Monday, December 24, 2007

A Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

The Management of Rumah Seni Yaitu and his friends
wish you a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year 2008.
Many thanks for joining us during the year 2007
and through arts may we bring happiness and prosperity.

We're closed from December 24, 2007 through January 6, 2008.
Please feel free to visit at Monday, January 7, 2008.
Open daily except holidays: 10am-5pm.

Coming soon:
"New Light on Batik Lasem"
We will have a deep discussion with Mr William Kwan,
a researcher of Batik Lasem.
February 2008.

Thank you,
The Management

Friday, December 14, 2007

Fat Ass Artist

TUESDAY morning: December 11, 2007. EddiE haRA, the artist who is now living in Basel, Switzerland, dropped to RSY. He has been in Indonesia for a few weeks relating to his solo exhibition – titled “Global Warming, Cool Art!”, December 5 through 18, 2007– at Nadi Gallery, Jakarta. Enin Supriyanto is the curator of it. Expressing his closed-friendship to the artist, who is still look like a sitting-buddha, Enin wrote: Long live, you, fat ass artist!

I talked with the Salatiga – Central Java – born artist for hours. It was very great to speak to him. He speaks in the way Javanese priyayi (middle class well-educated people) always do: speaking slowly – not in a hurry – and polite. The way he speaks is quite different to his performance: wearing t-shirt and three-quarter loose pants, having an earing in his left-ear, and completed with red shoes. Old punk daddy. But now his head is not bold anymore. One thing is clear: his hair becoming silver. Sign: mature.

Then we had brunch: tahu pong. Tahu is beancurd. Pong is empty. Means: chruncy fried beancurd. This is a local dishes: fried beancurd served with garlic-sweet-kechup. Yummy.

After having meals we went to see a leading local art-collector. Such collector is usually called as ‘kolekdol’. Etymologically ‘kolekdol’ derives from ‘koleksi’ (means: to collect in Bahasa) and ‘dodolan’ (means: selling in Javanese). Kolekdol is a person who does collecting art works and in the same time selling them again. Just money-earning-oriented. In short, not a ‘pure’ art-collector. Aha, the term is specifically Indonesian.

But let’s talk about EddiE’s latest art-works. For more than centuries he is hoped by art critic and art lovers to change his childish iconic visual into something new and fresh. And this time is happened. Thank God. Though his new works are not entirely different than the old ones but now EddiE seems more enjoy with monocromatic colors. He puts stressing the objects with outlines. Rather simple. And more elegance.

Good luck, EddiE haRA. And allow me to rewrite (again) Enin’s phrase: Long live, you, fat ass artist!***

Thursday, December 13, 2007

No, No Blank Spot!

Photography: Goenadi Haryanto

Though no crowd – it means: less audiences – but the opening night (Friday, December 7th, 2007) was great. I talked about “Blank Spot” photo exhibition. Some hearted art-lovers, RSY’s friends, and students enjoyed the photos. And some of them stayed patiently until the artist talk session finished.

Mr Tjahjono Rahardjo, lecturer of Urban and Environment, Post-Graduate Programme, Soegijapranata Chatolic University, gave his notes on the Semarang Old Town. It was a Dutch colonial living area but now many all of its buildings were emptied and have no significant functions.

“By exploring this area, just on foot, we can learn different architectural styles,” said Mr Rahardjo. The area was built during 1880 to 1930’s. He also described the political lives related to this area during the Soekarno’s reign, Soeharto’s dictatorship, and now in the Reformasi Era.

It seems that there are no enough attentions how to handle this wonderful area where many old buildings still existed. In fact, only little are used and cared properly.

But in other part of his speech, Mr Rahardjo did not agree to the term ‘blank spot’ used as the title of the exhibition. According to him, this area still existed and attracted so much attentions from Government, in short: abundant of money were poured down. But nothing developed well, I claim.

The ‘blank spot’ curatorial framework based on thoughts: the area is between existed nor in-existed for the reasons no significant development implemented there.

Five photographers who are taking part to this exhibition show their multifaceted pictures. Agus Leonardus, famous photographer and a lecturer worked at Yogyakarta, makes interesting metaphor to this Old Town. He only show single picture: there are dozens people – actually the same person – are sleeping on the road in front of Gereja Blenduk (simply as Round Church) which is a landmark of the cityscape. He critizises the local government included citizens which are not awaken.

Goenadi Haryanto, Hendro Wasito, and William Wong pick up the reality they found in the area. The senior photographer Goenadi Haryanto, known as a leading one in Indonesian photo salon community, visualized his observation on the street lamp related to and important for the safety reasons. This Jakarta based photographer thinks as if the area were unsafe.

The night scene really underlines the term ‘blank spot’ and Hendro Wasito, an amateur photographer but a leading Semarang art collector, tells us how tranquil the area is. Almost none activities found in the night and in some terraces of old buildings there are many homeless laying down embracing their dreams. Wasito clearly shows his position to people who are oppressed and do not get enough care from others.

William Wong’s dozens photos of doors and windows are definitely signs of destruction. Those are left alone and imply both government and citizens never care of them. Indeed, some are extremely good looking.

Wearing traditional Javanese costume Ferintus Karbon walked alone in the area and thought he was a lost tourist. Not only as a humble tourist but he also underlines being a Javanese in the Dutch colonial area. Moreover he seems criticize the government programme, that is Semarang Pesona Asia. This programme was politically arranged by the Mayor to attract foreign tourists coming to Semarang. Frankly speaking this programme was not as successful as it is claimed by the government.

In short, this photo exhibition brings a different point of view on the Old Town. And it shows that photography is not only means of recording but also as a media expressing ideas.***

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Blank Spot

Photography: Ferintus Karbon

[Photo Exhibition "Blank Spot" will go at December 7 to 22, 2007. This will be opened at Friday, December 7, at 7pm. There ia an artist talk after the Opening. Mr Tjahjono Rahardjo, lecturer of PMLP Soegijapranata Catholic University, is going to deliver his ideas on the site where was a Dutch colonial living area. This event is fully supported by Yayasan Widya Mitra Semarang. The Management welcome photographers and art lovers to enjoy the show with no admission. Thank you.]
Photo exhibition “Blank Spot” is designed based on intensive observations to an area which is neglected for a long time. The Old Town of Semarang was a Dutch colonial living area. Its buildings reflect European’s architectural. Now the purpose of the area is not clearly yet for what.

The government seems had no idea how to revitalise it. By the reasons having no fund, the government cannot handle the regular floods covering the area. Indeed the area will be a promising tourism spot if it were developed well.

The chalenge is how to change the area into a contemporary cultural center which cover all public aspirations.

The “Blank Spot” were supposed as no occupants area, between existed and non-existed. All photos describe not only the area’s potencies but included its problems.

Five photographers – Agus Leonardus, Ferintus Karbon, Goenadi Haryanto, Hendro Wasito, and William Wong – took pictures with their own spirits and different styles. Those photos are voiceless notes on some parts of the town which are now more languid.

Tubagus P. Svarajati,
Exhibition Curator

Monday, November 5, 2007

an ongoing URBAN poem

Photography: Roy Voragen

The photo exhibition "an ongoing URBAN poem" by Roy Voragen will be opened on Friday, November 9, 2007 at 7pm. The exhibition goes to November 24, 2007. This exhibition is a join programme between Rumah Seni Yaitu and Widya Mitra Foundation. The Ambassador of the Netherlands, His Excellency Dr Nikolaos van Dam scheduled to officiate it.

After the opening ceremony there is an artist's talk. Triyono Lukmantoro, a lecturer at Diponegoro University, will deliver his observation on Roy's photos.

Accompanying his exhibition Roy Voragen will give a street photography workshop for public free of charge. The workshop runs from November 6 to 9 at 9am.
Roy Voragen – born in Heerlen, the Netherlands – took part in an artist-in-residence programme at Rumah Seni Yaitu Semarang for five weeks from June 25th to July 29th, 2007. This programme was fully supported by Widya Mitra Foundation Semarang.

During his residency Roy captured the city and its daily life. He explored the city’s insight and its problems. As a street photographer he paid attention on urbanity subject matter.

As long as he walked through the city’s streets he often lost his sense of direction. But he enjoyed it anyway. “In these in between moments of losing sense of direction I can make photos that give me sense to the city,” he said.

Roy’s photos show us some aspects. Those photos are documentary city’s life in a particular time. Through his photos he learns how to understand Indonesian culture and those also as a method of introducing who he is.

Roy Voragen lives in Indonesia since 2003. He teaches philosophy in Parahyangan Catholic University Bandung. His essays were published in some national newspapers and journals.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

PARADOXIAL electro-music

Artwork: G. Haryanto

October 30, 2007 at 7pm

No admission!

The Management of RSY and Widya Mitra Foundation proudly present "Paradoxial..." soundwaves, an electronic music concert by Bambang Widiatmoko and Ki Sadrakh group.

Limited seats!

Sunday, October 14, 2007


art work: Ekwan Marianto

Group Exhibition:
Agus Siswanto (Solo),
Ekwan Marianto (Yogya),
Sakini SKM (Kudus).
Opening: Friday, Oct 26, 2007 at 7 pm.
The exhibition through Nov 5, 2007

The “Story:Testimony” is an exhibition of three painters who are telling their experiences according to their own historical background. The linkage of their art-works, in general, is their daily stories of which visualised allegoricaly. The stories are their testimonies of the phenomenon of which they observed.

Tubagus P. Svarajati, exhibition curator

Friday, October 12, 2007

We're closed till Sunday, Oct 12, 2007.
Please feel free to come at Monday, Oct 22, 2007.

Next Exhibition:
Agus Siswanto-Ekwan Marianto-Sakini SKM
Oct 26-Nov 5, 2007

Thank You,
The Management.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Gala

Photos: Ferintus Karbon

Alia Swastika, the curator, is delivering her speech accompanied by Tubagus P. Svarajati and Mella Jaarsma.

IT WAS hot and bright afternoon, Saturday 15, 2007, when some students entered the space. They, by seeing the exhibition-to-be-opened “The Past-The Forgotten Time”, spent their time before ‘buka puasa’, that is the time – usually a few minutes before 6 o’clock in the evening – when Mosleems are allowed to eat after a full-happy-day-fasting.

The surprising thing is the fact that they are not only Indonesian but also some students from abroad. They, according to Riris – student of IKIP PGRI who become a teacher, surely, when she has completed her study and directly gets job! – come from China, Vietnam, South Africa, and a list of countries I forgot. They are part of some students who are studying Bahasa in some Semarang’s universities. Well, it’s good to know we have some new audiences.

The exhibition was afficiated by Mrs Widjajanti Dharmowijono. Before her, I – Tubagus P. Svarajati – announced to audiences a brief explanation why such event was conducted here. And Mella Jaarsma, the artist who owned – with his husband – Cemeti Art House (CAH), gave her speech on the mutual cooperation between CAH and RSY. Then Alia Swastika, the artistic manager of CAH and the curator of the exhibition, delivered some notes on the background what the theme of the exhibition is, the reasons why the artists were chosen, and so on.

Mrs Dharmowijono noted that we Indonesian usually blame the past, the history, whenever we fail to construct our own. She said, we do not forget the past, but neither we hide before it. We could choose to write down our own history and probably that is what we called as freedom. In a way, whether we like it or not, Indonesian and the Dutch have shared history. It is cliché when we call that history equals to ‘his/her story’. But is that true history belongs to whom has the power to reign?

In the other part Mrs Dharmowijono said, “We in turn were not as passive viewers only, but also bring our knowledge, experiences and feelings to interpret ourself and to every art-works. This exhibition which involved six artists is amazing for it also comes from great ideas.”

After all there was an artists’ talks delivered by Wimo Ambala Bayang and Yuli Prayitno, two of six artists who are exhibiting. The curator also gave her speech. And the discussion was moderated by Seno Satrio Prakoso from Widya Mitra Foundation.***

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Past-The Forgotten Time

[“The Past-The Forgotten Time” is going to show at Saturday, September 15, and goes to October 8, 2007. The artists are: Agus Suwage, Eko Nugroho, Irwan Ahmett, Prilla Tania, Wimo Ambala Bayang, and Yuli Prayitno. Mrs Widjajanti Dharmowijono, a doctor candidate of Amsterdam University, will officiate the exhibition and it followed by artists’ talks then. The management of Rumah Seni Yaitu welcome art lovers to enjoy this exhibition with no admission.]

DURING 1930-1960 the social, political and cultural lives of Indonesian sities cited changed. Some scholars from Gajah mada University researched these changes with the help of Netherlands Institute of War Documentation/ NIOD, Amsterdam. The project is called “Indonesia Across Orders: The Reorganization of Indonesian Society, 1930-1960”.

On the cultural level, the reality of urban symbolism in Indonesia belongs to its past historical process. How the changes happened from cities with colonial-culture symbolism to become ones with the Indonesian-cultural signs at the era before 1960? Are the images and the symbolic cultural identities of postcolonial urban Indonesia truly different than what they were proviously?

This exhibition is interpretation of six Indonesian artists on the research. Those artists are selected by the management of Cemeti Art House, as the producer of the exhibition, for the reasons what they are doing is based on research processes besides their strong visual aspects.

“The Past-The Forgotten Time” was exhibited at Artoteek Den Haag-The Hague, NIOD-Amsterdam, Cemeti Art House-Yogyakarta, and Erasmushuis-Jakarta. Then it is going to BizArt-Shanghai (Nov 2007) and Singapore Fringe Festival 2008.***

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Great Hamad!

Hamad Khalaf (center), Mr Deddy Irianto (left), and Mr Alexander Ming (right) at the Opening.

Photo: Ferintus Karbon

Hamad Khalaf, the Kuwait born artist, delivered his speech in Urban and Environment Dept., Post Graduate Program, of Soegijapranata Catholic University, Semarang, Friday (7/9). He shared his ideas based on his art works. These, in bare words, are about ‘the art and the war’.

"Boot" by Hamad Khalaf
2007 - acrylic, enamel on canvas - 130X130 cm

Some lecturers, students, and persons who are interested on arts enthusiastically attended his class. For some people it’s quite strange to know a Kuwait citizen being a contemporary artist of which Kuwait has famous reputation as a rich petroleum country in Gulf Coast. But, truly speaking, Khalaf is an exception.

He also an exception in the recent Indonesian art scene for the reasons that he was invited exhibiting his works at some leading galleries and alternative art spaces in the same time. He did exhibited at Gaya Fusion Gallery, Nadi Gallery, ITB Soemardja Gallery, and Rumah Seni Yaitu. And next October he is going to show his works to public at Kedai Kebun Forum, Yogyakarta. The other reason is he achieved excellent reviews from Indonesian big medias, such as Kompas, Media Indonesia, Jakarta Post, and also Suara Merdeka. Some critics mentioned that Khalaf’s works are interesting and unique.

Khalaf is exploring historical artifacts – such as the ones from Gulf War e.g. military helmets, uniforms, gloves, gas masks, flasks, and others – and painted them with ancient Greek mythology. “Khalaf blows life into these Iraqi military items with artistic gusto,” says senior art writer Carla Bianpoen.

Krisna Murti, a senior Indonesian artist who is working with video, enjoyed Khalaf’s show at Rumah Seni Yaitu, Friday afternoon (7/9). Mr Murti, who is also known as an influential art critic, was very pleased to see Khalaf’s works.

And Mr Murti is going to show his premier solo exhibition next March. Definitely he is exhibiting at Rumah Seni Yaitu.***

Monday, August 27, 2007

Camouflage: Acts of War

The “Camouflage: Acts of War” by Hamad Khalaf will go at Friday, August 31-2007, on 7 p.m. This exhibition is curated by Rifky Effendy and will be officiated by Mr Deddy Irianto, the owner of Langgeng Icon Gallery. The exhibition will last at September 9-2007. Art lovers are welcome with no admission.

Khalaf is a Kuwait born artist and now he is working in Bali. "ACTS OF WAR" is a project which started in 2003, when Hamad Khalaf set up his studio in Bali, Indonesia. In view of the many restrictions his work would face in Kuwait, he chose to further his career in Indonesia as an alternative home base for an international career. The project comprises art work in a broad range of mediums, all revolving around one central idea: Classical Greek Mythology abounds in characters and situations of War, which our reality would seem to imitate.

Excerpts from some sources:
"Bagi banyak seniman, mitos Yunani kemudian dijadikan titik keberangkatan untuk membincangkan tragedi manusia. Melalui benda dan citraan yang penuh erotika lagi puitik, Hamad Khalaf, seorang perupa, mengajak kita merenungi tentang perang lewat mitologi." KOMPAS, Rifky Effendy

"He could not resist collecting, from deserted military battlefields, the military helmets, uniforms, gloves, gas masks, flasks, and other remainders of the war that raged in Kuwait. Khalaf blows new life into these Iraqi military items with artistic gusto." ASIAN ART NEWS, Carla Bianpoen

"The combination of objects from war and epic greek imagery reveals the red thread of human drama. Whether the objects are truly from war or not is of no importance, because we consume war images no differently to other images. We are enticed by the imagery and enjoy reproducing it. While real war takes civilian casualties, its imagery camouflages it to some of the others." MEDIA INDONESIA, Heru Hikayat

"The more I saw, the closer I looked at the objects and the scenes painted on them, and the more was realed about the fascinating way the whole world of objects came together in harmony, and evoking, destruction, war and mythology. I was looking at a highly sophisticated and personal message against war and violence." JAKARTA POST, Jean Couteau

"In its essence, trauma can never be healed. It can only be managed, transformed into positive energy. This is what Hamad does." GALERI SOEMARDJA, Aminuddin TH Siregar

Solo Exhibitions
“Camouflage: Acts of War”, Rumah Seni Yaitu, Semarang, Cent Java, Indonesia
“Acts of War”, 24hr Art (N.T. Centre for Contemporary Art), Darwin, Australia.
“Acts of War”, Galeri Cemara 6, Jakarta, Indonesia.
“Acts of War”, Galeri Soemardja -ITB, Bandung, Indonesia.
“Acts of War”, Gaya Fusion Artspace , Bali, Indonesia.
“Acts of War”, Curated by Enin Supriyanto, Nadi Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia.
“Acts of War”, Curated by Filippo Sciascia, Gayafusion, Bali, Indonesia.
“The Fires of Kuwait”, The Green Room, Ritz Carlton Hotel, Singapore.
“Enemy Revisited”, Salle des Pas Perdus, UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, France.
“Les Argonauts”, Hall Moro III, UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, France.
“Enemy Revisited”, Musee de Louvain La Neuve, LLN, Belgium.
“Enemy Revisited”, Galerie Catrin Alting, Antwerp, Belgium.
“Mitologia Crudele”, Loggia Rucellai – Galerie Alberto Bruschi, Florence, Italy.
“Enemy Revisited”, Le Centre Culturel Francais, Kuwait.

Group Exhibitions
“Theertha Open Day”, Organized by Theertha IAC. Hantane, Sri Lanka.
“Gaya Collection”, Gayafusion. Bali, Indonesia.
“3 Regards sur la guerre”, Abbaye de Stavelot, Stavelot, Belgium.
“Pre-Bali Biennale”, Sika Gallery, Bali, Indonesia.
“Bali Biennale-Summit Event”, Komaneka Gallery, Bali, Indonesia.
“Artiade - Olympics of Visual Arts”, Athens, Greece.
“Artiade - Olympics of Visual Arts”, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Projects Assignments / Workshops
Theertha International Artists Workshop, Hantane, Sri Lanka.
Created 40 art masks for sale at charity masquerade “Friends of Indonesia”, Fabio’s, Bali, Indonesia.
Member of the International Jury, Artiade Olympics of Visual Arts, Athens, Greece.
Desk Calendar, Mobile Telecommunications Company (MTC), Kuwait.
Cards and “Minotaur” Watch sold at UNESCO HQ, Paris, France.

Nadi Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia.
Gayafusion, Bali, Indonesia.
Musee de Louvain La Neuve, LLN, Belgium.
Maison de L’UNESCO, Paris, France.
Associasion Internationale des Arts Plastiques (AIAP), Paris, France.
Artiade Foundation (NGO), Berlin, Germany.
Professor Nicholas Saunders, Author of Trench Art books.
Miuccia Prada, Fashion designer and co-founder of the Prada Foundation, Milan, italy.

Studies & Day Jobs
Senior Representative, Kuwait Petroleum Far East, Singapore.
Oil Trader/Retail Analyst, Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, Kuwait/Rotterdam.
Assistant Admin. Director, SOFREMI (Demining & Ordinance Disposal company operating in Kuwait)
BBA in Marketing and International Business, Schiller International University, Paris, France.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

What is WWW.MACHO?

Design: Rizky Lazuardi

This is about a book discussing the arts of Nindityo Adipurnomo. This Semarang – Central Java – born artist is known as the founder, with his wife Mella Jaarsma, of Cemeti Art House (CAH), Yogyakarta.

The Indonesian art scene note this art space as a leading in showing contemporary art today. It was Cemeti Gallery, changed again to Cemeti Modern Art Gallery, and then became as Cemeti Contemporary Art Gallery. Since 1999 the legendary art space is widely known as CAH. The logo is ‘dot inside a circle’ in purple color.

For their tireless efforts running the art space and introducing Indonesian contemporary art to worldwide, then, they’re honored John D Rockefeller Awards, 2005. This couple are also welknown as excellent artists.

Four female writers – they are Alia Swastika, Farah Wardani, Iola Lenzi, and Amanda K. Rath – contribute their reading on Adipurnomo’s works, especially in his ‘konde’ series. Konde is a traditional Javanese hairpiecing. And the book titled “WWW.MACHO” is named as one of the artist’s exhibitions.

Alia Swastika, now the Artistic Manager of Cemeti Art House, is a writer and begin developing an interest in cross diciplinary curatorial practices with main foci an issues around women, young people and identity. The Executive Director of Indonesian Visual Art Archive (IVAA) Yogyakarta, Farah Wardani, is the other contributor to the book. Wardani is also known as an editor of Visual Arts magazine. Her resume comprises working in the fields of visual communication, design, education, media, art journalism, criticism, curating and management. Iola Lenzi, a Canadian-educated lawyer, is a Singapore-based critic, arts writer and curator. She is the Singapore correspondent for the Asian Art Newspaper, London as well as a contributor to Asian Art News, Hong Kong and Eyeline, Queensland, Australia. And Amanda K. Rath currently completing her desertation on “alternative art” practices, and the discourse of aesthetic and art criticism in Indonesia (1975-2000). She is a writer majoring in modern and contemporary art, art criticism and visual culture from Indonesia and Malaysia for the last ten years.

The book then launched and discussed on Saturday, August 11th 2007, at Gramedia Book Store Semarang, Central Java. Rumah Seni Yaitu organised it. Donny Danardono from Soegijapranata Catholic University and Triyono Lukmantoro from Diponegoro University give their opinions based on the topics of the book. The artist Nindityo Adipurnomo also attended the session.

The “WWW.MACHO” is now available at Rumah Seni Yaitu.***

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Amazing Trunks!

"Gone with the Wind" by Hardiman Radjab

Solo Exhibition "Trunks Full of Stories" by Hardiman Radjab at August 10 to 25, 2007. Curated by Hendro Wiyanto. Opening ceremony at Friday, August 10, at 7 pm. The exhibition will officially opened by Dr Iswidayati, head of Fine Art Department of Faculty of Language and Arts, Semarang State University, Semarang.***

[Excerpt from Curatorial Note]
HARDIMAN Radjab is an artist whom very closed to theater’s life – he is a stage designer for a sum of contemporary plays – and he is also an artist with craft experiences.

In the last decade, the object discourses in our contemporary art-scene come through. This, for instance, as a widening ideas of objecthoods for painters or a playfully games on scale for sculptors. In short, objecthoods in our art-scene celebrate their own sake.

By these situations, Hardiman’s art-works of which use the trunks’ shape and space, enliving them (there is one that could breath), giving its contents and the pluralities of their receptions are interesting because of his seriousness to the ‘medium’ of trunks. To these objecthoods he obviously gives ‘theater’ contexts or substitute the stage into the trunks.

Hardiman is truly convinced to use this object, and feels that these objecthoods widely enough to cover his knowledge, ideas or stories through the simply shape of trunks. The long journey smell, curiousity atmoshphere, staled, changes places, lonelyness and emptiness are appeared from his old trunks.

Hendro Wiyanto
Exhibition Curator

Translated from Indonesian text by Tubagus P. Svarajati

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Roy is Inspiring

Photography: Roy Voragen

The wall in front of
Rumah Seni Yaitu:


The article I wrote about Roy Voragen disappeared from this blog! It's truly because of my stupidity..., I didn't realize and suddenly happened: I deleted it. What a wise guy I am.

Well, I will tell you once more about him. Roy is a philosophy lecturer at Parahyangan University, Bandung. He's invited by the management of Rumah Seni Yaitu as an artist-in-residence for 5 weeks, started from June 25 till July 29. The Yayasan Widya Mitra Semarang fully fasilitates him in the program.

The foundation is institution for encouraging friendship between Indonesian and Dutch. Its services mainly on library and Dutch language courses. Besides it often organises cultural events, for instance classical music concerts, visual art exhibitions, and so on. This institution has a connection to Erasmus Huis Jakarta.

But why Roy? Once I discussed with R.E. Hartanto, an emerging artist lived in Bandung, whether he could give any ideas how to develop RSY's programs. Then we agreed to try a residency program inviting an artist to stay in RSY's guest room for one month. And Roy was chosen to be the first. Roy is Tanto's friend and they made friend when Tanto was in Rijks Akademie, Netherland.

The story goes. Roy is staying in Semarang now. His project is capturing the city's life and its public space. He also observes the citizens whom living there, what they do, and who they are. By inspecting this extremely hot town (for Roy!), it seems that Roy also tries to indentify who he is. A theory once he told me. Interesting?

And Roy does photograph well. He finds the city's insight and he's able to catch the heart of its urban life. He somehow sees that local people cannot do in the same way. It may be explained that he is a foreigner? Perhaps it's true. Susan McCartney (Travel Photography, New York:1999) said that it's wise for photographers to have such foreigners' eyes so they can see anything in new perspectives.

In his staying, Roy also gives philosophy class called "An Art of Living" for students and lecturers of Soegijapranata Catholic University, Semarang. The class takes place in Rumah Seni Yaitu. They're gathering in the back room near the gallery's kitchen. Most of them claimed that Roy's thoughts is inspiring.

This nice guy had cold a few days ago. Local people will say: "Ah, Roy is masuk angin!" Maybe he couldn't stand with the hot weather. So do I even I'm living here for almost my whole life. Say hello whenever you see him in the streets of Semarang these days. "Halo, mister bule!"***

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Rembering Indies: Rogier Boon

Photo: Ferintus Karbon

Last night, Tuesday 3th, there was an opening ceremony of Rogier Boon's exhibition. He was known as a designer for Tong-Tong Magazine and Pasar Malam Besar at Den Haag during his productive years.

Rogier was born in Meeter Cornelis, Batavia (now is Jatinegara, Jakarta) in 1937. Then in his seventeen's birthday he came 'home' to Netherland. Then a chapter of his lilfe began. His father, Tjalie Robinson, took very important influential to his life. Tjalie was a leading journalist at the time. He was very proud being an 'Indo' means 'indies', a mix culture between Ducth and Indonesian.

The exhibition itself shows many graphic art-works of Rogier's. Truely speaking his works are quite interesting showing many local designs which local artists are not concerning anymore.***

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Vision and Mission

Rumah Seni Yaitu:

Founded by Tubagus P. Svarajati on August 19th, 2005. The main objective of Rumah Seni Yaitu (RSY) is to function as a forum to bridge and explore visual art in its cultural linkage.

Focussing on multifaset visualities, never ending exploration and consistent cooperation (local, regional, and international) in regard to the art-world (personals, organisations, independent artists, or artists communities) with egalitairy relationship and in moderate way.

The ideal location in the city center of Semarang enables RSY to play a significant role in generating multidiciplinary art activities and forming a new inclusive art community. Further on, it is expected to be a channel or noveaux art artifact asset.

So far RSY has showed many art activities and signed as an excellent center of contemporary visual art in the city. We believe that gathering the ideas and works of young artists to their audiences is valuable for developing our art-world.

RSY has a stock room which shows art-works by promosing young artists. The management and the artistic team of RSY are supported by some experienced and talented young people.***

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Artist and The Poet

The Poet Afrizal Malna.
Photo: Ferintus Karbon

IT WAS Sunday afternoon, June 17th 2007, when two remarkable persons came in. They’re Entang Wiharso, one of the greatest Indonesian artists, and the wellknown poet was Afrizal Malna. They’re accompanied by Christine Cocca, the artist’ wife who is an American, Byron Good and Mary-Jo DelVecchio Good.

Byron and Mary-Jo are husband and wife. Both are professors from Department of Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School, USA. Byron is a professor of medical anthropology and Mary-Jo is a professor of social medicine. They are in Indonesia doing researches in Aceh funded by the World Bank. They make friend with Wiharso’s family since 2002. And they want to see the artist’s solo exhibition in Rumah Seni Yaitu. For Byron this is the second visit to the exhibition. He came at the opening of the exhibition on May 25th. But for Mary-Jo this is the first time to enjoy it. The visit was especially arranged for her for she was just coming from USA two days ago. She eagered to watch the whole art works. Both couples admire Wiharso’s art works very much especially the artist’s talent and energy to produce many art works.

Byron told me that he was very lucky to attend the opening night. He enjoyed the atmosphere, the artist’ performances collaborated with some art students, and local people surround the art space. He never see in other places where local people and guests can join together to enjoy an art exhibition. Indeed the night was very special attended by many national art lovers such as Dr Oei Hong Djien, Dr Melani Setiawan, Teguh Wibisana, Simon Tan, Chris Dharmawan, and some more.

Mary-Jo thought that the exhibition was amazing. She enjoyed all the wonderful works in the space. Stressing this, in one conversation with me and the artist, she still wondered why such artist can produce many art works, which most of them are excelent ones, and from what thing he gets the energy to create them. “No artists in the world do the same like him,” she claimed.

Yes, many art lovers will say and agree to Mary-Jo. But there are some who do not agree with. An Indonesian leading critic said, in the discussion session accompanying the exhibition, that Wiharso’s works are merely imitating some other artists’ styles. This argument boosted the audiences. How come an artist who gets many admirations from the world art-scene is just a copy-paste one? Some people said that nowadays it is not important to discuss the appearences without searching the meaning of the works themselves. Then, some days after the discussion, another senior art critic and also a lecturer in Indonesian Arts Institute wrote in the leading paper Kompas that the critic mentioned above was only doing things with his own shoes.

Well, it is time for people freely to see anything with their own perspectives. The same thing happened when discussing the art works. So nowadays arts have their multifacets point of views depending on what shape they are to be examined. These are, at least, what the poet Afrizal Malna said in the terrace that night.

You know, the Sunday visit last about at 7pm. Before leaving Semarang to Yogyakarta, the artist and the poet gave their talks to some young local artists and art students. And above all, I want you to know one person who was very kind to join the visit, that is Mr Hendro Wasito. This gentlement is the artist’ friend and also an art lover. He is the guy behind the scene of the “Intoxic” exhibition. And, I believe, he is going to be one important person in the city art-scene in the upcoming time. I thank him for all the help.***

Friday, June 15, 2007

A Short History of Why

Entang Wiharso's art work.
Photo by Ferintus Karbon.

EVERYBODY, whom at the first time hear the name of the art space I'm handling in, will always ask "Why do you name your art space with Rumah Seni Yaitu?". The second question is "What does it mean?" In Bahasa, "yaitu" is only a particle. It does not have existed meaning if not set with other word(s). Simply in English, "yaitu" similar to "that is". So the "Rumah Seni Yaitu" can be translate into "Art House Is". As a name for a location refers to an art space the name "Rumah Seni Yaitu" has not finished yet in its meaning. It does not have a fully meaning indeed. But that's what I truly want to name the space!

First, I want to interpelate myself to what I thought about "what does an art space truly mean" and to "what I'm going to do with the space I built". In this case I should always think and think and fulfill the space with many usefull activities. Such activities not only should be interested, but also have theirs intrinsic values. At least, activities executed in the art house will give benefits to its audience. For these reasons, frankly speaking, the name "Rumah Seni Yaitu" has its honest role: it does not reached its shapes yet! And you could also describe it with your own thougts.

Second, the name is intended to disconstruc the other art houses allready existed in Indonesia. Why do art houses should be constructed. What they do to make contributions to the art-world so far. What are theirs roles in the future. What excitements can they give to the owners. And many many questions are blown in my head.

Now Rumah Seni Yaitu is almost two years old, next August. I must ask myself, so far how long it's been walking through? Does it make me happy? Do anybody or institutions give their generous attentions?

Can you follow me?***

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Apa kabar?

Photography: Tubagus P. Svarajati


This is a very begining. It's a starting point to introduce Rumah Seni Yaitu to public to be known and easily greeted by you, the art-lovers. And this is also the right time for us to know better each other in this room.

This blog is still under construction. Of course its interface cannot be constructed fastly and has its interesting looking in just a single night. I do hope that you will be patient to share with. Anytime you drop by please leave your comments here. Who knows your words will enlight other people.

Thank you. GBU.***