned French contemporary puppet company. Collaborating with Indonesian puppeteers, they wowed audiences with their extravagant acts, focusing on the figure of a giant bird made of a marionette spanning eight metres across, sitting on helium-filled balloons controlled by the puppeteers. The bird moved, soared and danced to the eclectic music of the Senyawa group.
Another collaborative performance that deserves big recognition this year was a classical music concert by Ensemble Doulce Mémoire titled “Music of the Lost Country”. Doulce Mémoire was founded almost 25 years ago by flutist Denis Raisin Dadre and now consists of numeorus passionate singers and musicians who aspire to bring evocative Renaissance music back to the modern age. Since it was established, the ensemble group has appeared at national theatres, opera houses and festivals all over France as well as in many major cities around the world. On this occasion, Doulce Mémoire collaborated with traditional Sundanese musician Yoyon Darsono and singers Hendrawati Ashworth and Dede Suparwan, who invited audiences to explore the richness of classical Sundanese and French music.
Furthermore, Ensemble Trielen returned this year to perform a number of compositions from their repertoire. Trielen, a musical trio consisting of a clarinetist, an oboist and a bassoonist, worked together with students from the music department of the Indonesian Institute of the Arts in Jogjakarta and String Orchestra of Surabaya. Printemps Francais also invited popular band M83 who is widely known for their psychedelic electric pop with distinctive style of lyricism. The band has released seven albums and two soundtracks, including the Grammy Award-nominated Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming. M83 performed in Jakarta on May 21 and attracted hundreds of spectators who were bewitched by their energetic performance.
In the photography sphere, journalist and photographer Christophe Loviny presented an exhibition titled “Aung San Suu Kyi: A Portrait in Words and Pictures,” which told the story of Suu Kyi, the Nobel Prize winner and an iconic figure in Burma who is struggling for democracy and peace in her country. These moving photos were produced while Loviny served as a correspondent in Burma in 1983.
IFI also collaborated with Rujak Center for Urban Studies to organise an architecture exhibition and public discussion entitled “The Future of Architecture: Ecology Design for Ecology City” at IFI Jakarta auditorium. The exhibition displays the artwork of French young architects and landscape experts who won an AJAP (Albums de Jeunes Architects et des Paysagistes), a prize awarded every two years to young international professionals in architecture, urban planning and landscape. The display exposes cutting edge developments in architecture and landscape, through innovative scenography. Alongside the exhibition are forums for the discussion of how architecture and urban planning can and should respond to the challenges of our societies.
The festival will end with the 38th Bali Art festival. This year, France will be the guest of honour in this festival and will be prominently represented in the opening parade, which will unveil a number of Balinese and Indonesian groups to an audience, which includes the President of the Republic of Indonesia along with a number of senior officials.
Ensemble Trielen Surabaya, June 2nd
Jean-Louis Haguenauer Medan, June 1st & Jakarta, June 5th
Bottlesmoker Jakarta, June 3rd
The Future of Architecture Jakarta, May 18 – June 5th
Elizabeth D. Inandiak Yogyakarta, June 1st & Jakarta, June 4th
Bali Art Festival Bali, June 11
For further details regarding the schedule, please visit www.ifi-id.com/printemps