Above: Leonard Suryajaya, Wrecking Ball (2019).

Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art is pleased to present:

False Idol x North Kin

A solo exhibition by Leonard Suryajaya

May 13 – July 17, 2022

We are delighted to announce  False Idol x North Kin, a solo exhibition featuring Leonard Suryajaya that will take place in our galleries from May 13 to July 17, 2022. An artist talk by Leonard Suryajaya will take place on May 14, 2022.

“False Idol x North Kin will exhibit photographs and videos from my body of work False Idol (2016-2020). False Idol is about leaving home to find and create new home, family, and community. To further push and explore community making theme that is integral in my practice, the exhibition will include and showcase collaborations with local Winnipeg creatives. All the creative collaborations will be exhibited alongside the photographs and videos from False Idol in a fully wrapped kaleidoscopic installation revealing a camouflaged newsstand.

A newsstand, a temporal and ubiquitous space commonly appearing at airport terminals, holds a through line in these community narratives. A place for last minute gifts and needs on my way to see family, it is also a place that initiates the parting reality of leaving home. Realizing the limitation of the lens based medium, I work with installation to help me further skew and test the viewer’s ability to adapt to a new setting. Along with the explosion of color, patterns, photographs, and videos, in this bizarre setting, the viewers are invited to find a sense of familiarity in the photographs of the ‘other’, the foreigners. The newsstand is a physical embodiment of our newsfeed, where we go to connect, learn, and challenge.”

– Leonard Suryajaya


Leonard Suryajaya (Chicago, IL) uses his work to test the boundaries of intimacy, community and family. He uses photography, video, performance and installation to show how the everyday is layered with histories, meanings and potential.

BA in Theatre Arts and BFA, 2013, California State University, Fullerton; MFA, 2015, School of the Art Institute of Chicago; 2017, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Selected exhibition venues include Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago; Benaki Museum, Greece; Photoforum Pasquart, Switzerland; National Library, Singapore; Wrightwood 659, Chicago; Aperture Gallery, NY; Barney Savage Gallery, NYC; Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago; Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago. His work is included in collections such as the Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Photography, The Block Museum, Vontobel Art Collection, Joan Flasch Artist Book Collection, Mana Contemporary and Center for Photography at Woodstock. Awards: Aaron Siskind Foundation Award, Artadia Awards, Robert Giard Foundation Fellowship, CENTER Excellence in Multimedia Award, New Artist Society Award, James Weinstein Memorial Fellowship, Claire Rosen and Samuel Edes Prize for Emerging Artist, The Santo Foundation Fellowship.



Calling all Winnipeg Artists, Designers, and Creatives!

Leonard Suryajaya is seeking creatives to use/apply/transform his Winnipeg pattern into objects/accessories/souvenirs/food/items to be exhibited and sold in his exhibition False Idol x North Kin, displayed in Plug In ICA’s galleries from May 13 to July 17, 2022. The profit from the sales of the items will be split between the collaborator, Leonard, and Plug In.

Please click here to see Leonard’s pattern.

The pattern features the faces of the 32 Winnipeggers who attended Leonard’s portrait sessions in February. The Winnipeg pattern was created by Leonard for the upcoming exhibition and will be used to cover Plug In ICA’s Gallery 2 and the surfaces it will contain. Leonard is now seeking collaborators for the next stage of his project, and is asking creators to use, apply, or transform the above Winnipeg pattern into objects, accessories, souvenirs, food, or items that would typically appear at a Newsstand. These objects may include: mugs, glasses, bowls, vases, fashion accessories, tshirts, garbage mitts, scarfs, beanies, tote bags, key chains, decorations, furniture, cakes, cookies, things to show off your hometown pride, etc!

Click here to learn more.