The Powerful “Kingdom of Girls”

 

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Ibapyntngen in the cottage. (Karolin Klüppel)

Mawlynnong is about 90 kilometres from the capital of Meghalaya, Shillong, India. Mawlynnong is over hundred years old, keeping the surrounding environment clean an age old tradition. The society is matrilineal making women economically powerful. The Khasi trival inhabitans are known to be worshippers of nature which make them the main occupation of the villagers is agriculture.[1]

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Wanda on the stairs to the treehouse, 2013. (Karolin Klüppel)

This Discover India Magazine declared the village as the cleanest in Asia in 2003, brought a Berlin-based photographer, Karolin Klüppel was travelled to india to document the phonemenon – tribes in the east Khasi Hills, Mawlynnong is located home to just 95 houses and a population of around 500.

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Yasmin, playing at the river, 2014. (Karolin Klüppel)

In the Khasi tribe, when the youngest daughter inherits the family’s wealth and property, which men rarely own. The system also dictates that children take their mother’s surname and once a man marries, he lives in this mother-in-law’s home. A family with only sons is considered unlucky, Klüppel reports.[2]

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Grace with dry fish, 2013. (Karolin Klüppel)

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Grace in my dress, 2014. (Karolin Klüppel)

“To Disrespect a woman in this culture means to harm the society. Daughters are often more wanted than boys, and a family with just sons is considered to be miserable, because only daughters can assure the continuity of a clan.” Klüppel said in a statement to In Sight and Violet[3] magazine.

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Ibapyntngen, playing, 2013. (Karolin Klüppel)

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Steam, 2013. (Karolin Klüppel)

Karolin Klüppel saw this inverted world of herself. For nine months spanning two years lived with different Khasi families.

Klüppel says some, upset by their second-class status, are calling for gender equality. But mostly she was struck by “the respect that Khasi men have for women,” which is at the heart of this photo series. “I want everyone to know about cultures that are different from the patriarchal world we live in – and I want people to question that system.”[5]

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Phida with balloon, 2013. (Karolin Klüppel)

Indonesian Art in the Twentieth and Early Twenty-First Century

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Untitled 2 (Beringin) by Wakidi

World as we see it is kind of different from each eyes whose see. A painting might be one of the oldest media to show the philosophy differ principally according to the painters subject and meaning which they reflect, transform and express it.[1] From reality within his spiritual world – simplify their deep head and feelings – as an individual interaction with the world.

The paintings in this collection from Art 1 New Museum show the development of Indonesian art in the twentieth and onto the twenty-first century.[2] The paintings are mostly represent a romanticized view of the Indonesian Landscape: colonial times, and also supported the notion of Mooi Indië. Mooi Indië (“Beautiful Indies”) was likely have been used term for the romanticized idyllic landscapes portraying the Indies, inspired by the beauty of indie land, people and culture, and therefore paint with their highest sense of aesthetics. [3]

And other than that, Modern painting are also came into Indonesia was often considered to be introduced by Sindhudarsono Sudjojono who urged Indonesian painters to shy away from painting in the Mooi Indie genre and create artworks that expressed their own thoughts and feelings.

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Pulang Bawa Kaju (Bringing Wood Home) by S. Sudjojono, 1968

According with Sudjojono’s thought: during the early development of Indonesian art, some artist often painted the lives of common folk, with their own individual characteristic styles. And the exhibition shows two of the best are Affandi and Hendra Gunawan.

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Boats at Kusamba by Affandi, 1981

 

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Picking Lice by Hendra Gunawan

And the time after the fall of Soeharto in 1998, Amrus Natalsya and other painters in the era of end of 1980 artists whom are associated with Lekra (People’s Cultural Agency) of the Communist Party were detained following the aborted coup d’etat of 1965 had been released from prison and became active again creating artworks express their thoughts and point of views of political and racial discrimination during that time with marked freedom in their artworks as you can see it in Armus Natalsya painting.

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Menyerbu Alengka by Armus Natalsya

Near to today in the 21st century Indonesia seems has increased and managed great economic development. For modern artist and art collectors were developed more sophisticated, formalistic tastes, one of catches my eyes is a painting by Srihardi Soedarsono.

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Jiwa Samudra by Srihadi Soedarsono, 1987

And for above all, I met this the most beautiful woman in such an exotic feels of beautiful Javanese woman wears kebaya. In a steady posture and gesture, the sense of power and self-control. This beauty is made by Basoeki Abdullah his characterized as realism.

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Lady in Kebaya by Basoeki Abdullah

Picture is talking thousand words, speaking of creating a vision. Painting are one of example of human experiment of their eyes to the mind through their body into a media. Kind of elegance of experiment which evokes legitimate admiration, affords us intellectual and aesthetic pleasure. A meaningful expression without words. When truth can be seen in each of who sees it with different point of view followed by the same feeling of artist’s visions.


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Exhibition
Indonesian Art in the Twentieth and Early Twenty-First Century
Art:1 New Museum

Jl. Rajawali Selatan Raya No 3
Jakarta 10720 Indonesia

Artists
Wakidi , Affandi , Jeihan , Koempoel , S. Soedjono , Chris Suharso , Suparto , Putu Ngurah Wardhana , Abdullah , Srihadi , Fajar Sidik , But Mochtar , G. Sidharta , Nashar , Rusli , Bagong Kusudiarja , G. Sidharta Soegijo , Hendra Gunawan

Following

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We are living in the era of software, hardware, smartphone apps controlled the future. For technology digital media now shifting from passive customer to active customer. The differences of them two are how they consume the media; old days was the phase of receiving information, and today people are more active to creating information. People are easily create content, moving picture, photos, sounds, texts and so on.

The receiving eyes and ears are now directed to calculated machine (software / apps) which controlling its own users. The barrier between the power and control by machine itself are so thin and tend to be illusive.

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In this exhibition, thirteen of Indonesian Artists facing this situation with production strategy method and visual not to against the limitation of this phenomenon. Otherwise, the artists were playing within the cracks.

Chosen method, system and texts they displayed with various shape of information that has been filtered to process of exchanging codes made by its artist, curator team, and also the visitor themselves.

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The content of the exhibitions are displayed not just for showing the technology and method the artists used but to make an open dialogue to talk about the negotiate production and content between the artist and the visitors.

In my humble opinion, ‘Following’ exhibition has its own purposes of the nowadays digital-technology media: in this era which people are easily make a content and creating a new art by downloading it through apps and software are the opposite of what – ‘somewhat called as’ – ancient artists do. Just a bit of reminder, the media of displaying a content is not always about how easy and complex of the process but the true meaning of each pieces. How they can relate to the right audiences and their habits.

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Exhibition
9– 21 Februari 2017. Pukul 10.00-19.00 WIB
(waktu istirahat pukul 14.00-15.00 WIB)
Gedung A, Galeri Nasional Indonesia

Curator
Mahardika Yudha

Artists
Adel Pasha. Adhari Donora. Adityo Pratomo. Andang Kelana. Ari Dina Krestiawan. Ari Satria Darma. Budi Prakosa. Gelar Agryano Soemantri. Gooodit. Mahesa Almeida. MG Pringgotono. oomleo. Ricky ‘Babay’ Janitra


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Galeri Nasional – February 2017

Princess & Her Coffee

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Almost every afternoon she went to a coffee shop nearby her office, she always reserved the same spot, at the same hours; table for two, right before the stairs.

“One hot macchiato and apple crumble for this beautiful lady”

She looked out towards the door, for two hours a day. She sat there exploring, discovering people passing by the door. She enjoyed their faces whose elicited their ‘hidden’ stories. Just, like that.

“Hi, excuse me, are you smiling at me?”
he said to her after she eyed him entering the door, smiling.
“Hmm, no?”

As he introduced him self, and asked why he caught her eyes exploring him entered the building. He felt that he was kind of interesting object. So, he planned to play the catch.

“So, tell me why a ladylike can sit here alone, sipping a bitter macchiato and had a sweetest dessert on earth. What a scene to be missed”, he directly felt okay to sat in front of her. Spilled out a question sign of starting a conversation.

“Do you want to hear a sad story?”
“Try me”

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“‘This is a story of beautiful Princess and her lover who has long been in longing to be a couple but their plan didn’t go well along her parents’ policy. After a decade the princess refused to forget about her lover. She preferred holding her breath in live deeply from letters to letters that came for her, like wood that need fire to warm the night, comfortably soundless.

Unfortunately, her broken hearted story must be had an end. She whined to his father, The King, begged his willing. The King felt down to saw her only daughter suffering from the sadness she made. And finally The King blessed her with his will.’”

“Sad story, isn’t it?”, she stated.
“No, that was a happy ending, right? Except, after-a-decade-part. Phew, how come?”
“Don’t forget, she had a mother.”

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“I only say this, because knowing that you have suffered great pain and sorrow, you will be more cheerful, perhaps, after spoiled out to a stranger, but let me know you; who are you; what brought you here alone?”
“It wasn’t about me, you might recognized the second I finished the story”

She checked her utterance for some minutes; when he got silence on the point of her statement to relate how the story had been brought him to a confusing moment, and carried away the sadness from her eyes while she pretended it was just an old story from far-far-away castle.

He had a manner of bitting his lip when he spoke and of looking directly to her eyes at the same time: which irresistibly gorgeous, she thought. However this attitude, he fixed himself, the moment he made his appearance; and, holding out a small piece of brown leather pouch, in a growling, broken voice.

“Too bad, I thought we have one more shot”

At this moment, there he walked away: supporting himself by a careless gesture: rather lame in aged face, who was dressed in a blue parka, grey striped t-shirt she gave. Just like a decade ago.


The first time I came to Museum Ulen Sentalu, it took me less than 1 hour to get here from central town of Yogyakarta. The ambiance and atmosphere from the buildings and surroundings gave me a calm vibe. Museum Ulen Sentalu is about private collection of history of Javanese Heritage; paintings, statues, Javanese Historical Literature, and even a private collection from princess of Kraton Yogyakarta.

Ulen Sentalu brings everything seems so close to nostalgic mood of old heritage of Central Java. We can find a lot of interesting stories about Kraton and their Kings and Princesses which we couldn’t hear in any place before. And of course, it’s a private collections so yes, people are not allowed to take picture while we inside the main buildings.

After we finished the private tour, there is Boukenhof Restaurant. You will definitely don’t want get out of there soon you finished the tour. To feel the magical and mystic feel of Museum. You can also try to eat your late lunch or have a conversation about the private collections with friends and family in Boukenhof Restaurant. When I enter the restaurant, it gave me feel like so hollandish, wood furniture, white table cloth and those detail art deco ornament. They serve western food, it was kinda weird for me. But still it’s a perfect place for you to sit and feel your needs of nature and historical demand.

Museum Ulen Sentalu & Boukenhof Restaurant – Sleman, Yogyakarta
December 2016

Daydream Agreement

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The plan was to meet environment of the well beings. To be here to make my mind wakes. Here makes my blood blue. Wear a tiger as a robe and that righteousness feels; grasping a silver shield, and the sharpest sword hanging on my waist. Everything seems foreign, the wind whispering an exceptional judgment. As it written the duty of saving the princess from an one eyed troll.

The song suddenly stopped switching to my phone’s ringtone sound. A familiar name pop up.

“What time is it? You’re late!”

When a solitude bliss is hard to get to live which alone is to live forever.


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He had to run outside the warehouse. He heard his name called from a distance. A continuance, he looked at a place where reminded of important history was created, was exactly what suited in his mind.

“Can we go to another place? Everything has changed, you should’ve known!”, he caught a pair of calm eyes, as he was finding where was the voice came from.

He directly saw the trees which he has been seen for years, loyally in complete stand still within the storm. This season of cheerfulness, no cold-hearted could be more cheerful than the wind that day, or possess, in a greater expectation of happiness which is happiness itself.

“It’s comfortable enough, even this will remain the same.”

Kebun Raya Bogor – December 2016

Di Pasar

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Yang ia tau, ikan akan terlihat bagus ketika bersama-sama di dalam tangki gelas berhiaskan tanaman plastik (agar tidak cepat mati, katanya) seperti di rumah Kakek dan tidak lupa isi ikan sapu-sapu. Kakek mencurigai, ia pasti malas membersihkannya seminggu sekali.

“Nyo, tau tidak? Tidak semua ikan harus bersama, ada ikan yang tidak bisa digabung dalam satu tempat. Ikan ini kecil dan mandiri, kamu pasti suka juga tidak repot ngurusnya. Dan tidak perlu ikan sapu-sapu!” Kakek tertawa.

Setelah dua puluh empat tahun ia kembali ke tempat ini. Untuk mengingat akan Kakeknya yang pertama kali mengenalkan ia pada arti menjadi indah karena berdiri sendiri.


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Sore itu ia kembali ke rutinitasnya. Naik bus kota dari arah Matraman ke stasiun Jatinegara. Melantunkan lagu yang pertama kali ia kenal dari adegan film Dono dan Sang Kekasih-Madonna di TV dulu.

“Kalaulah memang kita berpisah
itu bukan suratan
mungkin ini lebih baik
agar kau puas membagi cinta
Pulangkan saja
aku pada ibuku atau ayahku…”

Orang-orang duduk melamun menatap jalanan yang ramai, berharap cepat sampai di tujuan. Kali ini ia turun sebelum menyelesaikan pertunjukan tunggalnya.

Ia ingat dulu Ayahnya sempat bercerita tentang lumut ketika mereka pergi ke pasar untuk membeli umpan ikan. Kata Ayah; lumut bisa tumbuh dan hidup tanpa faktor pendukung, dapat menyesuaikan diri dengan keadaan apapun. Apapun, tegasnya.

Setahun setelah TV baru Ayah datang, ia ditinggal pergi. Hingga kini adegan film Warkop DKI itu menjadi penyambung hidup, pikirnya. Ia pun tersenyum, menunggu bus kota berikutnya berhenti di depan pasar.


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“Sialan! Tadi gue hampir ditabrak mobil!”
Pesan terkirim.
“Dia bales chat gue! Besok musti ganteng!”
Pesan terkirim.
“Tadi si Kepala Botak ngusir gue dari kelas!
Bodo gue juga ga butuh dia!”
Pesan terkirim.
“Asli, gue laper. Males keluar jam segini,
gak ada lo sih.”
Pesan terkirim.

Satu plastik transparan berisikan empat ikan kecil diletakkan di kasurnya. Ibu bilang tadi si sahabat datang, ini agar ia ada teman, jadi tidak lagi merasa kehilangan dua adik barunya sekaligus. Jangan ada alasan menjadi cengeng untuk tidak masuk sekolah. Karena ia sudah diberikan empat ikan sekaligus untuk menemani harinya di rumah, pesan si sahabat.

“Dimana sih lo? Gue butuh lo sekarang! Bales oi!”
Ia mengirim pesan lagi – mungkin – pertanyaan.

Dua tahun lalu waktunya si sahabat pergi untuk selamanya, yang selalu memberi lebih, untuk tidak merasa kurang. Yang ada tanpa harus mengada. Walaupun kadang keadaan ingin menyerah, ia akan selalu ingat kalau sahabatnya akan selalu ada.


Pasar Jatinegara – January 2017

Dapur Babah

Thoughts

“As we live in the nowadays consciousness of human rights. considering everything into self righteous, feeding the needs of what we show, see and feel regarding to the Internet timeline of creating new order of world; politics versus religions – someone else’s Instagram post versus aesthetic taste maintains its image word by word, composition, pallete and whatnot. completely complex – perfectly hidden by its fortunate plan.”


Dapur Babah EliteDecember 2016

Jakarta night will always catch a mood, TUGU Group is one of the best place to have an authentic Indonesian-peranakan-dine and for my afternoon coffee with Indonesian Heritage ambiance. Dapur Babah Elite is my favorite one beside Lara Djonggrang.