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Creativity, Connection and Diversity : The art of Obvious, Rakajoo and Eko Nugroho

2023. 1. 6 – 3. 4
Obvious, Rakajoo, Eko Nugroho

Creativity, Connection and Diversity : The art of Obvious, Rakajoo and Eko Nugroho

The Columns Gallery invites you to a celebratory showcase of art where three diverse artists come together to share their unique visions and styles. Obvious explores the creative potential of artificial intelligence and its role in society, Rakajoo delves into the power of storytelling through acrylic and oil paintings, and Eko Nugroho pushes the boundaries of multimedia art to examine socio-political and cultural issues. This exhibition is a veritable festival of creativity and diversity, inviting you to revel in the beauty and power of art.


Obvious is a Paris-based collective of artists, Machine Learning researchers, and friends who are interested in using artificial intelligence (AI) for artistic purposes. The group utilizes the latest models of deep learning to explore the creative potential of AI and its applications in the arts.

Obvious gained widespread attention when their Portrait of Edmond de Belamy, an AI-generated work created by combining 15,000 portraits, was sold for $432,500 at Christie’s in 2018, making it the first AI artwork to be sold at a major auction house. Obvious is also the first artist working with AI to be represented by a major international gallery.

Their work explores the intersection between art and science, the relationship between humans and machines, while also aiming to share their vision of AI’s role in society. Obvious believes that AI can fuel artistic innovation in ways that can push us to outsmart our current level of creativity and sees themselves as part of a new artistic movement.

Obvious, Hanging Gardens of Babylon 1.1, 2022, Oil on canvas. 100 x 100 cm. (above image is a detail of the original)

Obvious’s latest series of masks, Facets of AGI, was created using a combination of artificial intelligence and traditional artistic techniques. The process began with the development of digital designs using generative adversarial networks (GANs) and a curated database of thousands of African masks. The GANs were trained to understand the similarities and nuances between the masks in the database, and were then fine-tuned to produce unique and diverse designs. The designs were then sculpted and painted on ofoton wood by a Ghanaian craftsman, Abdul Aziz Muhamadu. Each mask represents a different “facet” of intelligence, offering a glimpse into the complex and multifaceted nature of this quality.

Obvious have exhibited at the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, the Haus der Kunst in Munich, Danysz gallery in Paris, and the Aiiiii Art Center in Shanghai. In 2020. The collective was named among the “30 Under 30” by Forbes, and elected top 50 Genius companies by Times in 2018.

Eko Nugroho

Eko Nugroho (b.1977- Indonesia) is an internationally renowned contemporary artist based in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Nugroho’s work takes inspirations from the urban environment and the people that inhabit the city. In his compositions, Nugroho reveals his uncanny ability to holistically capture the multi-dimensional narrative of the bustling crowd, from the noise and flurry of the street, the interplay of eyes, to the identities and attitudes of each individual. His background in street art and community-based artwork is the quintessential aspect of his expanded body of works.

Eko Nugroho, We are Complaining about a Future That Doesn’t Exist, 2021, Embroidered painting. 162 x 150 cm.

Nugroho is a prolific multimedia artist whose oeuvre encompasses paintings, drawings, embroidery, sculptures, murals, and video art. He fluidly combines traditional materials and techniques with modern technology and aesthetics to examine the socio-political climate of Indonesia and the contemporary urban environment of Yogyakarta, where he is based.

His works have been acquired by private collectors around the world, featured in multiple biennials and art fairs, and has been exhibited in major institutions such as the Singapore Art Museum, the Museum of Modern Art in Paris, the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans, the Museum M+ in Hong Kong, and the Asia Society Museum in New York.


A painter, animation designer and boxing champion, Rakajoo (b.1986- France) is a multifaceted artist who uses acrylic and oil paintings to tell stories. Inspired by the people he meets and the tales they weave, Rakajoo’s art invites us to step into a world of “graphic coherence,” where the stories of the past and present merge into a vibrant tapestry of life.

Rakajoo likes to capture the identities of his models in his paintings and may even interview them in order to create a more complete and nuanced portrayal of their lives. Through the use of storytelling and personal perspective, the artist creates a sense of connection between the viewer and the figures represented in his paintings. In his art, Rakajoo celebrates diversity and encourages us to look beyond appearances and discover the rich inner lives of those around us.

Rakajoo, Blond, 2021. Acrylic and oil on canvas, 190 x 145 cm. (above image is a detail of the original)

Rakajoo’s career as an artist began in 2008 when he painted a mural for his boxing club and participated in an exhibition on the theme of sport at the request of the Jean-Luc Lagardère Foundation. He has since exhibited at the Blachère Foundation, the National Museum of History of Immigration, Mariton gallery, and Palais de Tokyo. In March 2021, he was invited to hold his first solo exhibition, Les Trois Châteaux, at Danysz gallery. The Columns gallery is pleased to invite Rakajoo to his first exhibition in Asia.

The Columns Gallery
22 Lock Road, Gillman Barracks #01-35 Singapore 108939
+65 9030 7647

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