JD Reforma at COMA / Sydney

JD Reforma /  Acid Mantle 

15 January - 13 February 2021

COMA Gallery 

First Floor, 71-73 Stanley Street

Darlinghurst, NSW, 2010


COMA is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by JD Reforma - his first solo presentation with the gallery - titled Acid Mantle.

JD Reforma’s Acid Mantle is a series of new paintings and installations that examine the rituals and economies of beauty. The term ‘acid mantle’ describes the fine, acidic veil of oils, lipids, amino and fatty acids on the surface of human skin that acts to preserve the skin’s microbiome. The threat of disturbing the acid mantle has become a coercive tool in the culture and commercialisation of skincare. 

In these works, the artist has used skincare products and ingredients, specifically papaya soap, coconuts, and silk. Chosen for their skin-whitening, tanning and anti-ageing properties, they have been distilled into their various essential elements – powder, pigment, fibre – and reconstituted into delicate paintings, textiles, and carpets. 

While these works superficially represent skin and the various cultures and rituals surrounding its care, they also point to the less visible, more felt thresholds that our body’s mantle – seen from the outside – enacts on our interiors. 


JD​ ​Reforma​ (b.1988) is an interdisciplinary artist working broadly across sculpture, performance, installation, video, photography and writing. The meaning explored in his work is embedded in different racialised and classed contexts: the lived experiences of the Asian-Australian diaspora; popular culture and the cult of celebrity; corporate branding and institutional critique; and political dynasticism and cultural imperialism. He is also a humourist and satirist, a practice enacted online through the Instagram persona Keeping Up With the KPIs, a meme-based account in which the ubiquitous Kardashian/Jenner celebrity dynasty are positioned as imaginary figures within an institutional critique of the art world.

Most recently he has completed major commissions for ​Hyperlinked​, 2020, curated by Isobel Parker Philip, Art Gallery of New South Wales; ​HI-VIS,​ 2020, curated by Luke Letourneau, Casula Powerhouse; ​Don’t Let Yourself Go​, 2020, curated by Megan Monte and Josephine Skinner, Cement Fondu, Sydney; and ​Collective Trace,​ 2020, curated by Anna May Kirk, Sophie Penkethman-Young and Nerida Ross, PACT, Sydney. His work has been extensively profiled by Broadsheet Sydney, Art Collector Magazine, The Guardian, The Saturday Paper, RUSSH Magazine, Running Dog and Runway Journal. He is a 2020 City of Sydney Live/Work Space Artist; and was a 2019/20 Carriageworks Resident Artist and a 2018 4A Beijing Studio recipient.