Anwari | Fakhita Madury | Fikril Akbar | FX Harsono | Hidayat Raharja | Ika Arista | Lutvan Hawari | Nindityo Adipurnomo | Rémi Decoster | Rifal Taufani | Syamsul Arifin | Suvi Wahyudianto | Tohjaya Tono
Curated by Ayos Purwoaji & Shohifur Ridho
17 August – 14 September 2019
Cemeti – Institut untuk Seni dan Masyarakat, Yogyakarta
by Ayos Purwoaji & Shohifur Ridho
In Madurese term, dry season is called némor. It literally refers to the southwest monsoon that moves slowly, blowing dry and heat from across the ocean. During the months when némor occurs, the sun is heating, the ground cracks, and the landscape turns brownish. For the Madurese, Némor can be a good omen for the farmers to begin cultivating tobacco, as well as for the salt farmers to harvest salt as much as possible, and for the fishermen to sail to the west.
Kuntowijoyo, a historian, argues that the characteristics of the Madurese culture are influenced by the ecotype of drought-resistant agriculture. That very kind of agriculture shapes the people’s mindset, orientation of settlement, and even how the Madurese people overcome their problems. However, how could those things explain the big, various spectrum of Madurese that ranges widely from the hills to the coast? Or from the remote villages in Sapudi Island to the illegal settlement growing in between Kuala Lumpur’s skyscrapers? Accordingly, to understand the Madurese ethnicity, we might need to put the spectrum into a more fragmented yet imaginative frame. The intensity of being Madurese may vary between a fisherman in Pasongsongan, a vihara caretaker in Pamekasan, the people of Pandalungan in Tapal Kuda, a souvenir retailer in Sanur, a college student in Yogyakarta, a boss of scrap metal in Tanjung Priok, the victims of race riot in Sampit, and even Syiah followers in Sampang.
It is very much likely that what we partially know about the Madurese culture is highly affected by the far-more complicated culture. Other than drought-resistant farm, the Madurese culture might also be shaped by the wind, islands, tanah rantau (land overseas), myths, involution, and ongoing modernization. It is those intersecting factors that shape a distinctive Madurese image and personality. And it is different from Javanese.
For a long time, people might have been comparing between Madura and Java diametrically. Referring to Huub de Jonge’s anthropological research, such comparison was prevalent during the colonial era. At that time, there were many writings by either government’s officials or visitors that compare both of them. Some of them held an assumption that the Madurese people were more rude, tough, and ignorant compared to the Javanese.
That colonial view is currently a common gesture: viewing Madura from the perspective of Java. Stereotypes are continuously made and consumed. Ironically, the biased image is reproduced by the young Madurese as well. They look at themselves as a part of an ancient artifact stored inside a glass cabinet. Venerating the ancientness forever. It goes as if Madura does not encounter any changes in its own culture.
The exhibition tries to deconstruct and re-examine Madura as a psycho-geographical and cultural region within a broader spectrum. The commissioned artists will at least represent the diversity: some of them are the residents of Madura, some others are Madurese diaspora, representatives of Pandalungan, and non-Madurese visual artist who can provide a more objective view. The works on exhibited speak for four groups of narratives, namely history, coast, ground, and gender.
The genealogy of Java and Madura might be traced back to the rebellion of Trunajaya in the mid-17th century. Trunajaya, the ruler of West Madura, gathered more power to undermine, and eventually tear apart, the center of power of Mataram. But the victory did not last. Amangkurat II who had managed to escape and asked VOC for help, struck back the rebel troops and murdered Trunajaya before the eyes of many regents and Javanese nobles. His action affirmed the full and unbroken power of Mataram.
The head of Trunajaya, was supposedly buried under one of the steps of the stair that leads up to the top of Imogiri cemetery, the burial sites of the kings of Mataram. Beneath a stone pedestal, with footprint on its surface, lies the body of Trunajaya. Such tragic death indicated the authority of Java over Madura. The interpretation of the battle (or rebellion) of Trunajaya is presented in the works of Suvi Wahyudianto and Ika Arista, as well as the repertoire of sound composed by Rifal Taufani.
Meanwhile, Tohjaya and Hidayat Raharja view Madura from the furthest perimeter, which is from the coast. From that point, many things emerge: imagination on mobility, migration flow, forms of acculturation, and a wide variety of intersection or tension between the people of Madura and of other cultures. Tono gathers and mixes his childhood memories about the west coast areas of Sepolo, Tanjungbumi, and Arosbaya in an animation video. While Hidayat Raharja presents a series of documentaries about the east coast areas, including Tanjung, Kalianget, or Dungkek in the forms of sketches made during 1992-2019.
Anwari and FX Harsono bring forward the issues around Madura land that is inhabited and left at the same time. The limestone mountains with a wide stretch of barren farmland are where some people of Madura Island earn their livelihood. On the other side, some citizens are forced to leave the land due to development project. One of the relevant moments was Waduk Nipah (Nipah Reservoir) project on 1993, the memory of which FX Harsono manifested in an installation. Talking about land is still relevant nowadays. Since the Suramadu Bridge was established, land use and ownership changes in Madura are happening vastly. The fight for land, among the hope for modern advancement and duty to preserve the legacy, is presented in a piece of play directed by Syamsul Arifin.
A gender perspective is illustrated in Nindityo Adipurnomo’s works that entail the symbols of the Madurese’s femininity and masculinity through a firm demarcation line. Meanwhile, the photographer Rémi Decoster offers a series of photo stories depicting the existence of non-binary gender in Bangkalan communities. Such phenomenon actually has its root in a few forms of art in Madura, one of which is sandur or salabadhan performance frequently performed in a social gathering (rémo) of the blatér. On the other side, a young visual artist Fakhita Madhury portrays the construction of Madurese female identity shaped within the power of patriarchy. A closely related issue is also presented in a play directed by Fikril Akbar, particularly on child marriage phenomena mostly happened in several regions in Madura.
Portraying Madura—and being-Madurese—in a single narrative is undoubtedly a futile effort. The rich perspectives and in-between experiences are composed into a speculative piece of work by Lutvan Hawari who tries to harmonize the sounds of Madurese saronén, Javanese gamelan, and diverse familiar soundscape samplings. Within such composition, the multifarious sounds coexist, not assimilate. It manifests the complexity of Madura—and being-Madurese—itself which flexibly absorbs many cultural influences without necessarily being completely subdued.
Ojhân Résé’ (Hujan Rintik/Drizzling Rain)
Tohjaya Tono mixed pieces of his childhood memories of western coastal regions such as Sepolo, Tanjungbumi, or Arosbaya. As a child Tono was often taken by his father, who was an employee of the Fisheries Service, in his job counseling the fishermen in those areas. In the making of this artwork, Tono made direct observations in the field and recorded it in a sketch book. The results of his observations were then translated into an animated video composed of his sketches.
Dâri Pasêsêr Têmor, KMP Selat Madura
Hidayat Raharja wanted to take a closer look at the marine/ coastal culture by placing the Tanjung Coast in Saronggi and especially also in Kalianget as his observation space. Kalianget is a region at the East of Madura island with a track record of trading activities, especially since the early 18th Century. Kalianget also has a harbor port that is a node in the economic activity of eastern Madura. It’s what prompted Hidayat to record the eastern Madura community activities to investigate the quality of social space that revolves around the sea. Hidayat’s work became relevant when the Madurese began to move ashore especially since the presence of Suramadu bridge increasingly negated the sea and at the same time confirmed the land.
*Dâri Pasêsêr Têmor: From the East (part of the) Coast
Starting from the observation based approach upon the daily body gestures of the community in his hometown, also his concerns toward materials in the agriculture, i.e. cattles, cages, stones, soil, pandanus mats, hoes, gloves, etc., as well as everyday expressions sourced from the treasures of oral literature, Anwari created Bun Témor by affirming the presence of values on the materials. Anwari also often involved his family or close neighbors in his performance art pieces to sharpen their ‘presence’ as the subject of culture. Materiality that grew from the specific space and time (with its entire social landscape) not only has the quality of representation of a kampung, but also a starting point of imagining the future kampung/soild.
*Bun Témor: East side of the (land)
“Can Madura and Java be an equal? Could we think beyond the dichotomous way of thinking? Are not Madura and Java intertwined?” Setting off from this question, Lutfan Hawari attempted to identify the experience of ‘sound’ he once witnessed and encountered himself in Madura and Java. Lutfan was born in Sumenep, and then he lived in Bondowoso, East Java, the Horseshoe area in Java where the Madurese and Javanese converge and live together. In this ‘in between’ culture, Lutfan entered the Madura-Java tension as a category of dialectic knowledge and comparable to as well as mergeable into a non-dichotomous (in the ideal projection) composition. It is a speculative trial and a mean of experimentation through a musical instrument he created himself, cakjeng, which is juxtaposed to the sound elements of electronic music.
Ngongghâin is an attempt to interpret and contest the final chapter of Trunajaya’s life, as eternalized in the manuscript penned by the poet of Mataram Palace. For the Madurese themselves, Trunajaya is symbol of heroism and courage. But the text in the babad that became a saga for generations actually described Trunajaya as a rebel deserving a tragic death. Humiliated. Even to the depth of his grave.
Rifal Taufani created a sound composition through live coding on Sonic Pi software that responds to a fragment from the Babad Trunajaya manuscript. Meanwhile the collaborator, Erwin Oktaviyan, graduate of Communication Visual Design of Stikom Surabaya, attempts to reinterpret the sound composition into an impromptu visual montage.
*Ngongghâin is a verb that means ‘mounting on’. This word was selected to state the assertiveness of the Bangkalan people regarding certain context/event that are confronted one another.
This work is a development of a documentary photography project entitled “L ‘Ogre de Gergasi et les maquilleurs de Madura” which records the lives of a group of wedding makeup artists in Bangkalan, Madura. In this local cultural context, a makeup artist is often generally associated with femininity, but it’s done by a group of male which is considered as the opposite. They are also likes to cross dress up and act as a drag queen. It is an anomaly in a society that is still holds to conservative and traditional values. Rémi has brought the Other’s portrait forward. This phenomena can also be found in various performing art in Madura such as sandur and salabadhan performances, which are often performed in the tradition of arisan (a kind of social gathering) organised by the blatér (local bandit).
Starting off from an imagination as well as a reflection on how the stories of Madura and Mataram were produced in various versions, also how the written (and inherited) historical realities are never really solid. History is always present as a version, also as a point of view where the gaze is directed. History is always in an incomplete condition, it always leave behind a gap.
Right at this ‘gap’ Ika Arista saw the opportunity to re-read history, negotiated perspectives, misdoubted narratives, as well as questioned all that is inherited. Ika is responding to an assumption that the story of manslaughter by Amangkurat II upon Trunajaya in the Babad Trunajaya manuscript is an epic that is not entirely factual. Through this kind of view, Ika created a fiction, imagining that one the day Trunajaya died, but prior to it the King of Madura was given time for an opportunity of a fair fight with Amangkurat II, Ika’s keris would be the weapon. And then, what would happen?
Madura, Mun Maré Ondhura
The death of Trunajaya at the hands of Amangkurat II was one of epic moments that not only narrated the relations between Mataram and Madura in an episode of power struggle in the past, but also how power always requires sacrifices and blood. Stories of betrayals, rebellions, and conquests are tales close to the narratives of power in the past.
Suvi Wahyudianto took the story of the murder of Trunojoyo as a traumatic experience to observe how power is implemented through ruthless cruelties. When the story of murder is used as an entry point to observe the relations between Madura and Java in the future, the after-effect of the event always put Madura as the injured party, considered as the other by various imagery manufacturing of Madura. At exactly this point a negotiation was done by Suvi on history where Madura was the object and center of gazes, and in this moment, on the contrary, he wished and attempted to gaze at Java.
*Madhurâ, Mun Maré Ondhurâ: Madura, Once it is Fulfilled I am Going home
Pocèt refers to child marriage issues experienced by girls in Madura. This work highlights especially on how the domestic culture of the family and kinship environment in Madura has an influence in the way the (child’s) future is perceived. Through this work Fikril attempts to criticized the dominant paradigm in the community regarding the ‘future’ often putting women as vicitims The narrative of Pocèt revolves around the world of children and attempts to see from the perspective of children. This work is presented with a reenactment strategy on wedding party that took place in a front yard in the community. The work utilizes performativity in the wedding party to actually criticize the wedding itself by presupposes the audience as guests of the wedding party, which makes the atmosphere and actions felt more real.
*Pocèt (pencit) is a term in Madurese that mean the young fruit (not ready to be picked).
Credit: Antarragam; Teater Garasi/Garasi Performance Institute
Have You Been to Madura, Mam?
This work explores the exotic images of Madura tourism, through craft artefacts that I predicted to often be thought of by prospective Indonesian tourists; especially those who have never visited Madura. Apart from the tradition to perpetuate and preserve the artifact products derived from Madura Bull Race, the local governments in nearly all regions in Madura constantly support the reproduction of this exotic artifact replications by fostering and mobilizing the potential of local crafts.
I collect these visual images that are considered to be the representation of Madura tourism by purchases from several furniture stores and antique shops in Yogyakarta. I reproduces/imitates several elements with the ideas as if I was creating artifacts for a museum of Madura tourism.
The composition of these artifact imitations are then reconstructed into a ‘final structure’, an object ready to be displayed as an artifact collection of Madura tourism museum. Should it is sensed as a hyperbolic visual expression regarding tourism in Madura, it is actually implied through the reflection of perspective of the ruler of the tourism industry in Madura today and in nearly all other regions in Indonesia.
Voice from the Base of the Dam
This work set off from the murder of several villagers involved in protests against the construction of Nipah Dam in Sampang 1993. This incident, occurred 26 years ago, reignited the issue of land associated to the citizens’ relations with the state. For Nipah residents, the land was not just its mere economic value, but also its cultural value as a heritage. While the state consider land as a territory of power, articulated through the agenda of development. This work combines objects found in Nipah and sound recordings taken from interviews with villagers. Their voices need to be heard.
The work titled SAPAméngkang re-investigated the Madurese community’s paradigm on ‘land’ in two interpretation categories. First, the land as a primordial tie of the Madurese, where land is the locust where the past and the present meet. How to care and maintain the land is actually an articulation of jagad kene’ (the small/visible universe) and jagad rajâ (big/invisible universe) cosmology to maintain the balance of life. Secondly, the land as a social and economy-politics when land tenure, land use, and the capitalization of resources took place especially since Suramadu bridge was built. The existence of this 5 km long bridge that not only connects Madura to Java, but also a bridge of industry, cultural acculturation, and economoc acceleration. Lately the Madurese saw the fact that land is a domain of conflict and power. Development politics is a fact that also influences the meanings and perspectives of the Madurese.
*Sapa: one. Méngkang: land or field at the back part or at the sides of the house. In literal interpretation, Sapaméngkang is a piece of land that is part of the house.
Credit: Antarragam; Teater Garasi/Garasi Performance Institute
Based on the day-to-day life in her family, especially the distance in Fakhita’s relationship with her father, and how the working family construction is depicted in her artwork. Fakhita entered her vulnerability as a daughter and her relation to her Father as a subject with power in the house. The domestic issues in a hierarchical family structure, Fakhita attempts to re-question the meaning of being a family member as well as the meaning of being a (girl) child in an extended structure of the community.
Photo documentation Opening of Exhibition NÉMOR Southeast Monsoon, 17 August 2019, Cemeti – Institute for Art and Society. (Photo: Muhammad Dzulqornain & Ika Nurcahyani)
Artist’s Biography (in alphabetical order)
Anwari was born on 2 April 1992 in Sumenep. His journey as a man of theatre began in the Department of Drama, Dance, and Music Education in Universitas Negeri Surabaya (State University of Surabaya/UNESA). Upon college graduation, he was awarded the best actor in the 8th Edition Fez Festival of University Theatre in Morocco, North Africa (2013). In his early exploration as a director, he was interested in the idea of theatre anthropology and started to speak about the life of the Madurese communities on stage. In 2014, he established Padepokan Seni Madura. In 2015, Anwari produced serial works that were granted Hibah Seni Kelola entitled “Mini-Mini #2” and “Mini-Mini #3”. In 2016, he received Hibah Seni Kelola once again for the category of Karya Keliling. Each year, he develops a touring performance and acting workshop in many cities, including “Taténgghun” (2017) and the adaptation of “Pagi Bening” script (2019). In 2016-2019, Anwari joined “Dionysus” training program and touring theatre initiated by Bumi Purnati Indonesia and Suzuki Company of Toga, Japan.
Fakhita Madury was born in Sumenep in 1998. She is a student of Sekolah Tinggi Seni Wilwatikta (STKW) Surabaya. Once, she joined a female artist collective Seroja and is currently active in the performance group Timunch. She took part in several exhibitions, including Puan Menyala (2018) and exhibition of Madura visual artists in Sumenep (2018). Her works are intuitive, departing from personal issues and daily life realities.
Fikril Akbar was born in Sumenep, on 11 June 1992. Since 2010, he has been participating in some performances as director and scenographer in Teater Akura and Sanggar Seni Makan Ati, Pamekasan. Other than pursuing theatre, he works as a graphic designer and videographer as well. Some of his performances include “Koran” (2012), “Mencari Permaisuri” (2013), “Tanah Kapur” (2015), “Topeng” (2014), “Gagar Room” (2015), “Sorongan” (2015), and “Pocét” (2017). He is currently part of Wall Squad community, Artzheimer visual art community, and Sivitas Kotheka literacy community, in Pamekasan. Fikril Akbar’s participation is supported by Garasi Performance Institute.
FX Harsono (b. 1949) is a senior visual artist who is actively producing works relevant to social issues happening in Indonesia. Starting as a graphic artist, he studied art in ASRI (now ISI) during 1969-1974 and Institut Kesenian Jakarta (Jakarta Institute of Arts/IKJ) during 1987-1991. He currently lives and works in two cities: Jakarta and Yogyakarta. In 1975, he and other artists established Gerakan Seni Rupa Baru (Indonesian New Art Movement/GSRB), conducting diverse breakthroughs against the traditional aesthetics of visual art and introducing new approaches such as installation and performance art. During 1980s, FX Harsono engaged in what he and his colleagues called as contextual art and/or seni penyadaran (conscientious art). Within that period, Harsono’s consciousness was attracted to environmental issues and agrarian conflicts, as presented in some exhibitions he participated in. He collaborated with activists as well, such as Asosiasi Peneliti Indonesia (Association of Indonesian Researchers/API) and Wahana Lingkungan Hidup Indonesia (The Indonesian Forum for Environment/Walhi). He continued working with conscientious art as the basis until early 1990s. One of his installation works “Suara dari Dasar Bendungan” (1994) illustrates the stories of displaced citizens due to the development of Nipah Reservoir.
Hidayat Raharja was born in Sampang, on 14 July 1966. He teaches biology in SMA Negeri 1 Sumenep. Other than teaching, he actively writes poems and essays for many local and national newspapers. His poetry anthology titled “Kangean” was a nominee for the best book on Indonesian Poetry Day 2016. His acquaintance with visual art began in early 1990, joining Kelompok Seni Rupa Bermain (KSRB) in Surabaya. With KSRB, Hidayat joined many exhibitions and art performances in several cities. He learned sketching from Saiful Hadjar, a co-founder of KSRB. His sketches were mostly used as the illustrations for Madurese literary works, Radar Madura paper, and Horison literary magazine. His works portray the social realities of coastal area and urban landscape in Madura with intense expressionistic nuance.
Ika Arista was born on 11 May 1990 in Sumenep. Since eleven years old, he has been familiar with the materials and tools for making kris. Ika’s interest in kris making grows naturally because she lives in Aeng Tong Village, the largest cris craft center in Indonesia. Upon graduating from the Department of Language and Literary Education in STKIP PGRI Sumenep, Ika decided to pursue her job as a craft master. She produced cris on-demand in diverse patterns and styles. She keeps improving her knowledge and techniques, while actively joining the organization to preserve and develop the cultural legacy of her village.
Lutvan Hawari was born on 8 January 1996 in Sumenep. He has been studying music since in elementary school, and finally began his career in music in high school and continued to study in the Department of Music in Institut Seni Indonesia (Indonesian Institute of the Arts/ISI) Yogyakarta. Since 2015, he has been actively participating in many workshops, performances and music festivals. He was awarded the best musician in Festival Teater Jogja (2015) and participated in Festival Musik Tembi (2017) and Etnomusiklopedia #3. In 2017, Lutvan released a solo piece of work “Masti, Deadline, Lazy Morning”. He currently lives in Bondowoso, working as a tutor for an art studio, and pursuing his job as a music composer and arranger for diverse performances.
Nindityo Adipurnomo was born on 24 June 1961 in Semarang. During 1981- 1988, Nindityo studied art in Institut Seni Indonesia, Yogyakarta. In 1986-1987, Nindityo also studied in the State Academy of Fine Arts, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. In 1998, Nindityo and Mella Jaarsma co-founded Galeri Cemeti. Nindityo also participated in some residencies and workshops, among others are “Residency in Bute Town Studio – The Visiting Art” in Cardiff, Wales (1999); “Residency in Fukuoka Asian Art Museum for the 2nd Fukuoka Triennale” in Japan (2002); “Residency in Studio Joo Chiat Road 106 Lassale College of the Art_Singapore” (2004); “Hongkong International Artists Workshop_Kowloon” in Hongkong (2005); and “Residency in Amsterdam Graphic Studio AGA” in Amsterdam, the Netherlands (2006). After conducting a research on the culture of peranakan (descendants of Chinese settlers), he created a work titled “Have You Been to Madura, Mam” (2008) exhibited in Toekar Tambah in 2012.
Rémi Decoster was born in Paris in 1990. He is a young photographer and documentary director graduated from the Faculty of Political Science in Université Libre de Bruxelles in 2014. He earned a master degree from EFET school of photography in 2016 and Professional Master in Documentary Production from Université de Paris Saclay in 2018. He participated in a residency to develop a documentary photography project in Bangkalan, Madura, sponsored by IFI Surabaya. It resulted in a photo story work entitled “L’Ogre de Gergasi et les maquilleurs de Madura” which was once exhibited in Jeune Création (2019) in Surabaya. Rémi is currently based in Paris, developing works around the issues of minority and micro communities in the global world nowadays. Rémi Decoster’s participation is supported by Institut Français Indonesia and SOKONG!.
Rifal Taufan was born on 6 May 1998 in Bangkalan. He is currently studying in Music Composition in Institut Seni Indonesia, Yogyakarta. Since 2011, Rifal has been participating in Bangkalan Metalhead organization, and actively working on the underground music scene in Bangkalan. In 2013, he joined Guitar Freaks community in Bangkalan. In two consecutive years (2014-2015), Rifal was awarded the Second Winner of Poetry Musicalization in East Java organized by Balai Bahasa Jawa Timur. In 2016, he earned the First Winner of Story Dramatization in East Java as a music composer organized by Balai Bahasa Jawa Timur. Recently he performed a live presentation in public in Bangkalan, in which he presented seven musical compositions he arranged. He is currently exploring the sounds and possible compositions generated by algorithm.
Suvi Wahyudianto was born on 28 April 1992 in Bangkalan, Madura. He is a young artist, graduated from the Department of Visual Art Education in Universitas Negeri Surabaya. His works disentangled the original identities and cultures of Madura. In processing his ideas, Suvi started from his observation on daily life, memories, and historical studies that serve as the background of an event. His ideas are channeled through diverse techniques and media. But he often tries to make the work contemplative and poetic. In 2018, Suvi created a work titled “Angst”, presenting his perspective on the history of ethnic conflict taking place in Sampit and Sambas (Sempadung). This work took him to earn the UOB Painting of the Year 2018 both in national and Southeast Asian levels. As an artist, Suvi actively participates in many group exhibitions, biennales, and residencies. Some of his solo exhibitions are Homo Spirin (2016) and Onggha (2017).
Syamsul Arifin was born in Jember, on 12 November 1995. He currently resides in Sampang. He started his art practice in 2004 while working as a fisherman in his hometown. In 2016, he established Ujicoba Theatre as a performance art creative laboratory in Sampang. Syamsul has performed some of his works, both as an actor and a director, in many cities including Pamekasan, Sumenep, Surabaya, Magelang, Jakarta, and Bekasi. Some of his performance works are “Papan Teka-Teki” (2016), “Pelabuhan Purba” (2017), “Mimpi di Atas Pagi” (2018), SAPAméngkang (2018-2019). Syamsul Arifin’s participation is supported by Garasi Performance Institute.
Tohjaya Tono was born in Bangkalan. His fondness for drawing has been growing since he was a little kid. When he was seven years old, he learned art in Sanggar Bangkalan, organized by Pak Madji, an ASRI graduated art teacher who once joined Sanggar Bambu community. After graduating from high school, Tono studied in Institut Ilmu Sosial dan Ilmu Politik (Institute of Social and Political Sciences/IISIP) and INTERSTUDI Jakarta. Afterwards, he went to Institut Kesenian Jakarta, studying Fine Art. He used to work in The Jakarta Post as a designer for ten years. His network led him to build a close relationship with S. Teddy D., the one who took him moving to Yogyakarta. In Yogyakarta, Tono was invited by Yustoni Volunteero to join Taring Padi art collective. He also participated in Kinoki film screening community. Since 1999, he has been actively participating in exhibitions and environmental festivals. He organized two solo exhibitions: “Cyber X Soul” (2005) and “The Days Without Frida” (2019). In 2011, Tono used to live in Hong Kong for a few months, joining a movement in collaboration with Indonesian migrant workers therein. Recently, Tono mostly paints landscape and human as the portraits of realities he encounters.