"Project Introduction", Remembering 25 Years of Reformation
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Remembering 25 Years of Reformation

Indonesia | English

Curatorial | Exhibition Venues | Public Program | Artists

February 20 – April 15, 2023*

Kedai Kebun Forum | Ruang MES 56 | LAV Gallery
| Cemeti – Institute for Art and Society | KRACK!

*The exhibition will be held in parallel in five spaces throughout the period.
The exhibition schedule is listed in the
Exhibition Venues section

This exhibition is not (just) about the Reformation. Nor is it about glorification, especially at this point in our lives when we are still struggling for democracy. Rather, this exhibition was initiated to be a space that brings together various memories of a moment that has changed many things in the lives of individuals and us as citizens of a nation. We, and several artists from different backgrounds and generations, would like to invite you to talk about the markers of a tipping point: how a set of historical events happening during the period that have prompted a breadth of interpretations are mused on in different ways, and have started a conversation that leads to many paths.

The Reform era might arguably be conceived as a point that was hoped to pave the way for a brand-new system of governance, where tyranny was doomed to end and a new chapter was fought for. The era kicked off with the culmination of political hostilities and dynamics taking place for years prior, giving birth to social movements on the basis of morale and a struggle for freedom. Many died in vain, went missing, or were deprived of a voice. When putting the Reform era in context, it is therefore important to shed some light on events taking place not only in 1998, but also in the years before and after. With that in mind, the year 1998 and the events that unfolded the era are then viewed by the new generation of artists as the basis for discussing things that are temporally closer to them in the present day. 

As the discourse about the Reformation will help shape new milestones in history, we consider an exhibition concept embracing both the public sphere and the people to be important because the spaces it enables become a testament to the activism activities aimed at bringing freedom of association and expression. In the art sphere, the post-Reformation era was also characterized by the birth of artist-initiated spaces. They facilitate the invention of new practices and experiments, which significantly contribute to putting the local art scene on the map. While art institutions and infrastructure in recent years have shown some growth, these small community-initiated spaces have always played an important role in starting a bottom-up exchange of ideas. That is why we have collaborated with institutions such as Kedai Kebun Forum, Ruang MES 56, KRACK!, and LAV Gallery, in addition to, Cemeti – Institute for Art and Society. Their premises are close to one another, making it easier for attendees to travel between the locations to attend the events.

Choosing, or, more specifically, gathering artworks created between 1997 and 2003 for the exhibition was actually not an easy task. A handful of artists we contacted said that they had had their artworks in some other places; some had found their way into the hands of collectors; some were stored in a storeroom and difficult to find; and some had had unknown fates. The artworks exhibited here make up only a small proportion of the vast art and political dynamics happening in the period. Over that span of time, Agung Kurniawan, Taring Padi, Popok Tri Wahyudi, and F.X. Harsono prolifically produced artworks that either gave a political commentary or explicitly became a part of advocacy works. In contrast, Titarubi and Dyan Anggraini defined politics as something between the public and private spheres; to them, it was about the unrest and struggle of individuals who had to face terror, repression, violence, and even their own demise. Several artworks are exhibited as archives because while they have long gone physically, we think they are still significant as a part of the nation’s history. 

With these artworks being showcased alongside those of artists from the newer generation, I would argue that it is interesting to see how art has shifted over time—not only the ideologies behind it, but also its narratives, practices, and ecosystems. The two curators of the exhibition, Dwiki Nugroho Mukti and Savitri Sastrawan, show how the Reformation is set against the backdrop of spaces of ‘the periphery’—rather than putting the discourse about it in the context of big cities, where the government is usually run from—and how gender identities play a huge role in observing the political situation during the period.

Digging for Narratives in the Periphery

The Reformation emerged as a milestone that has always, rather inaccurately, been attributed to the big cities in Indonesia, making the state of affairs in the other parts of the country—the one that did not catch the mainstream media attention—insignificant and more likely to be forgotten about. There are many faces of the reformation, with the monumental protests that erupted in Indonesia’s big cities as the public remembers the most. There are actually more faces of the reformation that the public remembers, which linger on their minds and make a variety of expressions: disagreement, enigma, distrust, and so many others. One way to look back at the reformation 25 years after is to dig for memories at the back of our mind, individually or collectively—in the private or public sphere—without turning to the primary sources. All these scattered memories weave into the Reformation’s face open to many interpretations. The exhibition is where that face is revealed, through the artworks representing the dispersed memories of the reformation events scattered all over Indonesia.

Quite a few of them took place across the country to mark the era. Both the crises and the movements shook up the stability in many places, with some cities experiencing their own share of the turbulence. In Padang, West Sumatra, one of the protests covered by a local newspaper, Harian Umum Singgalang, was reported in a news story on February 1, 1998. Headlining Lebaran di antara Krisis Moneter dan Tabungan pun Terus Dikuras (Eid al-Fitr Amid the Financial Crisis: Depletion of Savings Continues), the article recounted the financial struggle faced by several housewives interviewed, as a result of the financial crisis at the time, in their preparation for the upcoming customary festivities of Eid al-Fitr.[1]

During the Reform era, spanning between 1998 and 2005, an ethnic conflict occurred in Aceh. It signified the start of the era and resulted from constrained change, as hostilities involving natives and migrants from different ethnic groups broke out.[2] The conflict is brought to the exhibition with Shadow Dancing, an artwork by Arifa Safura and DJ Rencong. It brings back the past, which is both a collective memory shared by people in Aceh and a collective trauma still felt by the victims of the conflict even to this day. 

Further, still in 1998, terrifying incidents occurred in East Java, including a massacre of, among others, several ulemas of the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) after being accused of practicing witchcraft. According to the statistics published on the Indonesian Ministry of Defense’s website, the ghastly incidents killed 235 people, with 32 severely wounded and 35 others experiencing minor injuries. The massacre occurred across seven East Java districts: Banyuwangi, Jember, Situbondo, Bondowoso, Pasuruan, Pamekasan, and Sampang.[3] Since Banyuwangi itself had long been renowned for its mysticism, a mystical narrative was brought up along with the spread of propaganda. The perpetrators—dubbed ‘ninjas’—were taken to be the government’s secret agents. Imagined by the locals to be mysterious figures, they could disappear and turn into animals whenever they were about to get caught. Many witnesses claimed to have seen shining arrows mysteriously shot across. They were believed to be the manifestation of death spells cast on the victims. The circumstances successfully sent people panicking and triggered them to inflict punishment on the supposed witchcraft practitioners around them. At a seminar titled Politik Santet (Political Witch-Hunt), held at Kawitan Gallery in Banyuwangi, the speaker, Eko Budi Setianto, shared his view that this historical event resulted from the New Order regime’s last attempt to subvert the NU since it was deemed as one of the necessary measures to regain power. The massacre is depicted in Krisna Jiwanggi Bayu’s works, Tragedi Banyuwangi (A Tragedy in Banyuwangi) and Ninja Agen dan Ninja Kampung (Government Ninjas and Kampong Ninjas). An artist collective, Sudut Kalisat, hailing from Kalisat District, Jember, also focuses on the same issue, but through the lens of incidents taking place in Jember. Similar incidents also happened in Pasuruan, referred to as ontran-ontran (chaos). They become the theme of Kharisma Adi’s work, titled Saksi Hidup (the Living Witnesses).

Another perspective to look at the impact of the reformation events is how mass surveillance has changed. It has gone from poskamling (neighborhood security patrolling) to regulatory monitoring and restrictions in recent years, with the Electronic Information and Transactions Law (UU ITE) being one of its implementations. The issues of surveillance and freedom of speech following reformation events are what Benny Wicaksono seeks to portray in his artworks.

The reformation’s sting felt by the agriculture sector is materialized by Moch. Krismon Ariwijaya through his work titled Krismon (Financial Crisis), which retells the narrative his father had always bear in mind. As a farmer, his father always thought that the New Order era was the golden age for every farmer across the country, and when it was over, life got hard.

With all these different narratives, we can see the events surrounding the Reformation have impacted almost every pursuit of life. The Reformation’s tucked-away narratives, which have been waiting to be discovered, are reinterpreted by the new souls. The reexamination of the Reformation, whether through the public sphere, the private sphere, or the sphere in between, enables us to either celebrate or lament over the events surrounding it, while at the same time learning many valuable lessons that teach us how to move forward.

A Concept of Household

I want to share with you a memory of opening a PPKn (Pancasila and Civic Education) schoolbook, turning over to the pages on family etiquette; adorning the book was the bersih pangkal sehat (good health starts with hygiene) slogan. Cleanliness at home was every household member’s responsibility. The book contained illustrations of a housewife sweeping the floor, a husband gardening on his day off, children helping their parents for something in return, girls helping their mother, and boys helping their father. All of these were believed to be the key to a family’s physical and mental health. 

Whereas, economics stated that basic human needs were sandang, pangan, papan (clothing, food, and shelter). With this concept in mind, we were conditioned to think that a space that provided shelter must be attained. Also, the economic model of our household should be able to embrace that bersih pangkal sehat concept. 

Furthermore, it was recommended that we consider our home as our last fortress in case of emergency, and the 1998 reformation events were no exception. Some, however, eventually chose to abandon their homes, or at least stop thinking about them, because these fortresses were subject to destruction on the basis of social status, which varied and was associated with SARA (suku, agama, ras, dan antargolongan/ethnic groups, religions, races, and classes).

Despite needing their own detailed explanations, the 1998 reformation crises can be attributed partly to Indonesia’s financial crisis (krisis moneter), commonly referred to as krismon. Krismon plagued households from the middle of 1997, continuing past 1998. The attention was driven away from the bersih pangkat sehat slogan since ensuring  the basic needs of clothing, food, and shelter was already hard enough.

Krismon krisis moneter…
…Ku tanya Mama apa artinya (…What is that Mommy?)
…Bikin papa pusing kepala (…Daddy has been very dizzy)
…Aku sih ya cuek aja.(…I don’t care, I’ll still be happy.) [4]

To my surprise, in 1998, a child singer, Cindy Cenora, released this Krismon song. Thanks to the already-established television broadcast, the song was aired on numerous channels. I remember the overall dark look of the music video; Cindy was in an all-black costume, contrary to what was usually found in a child singer’s colorful music video from that era. Twenty-five years since the Reformation kicked off, I realize that the song asked for a place in a child’s concept of household and tried to overthrow the bersih pangkal sehat concept. 

If you witnessed the 1998 reformation crises, in Indonesia or from abroad, or were not yet born at the time, I believe you have been impacted directly or indirectly. People have their own memories of the household concept, as demonstrated by the exchange of ideas happening during preparation for the exhibition. From the discussions with Raslene, Yaya Sung, Woven Kolektif, and Slinat and even the artwork of the late I Wayan Bendi, we have found that we have individual social and political perspectives that were shaped in our households.

As far as the role of a housewife in my description above is concerned, it feels flawed. While women in the Indonesian society have their own long history, in essence the initiative of Gerwani (the Indonesian Women’s Movement), which empowered women to have the capacity to initiate their progressive activism and advocacy prior to the Thirtieth of September Movement (G30S) in 1965 turned into PKK (family welfare improvement) programs during the New Order era, which saw housewives becoming submissive and compliant. The era seemingly brought about a force that sought to put an end to women’s progressive activism by damaging the reputation of Gerwani given the movement’s association with the largest party to be broken up, PKI (the Communist Party of Indonesia). 

Following the reformation events, the art sphere provided again a space for women’s movements that aimed to oppose the conventional idea of how a perfect Indonesian woman should be: becoming a housewife. The movements also attempted to set right the narratives about Gerwani, and others fell victim to the manipulation. Even after the Reform era began, gender reportedly was still a nonissue in Indonesian politics until Megawati Soekarnoputri from PDIP (the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle) was expected to rise to power in 1999.

Gender suddenly became a hot topic, and the argument against women’s leadership, based on religious beliefs, intensified.[5]

Consequently, a perfect Indonesian woman is no longer deemed a housewife. Why? Because women have rights and responsibilities that are not confined to the biological characteristics assigned at birth or household chores. They are free to gain more knowledge and realize their potential to thrive physically and mentally.

Alia Swastika
Artistic Director

Dwiki Nugroho Mukti & Savitri Sastrawan

Alia Swastika is the director of the Jogja Biennale Foundation in Yogyakarta, Indonesia and is actively involved as a curator, project manager and writer on a number of international exhibitions. She was co-artistic director of the Gwangju Biennale IX (2012): Roundtable and director of the Biennale Yogyakarta XIV (2015). She also participated as the curator of a special exhibition of Indonesian artists in the 2012 edition of Art Dubai. In 2017, she curated contemporary art sections at the Europalia Festival, Indonesia where she organized exhibitions in Oude Kerk, Amsterdam, SMAK Ghent, MuHKA in Antwerp and some others. She curated many exhibitions in Indonesia and abroad, including some established and new emerging artists. She is currently researching Indonesian women artists in the period of 1975 to 1990 and had published the first series of publications. She actively writes for various magazines, journals and publications, in Indonesia and international platforms.

Dwiki Nugroho Mukti (b. 1992, Banyuwangi) is an artist and curator based in Surabaya. From 2013-2021, he actively manages the alternative space /SANDIOLO, which serves as a discussion space, exhibition, and residency programme. Some projects he has worked on are Urban Pin International, Surabaya Move On, SADAP residency programme, Timur Liar, etc. Dwiki serves as the main director for the East Java Biennale in 2019 until now, is the founder of Subarsip Seni Rupa, an art archiving institution in Surabaya, and is also the founder of Sartcas (syndicate art collective and alternative space). He is also a member of the Serbuk Kayu community. His books that have been published are Programme Book 2016 /SANDIOLO, Sobat Depresi-Process Report, and a map book of art collectives in East Java – Timur Liar.

A Balinese nomad, Savitri Sastrawan is an arts and language freelancer. She studied Masters in Global Arts at Goldsmiths University of London, UK and Fine Art Painting at Indonesian Institute of the Arts (ISI) Denpasar, Bali. Her research interest is to explore the interdisciplinary possibilities in the arts and language within the global society and culture. This includes recollection of narrations in history, geography and visual culture that existed within/about Bali and Indonesia. She has worked as an artist, curator and writer in the arts. Exhibitions she has curated including “Merayakan Murni” with Ketemu Project (2015-2016) and “Masa Subur Efek Samping” with Futuwonder (2018). Her writings can be seen in the Routledge Handbook of Cultural and Creative Industries in Asia (2019) and Ida Bagus Njana: Pematung Pembaru dari Desa Mas (2021).

[1] Gifani, C. M., Ersi, L., & Junaidi, J. K. (2022). PADANG PADA MASA REFORMASI 1998: ANALISIS WACANA PADA HARIAN UMUM SINGGALANG. Putri Hijau: Jurnal Pendidikan Sejarah, 7(2), 275–281.

[2] Sutrisno, I. H. (2018). Konflik Etnisitas di Aceh Masa Reformasi, 1998-2005. Indonesian Historical Studies, 2(1), 1–12. https://doi.org/10.14710/ihis.v2i1.2863

[3] Juang, R. P., Erviantono, T., & Azhar, M. A. (2016). HAM dan Politik Kriminal Pasca Orde Baru (Konstruksi Pelanggaran HAM Pada Kasus Pembantaian Dukun Santet di Kabupaten Banyuwangi Tahun 1998). E-Jurnal Politika, 1–8. ojs.unud.ac.id

[4] Liriklaguanak.com, Lirik Krismon, (2022), link: http://liriklaguanak.com/krismon-lirik/

[5] Translated from Carla Bianpoen, Heather Waugh, eds. (2007) Indonesian Women Artists: The Curtain Opens. Jakarta: Yayasan Seni Rupa Indonesia, p. 31.

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Exhibition Venues

Remembering 25 Years of Reformation
Kedai Kebun Forum

Opening :
Monday, February 20, 2023 | 18:00

February 21 – March 21, 2023
Monday – Saturday | 13:00 – 20:00

Location pinpoints >

(re)Reformasi: Melengkapi Ingatan
Ruang MES 56

Opening :
Friday, February 24, 2023 | 17:00

February 25 – March 11, 2023
Monday – Saturday | 13:00 – 19:00

Location pinpoints >

Remembering 25 Years of Reformation
LAV Gallery

Opening :
Sunday, February 26, 2023 | 19:00

February 27 – March 25, 2023
Monday – Sunday | 11:00 – 19:00

Location pinpoints >

Remembering 25 Years of Reformation
Cemeti-Institute for Art and Society

Opening :
Tuesday, March 7, 2023 | 19:00

March 8 – April 7, 2023
Tuesday – Saturday | 10:00 – 17:00

Location pinpoints >

Remembering 25 Years of Reformation

Opening :
Saturday, March 18, 2023 | 19:00

March 19 – April 15 2023
Tuesday – Sunday | 13:00 – 20:00

Location pinpoints >

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Public Program


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Agung Kurniawan (1968) is an artist who works with many media. His works are a mixture of cynicism, superstition and false prophecy. Believes that artists must understand the media they use, so that they can elaborate it into a well-cooked and magical language. 

He lives and works in Yogyakarta, travelling back and forth to the South of Yogyakarta where many artists reside and reaping trouble.

Amal Purnama, born in Blitar in 1991, currently lives in Yogyakarta and works as a full-time employee at a technology company. Educated in English Literature, Amal Purnama has been studying art through the photography community since 2019. His photo stories have been exhibited at Galeri Salihara (Tales of the Human Land, 2019) and Jakarta International Photo Festival (Pagebluk di Akar Rumput, 2022), as well as broadcast by Padepokan Seni Bagong Kussudiardja (Dialog Lensa, 2020) and Yogyakarta Cultural Festival (Photo Documentary, 2021-2022).

Arif Furqan is a lecturer and researcher working with photography and archive. Since 2011, he has been experimenting with photography using various approaches exploring the issue of memoriy, home, family, and mobility. He is also a part of Flock Project, a collective exploring the possibilities of photographic works through printed matters. He received the Prince Claus Seed Award 2021 on his project Unhistoried—an archive-based project on Indonesian family photograph and archive during the New Order Regime (1960-1990s). Now, he is currently doing research and artistic project utilizing Indonesian family archive.

Arifa Safura has been engaged in advocacy and activism through art since 2016 in Banda Aceh. Established the Perempuan Berbicara forum in 2020 with the aim of finding myths of women’s inferiority, fighting for equality, campaigning against gender-based violence, seeking justice and fulfilling the rights of victims of human rights violations and reparations for victims of violence.

Dangerdope is a project by DJ Rencong. Dangerdope blends hip hop, instrumental music, soul, funk, jazz, drum and bass then layers it with sound clips from films, talk shows, conversations, old vinyl and many other clips into a distinctive sound collage.

Benny Wicaksono is a media artist, illustrator, graphic designer, and independent media researcher. He started his career in his solo exhibition in 1999 which showcased his character until now, namely surveillance technology. Personally, he is interested in self-made culture and the modification, repair, and cannibalization of analog machine technology.

He often manifests this interest in the sketches, designs and art events that he initiates, both in the form of live performances and exhibitions in art gallery spaces. In 2009, he initiated a Videowork Festival and an Electrowork music festival that focused on the role of technology in the development of the arts. He received an award at the 2009 East Java Biennale as the initiator of media art in Surabaya.

His artistic practice also includes curating work at a number of exhibitions, one of which was at the 2015 Jakarta Biennale. In 2019 through his 3rd solo exhibition, he began to enter the realm of dataism, how machines and machines are connected, and humans and machines are the main topics in his works.

Dolby was born in Sragen, 16 February 1990 and graduated with a Bachelor of Education – Fine Arts Education, majoring in Printmaking from Universitas Negeri Jakarta. Currently working as a craftsman and freelance designer, he is involved in creating album covers, merchandise, and band posters. His inspirations rooted in youth pop culture and the punk subculture movements to the new wave of the previous era are clearly reflected in his artworks. He tends to use screen printing techniques as an exploratory and creative medium.

Dyan Anggraini was born in Kediri on 2 February 1957. She learnt about fine arts from her father, Rais Rayan, a first-generation ASRI student. Dyan grew up in the environment of Tamansiswa, an environment that introduces art and culture from an early age. Her mother, Sri Mooryaningsih, was a Tamansiswa teacher. Her art activities were not only practised at school, but also at home, which also functioned as an art studio established by Rais Rayan, as a place for young people to do cultural activities. After graduating from Taman Madya Tamansiswa Kediri, Dyan decided to continue her education at STSRI “ASRI” Yogyakarta majoring in Painting and graduating in 1982. After marriage, she lived in Madura for seven years accompanying her husband, Hutomo, who was working in Tambelangan, Sampang, Madura. In 1989, she returned to Yogyakarta to work at Taman Budaya. In 2004, when she was the head of Taman Budaya, Dyan developed the branding of Taman Budaya Yogyakarta as ‘The Window of Yogyakarta’. She also initiated the formation of the Cultural Arts Magazine ‘MataJendela’, art space for children ‘Art for Children’, Yogyakarta Biennale Foundation, Museum Anak Kolong Tangga, and Pasar Kangen Jogja. In 2018 she received the BEBRAYAN D.I.W.O Lifetime Achievement Award from Taman Budaya Yogyakarta, and in 2019 she was awarded the Cultural Award from the Governor of the Special Region of Yogyakarta (DIY Regional Government).

In addition to group exhibitions, she also held solo exhibitions such as “Neng-Ning-Nung-Nang” at Perguruan Tamansiswa Kediri (2022); “Temu Para Maestro” Maestro Meeting at Jogja Gallery, Yogyakarta (2021); Hitam-Putih Dyan Anggraini at Dyan Art Studio, Yogyakarta (2019); Ambang/Threshold at Sangkring Art Space, Yogyakarta (2013);  Beyond the Mask at Griya Santrian Gallery, Sanur, Bali (2007); decoraGent at Hadiprana Gallery, Jakarta (2007); Invisible Mask at CSIS, Jakarta (2005); So(k)-So(k) Mask at Bentara Budaya, Yogyakarta (2004); Solo Exhibition II, at CCCL (French Cultural Centre, now IFI), Surabaya (2003); Solo Exhibition I, at PPIA (Indonesian-American Friendship Association), Surabaya (1989).

fionnymellisa is taken from her name, “Fionny Mellisa T.“, which is a form of ‘bridge’ or ‘connector’ between the childhood figure and the adult figure of Fionny. Maturity should not forget its roots, so there came a personal project to get to know herself and her surroundings. The first step she took was to move to Semarang, Central Java, in 2014 from her hometown of Samarinda, East Kalimantan. Fionny once explored the world of stage photography in 2016, then went into the music management world, until finally settling back into the spirit of writing and drawing in 2020. Through the medium of fanzine, she invites people to be part of her writing and drawing. As of today, there have been three editions published independently, with a limited print edition.

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.

Gisela Maria, born and raised in Jakarta, currently resides in Yogyakarta. Having an educational background in Visual Communication Design, Gisela instead uses her knowledge more to work in the field as a project manager, researcher and child and community facilitator. Gisela works interdisciplinary, focusing on socio-cultural issues.

Since 2016, Gisela has focused on her research on local wisdom, knowledge distribution, and children in Indonesia. He has worked a lot with several communities in Indonesia, and often involves children as the subject of the projects he works on.

Due to her interest in the world of children and the learning process, in 2021, Gisela founded Children Power, a contextual learning group that focuses on children and communities. Through Children Power, Gisela tries to build a space for discussion and exploration about the distribution of local knowledge in society by making children the subject. In Yogyakarta, Gisela is also actively involved in the HONF Foundation, a Yogyakarta-based art, science and technology collective, as a project manager.

In her own artistic practice, Gisela uses her work as a medium to communicate and build discussions. Gisela often experiments with materials for her works, mostly she uses recycled materials that she makes herself as a medium for her works.

Dr. I Ngurah Suryawan (b. 1979) is an anthropologist, researcher, writer, and lecturer at the Department of Anthropology, Faculty of Literature and Culture, University of Papua (UNIPA) Manokwari, West Papua and at the Department of Politics and Government, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences (FISIP) Warmadewa University. Ngurah earned his Doctorate in Anthropology at Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta with a dissertation writing scholarship from the Asia Research Institute (ARI), National University of Singapore (NUS) in 2013 and NUFFIC-NESO at the Faculty of Humanities, Universiteit Leiden, The Netherlands in 2014. He started his postdoctoral research program from 2016 to 2017 on the cultural ecology of the Marori and Kanum people in Merauke, Papua under the ELDP (Endangered Languages Documentation Program) scheme in collaboration with the Australian National University (ANU). He was also a visiting researcher at KITLV (Koninklijk Instituut voor taal-, Land-en Volkenkunde), Universiteit Leiden 2017 – 2018 to write his research on the formation of the Papuan middle class in the expansion areas. In 2019-2020, he worked on a joint writing project with young Papuan activists and published a work entitled Berhala-Berhala Infrastruktur: Potret dan Paradigma Pembangunan Papua di Masa Otsus (2020). His most recent books are Bali, Reflection on Pandemic (2021) and Hidup Papua Suatu Mysteri (2022). Ngurah is currently working on collaborative research on the politics of Papuan women’s access to their living spaces in three regions in Tanah Papua (2022).

I Wayan Bendi (b. 1950, d. 2020) was born in Batuan Village, Gianyar, Bali. He learnt painting from his father, Wayan Taweng. He is one of the icons of Batuan style painting who is very popular with the public and collectors. His works strongly feature the Batuan style with contemporary themes. Bendi has exhibited his work nationally and internationally, such as in Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, and America. A distinctive feature of his paintings is the tendency to use ochre colours and the presence of icons of airplanes and helicopters in combination with the Balinese countryside. He portrays the development of Bali with its boisterous tourism. He is a very productive painter. His life principle is to keep painting while you are still breathing. The works on display for the “Remembering 25 Years of Reformation” Exhibition are from the collection of Sagatha Art Gallery, Bali.

Kharisma Adi is an artist from Pasuruan who currently focuses on experimental artistic practice using natural resources that are easily found in his area, especially edible natural resources. Aris is the nickname of this man who was born in Pasuruan on 8 Rajab 1929 (Hijri), which coincides with Tuesday Pon according to the Javanese calendar, or 19 November 1996.

Aris is currently an active Master’s student at the Indonesian Institute of the Arts, Yogyakarta, since 2020. His works focus on spiritual reflections from his contemplation and elaboration of academic literature, myths, and the medium he uses –mediums derived from natural paint experiments and natural resources. 

Using Roland Barthes’ theoretical approach, Aris unpacks the connotations and denotations of the myths in society in order to find meanings that are more relevant to the times, so that the myths that develop in society can be used as an educational value that is critical of the environment, not just what people used to say and believe.

Krisna Jiwanggi Banyu, popularly called Jibon, was born in Banyuwangi, 5 December 1996. Since childhood, he grew up in an art environment because his father was a painter. He joined the Young Artist painting studio when he was in elementary school. In middle school, he was more inclined to play musical instruments. In high school he became interested in theatre and musical instruments, which led him to represent Banyuwangi in this event. After graduating, Jibon decided to continue his studies at the Jakarta Institute of the Arts, majoring in Fine Arts and actively exhibiting in Jakarta, Jogja, Solo, Surabaya, Banyuwangi, and had a solo exhibition entitled ‘Lakune Banyu’ at Omah Wiji Kawih, Malang, 2018, which was opened by Zuhkhriyan Zakaria. In the fourth semester until he graduated in 2020, Jibon studied with Candra Malik, a Sufi culturist. His hobbies are playing football, basketball, and reading books on art, history, and spirituality. 

After returning home in 2020, aside from painting, he works in rice fields and farms. In 2021, he founded Ruang Kawitan Studies Culture Centre Banyuwangi with Dwiki Nugroho Mukti. He is interested in art practice, especially painting and other media. Jibon also continued to learn painting techniques with his father and exhibited in several cities, namely, Banyuwangi, Jogja, Sidoarjo.

Meliantha Muliawan (b. 1992, Indonesia) artistic practice is centered on her observation of domestic objects in her environment. Her interest is to understand the functions and roles of these objects in our daily lives, in relation to human behavior and the social situations we find ourselves in.

Muliawan graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Art from Bandung Institute of Technology (2014) and is currently working and living in Depok. She has won UOB Painting of the Year Indonesia 2021, and emerged as one of the top 3 finalists for Young Artist Award at ARTJOG 11 in 2018. She has exhibited in Jakarta, Bandung, Yogyakarta, Singapore and Melbourne, including the Biennale Jogja Equator 5 2019, Art Jakarta 2018, ART JOG 2018, and ART BALI 2018.

Moch. Krismon Ariwijaya was born on 27 June 1998 and lives in Gebangkerep village, Baron sub-district, Nganjuk district, East Java-Indonesia. 

Founder of Kecoak Timur collective, an art collective whose members are art activists in Surabaya. Active in collective activities, working with the collective and working as a joint curator in Biennale Jatim (East Java) 9 as the Dewan Syuro Kurator (Curator Council). He owns a basecamp located in Gadung, Driyorejo, Gresik.

In his work, Krismon focuses on narrating the history, myths and Javanese culture that developed in the community as a foothold in some of his art projects. Born and raised after the New Order regime collapsed, lives and grew up in a village with an agricultural environment, which grew in line with the Reformation until now. Being born with the name Krismon (acronym of Krisis Moneter, English: Monetary Crisis) makes him like a walking monument for one’s own body, which always reminds us of the political struggles that occurred during the New Order regime until the changes that occurred after the regime was dissolved. Being a stake, a reminder, a sign, a symbol in people’s memories brings him to explore current social, cultural and political events and relate them to the long history that has happened. 

He often works with conventional and unconventional art media, mixing them with the technology that is developing today, which has become a familiar medium of expression for him in several works. 

Krismon sees art as a medium that can see all the problems that occur in our environment in the social, political, economic and cultural fields to reflect them in the future from the past that has been experienced together.

Mujahidin Nurrahman is an artist who was born in Bandung (1982), where he also currently resides and works. He studied and graduated with a BFA degree in printmaking major from Institute Technology of Bandung. During his long tenure in art, that has spanned over fifteen years now, he has regularly participated in many exhibitions around the world. His notable solo exhibitions are Dogmatic Desires, ArtSociates, Langgeng Art Foundation, Yogyakarta (2018); The Black Gold, Art Fair Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan (2017); Chamber of God, ArtSociates’ booth in ArtStage Singapore, Singapore (2016); Essentia, Centre Intermondes, La Rochelle, France (2015); Hidden, JIKKA, Tokyo, Japan (2015); and Soft Power >< With All Reasons and Decisions, Lawangwangi Creative Space, Bandung (2014). He also consistently takes part in group exhibitions; among others are Gairah Seni Rupa Bandung, Semarang Gallery, Semarang (2019); Assemblage, Lawangwangi Creative Space, Bandung (2019); Power, Play & Perception, Gajah Gallery and Tabularasa Studio, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (2018); Jangan Sentuh, Visma Gallery, Surabaya (2017); Art Charity, Art Bazaar, Jakarta (2017); Waiting For It To Happen, Nadi Gallery (2016); VOID, Langgeng Gallery, Magelang (2015); The Language of Human Consciousness, ATHR Gallery, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (2014); Yunnan International Prints 2012, Yunnan, China (2012); ART/JOG/11, Yogyakarta’s Cultural Park, Yogyakarta (2011); ASYAAF, Seoul, South Korea (2009); and Re:(Post), Japan Foundation, Jakarta (2005). He won the Bandung Contemporary Art Award #3 in 2013. 

Mujahidin’s works are of immaculate artistry, as he painstakingly cut papers into intricate arabesque patterns from the images of rifles, bullets, and missile rockets. He displays high craftmanship to articulate the notions of anathema and disquietude out of an otherwise delicate and decorative appearance, seemingly free from strife. Born into a devout Islam family, Mujahidin’s artworks mostly addresses his concern with Islam and its stigmatized image in the world’s eyes, how Muslims are branded with acts of violence and terrorism. To quote his statement in the catalog of Bandung Contemporary Art Award #3: “I depict one of the perceptions that the world has on Islam: behind the beauty, there is a strong perception of violence.”

Throughout the history of Indonesian literature, male authors have continued to dominate. Despite since the late ’90s, the focus on women writers has strengthened, the country’s literary scene is still dominated by male authors. This could be due to many reasons, including women’s limited access to literature and the double burden on women writers who are married and working, which then takes up all their time, including the time to create works. For this reason, the emergence of various collectives built on the common fate among women is important. It aims to overcome women’s limitations in creating works, gaining access to knowledge sources, and practising to produce essential literary works. Based on this idea, the Perkawanan Perempuan Menulis / PPM (Women’s Writing Collective) was formed.

This collective was initiated by six women writers from six provinces in Indonesia. In 2018, PPM began the process of compiling a book of short stories entitled Tank Merah Muda (Pink Tank). It features 18 short stories that revolve around the events that occurred during Indonesia’s political transition between 1998 and 2004. This book is written with a historical approach and collective memory in the context of Indonesia’s political transition in 1998. It also employs a woman’s perspective. Tank Merah Muda was published in late 2019 digitally and distributed for free.

During the pandemic, November-December 2020, PPM organized a virtual creative writing workshop program for 25 novice women writers. The participants were from various provinces in Indonesia, and the outcomes were short stories about history and locality written from a woman’s perspective. Readers can access these 25 short stories on the website perempuanmenulis.co.

In August 2022, PPM collaborated with the History Study Program of Malang State University to organize a workshop on “Narrating Women’s History”, which was attended by 30 participants and presented by historians Agung Ayu Ratih and Grace Leksana, artist Timotheus Anggawan Kusno, and anthropologist Ratna Saptari. This workshop was held both online and offline.

Popok Tri Wahyudi (Mojokerto, b. 1973) is a mixed media visual artist who studied at the Indonesian Institute of Arts Yogyakarta around 1992 in Yogyakarta. During the fall of the New Order regime, he joined Apotik Komik, a group of artists formed in 1997 where at that time they addressed political and social issues in their works that used comic, mural and poster media.

Popok works with canvas, paper and other materials by employing a storytelling method and recounting factual situations with humour but without reducing the intensity of the situational conditions in which the work was created. Popok combines his illustration skills in comics and murals to create visual narratives about contemporary life that are interesting and expressive. His visual works depict the insanity of Indonesia’s political landscape and the limits of power in Indonesian and global society.

Since the late 90s, Popok’s work has been exhibited in Japan, Australia, the Netherlands, Thailand, Singapore, Germany and America. In 2001, Popok lived in Santa Monica, California, USA, for UNESCO’s artist-in-residence programme at the 18th street Art Complex. In 2007 he stayed for a longer residency at Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart, Germany. All these experiences have given him the ability to adapt and negotiate cultural differences, and then try to give ideas on social communication. Through this comical storytelling, it can provide an alternative to creating a space for dialogue between the unspoken and what is written in a culture. Popok currently lives and works in Magelang.

He is a student of the Department of Sociology at the Open University, Semarang. Previously, Pujo Nugroho studied at the Indonesian Institute of the Arts, Yogyakarta, Department of Fine Arts. Enthusiastic and interested in addressing issues related to urban youth popular culture, urban life, and daily alternative political discourse. Tends to use an art-based approach in writing, social research, and presenting findings.

From 2013 to 2019, he produced 8 zines and other alternative publications. Since 2018, he has been involved in Kolektif Hysteria, which makes him learn a lot about cultural arts issues related to the life of the village community, particularly in Semarang.

He served as programme manager for AKSARA-Festival of Alternative Media in 2019. In the same year, he initiated an art and literacy-based working group, solidaria.id, which in 2021 transformed into solidaria.publish, which conducts alternative research and publishing on the focus of social issues, locality, and daily political discourse in the spatial context of Semarang City. In 2021, he designed the curriculum for PekaKota Institute, a community-based civil urbanism learning programme that attempts to combine art and activism approaches.

At the end of 2021, he published a book with a historical approach entitled ‘Kota Merah Hitam—Lintasan Waktu Anarkisme di Semarang’ (English: Red Black City-The Time Trajectory of Anarchism in Semarang), which made him decide to further explore issues close to anarchistic matters. He is currently working on social research related to the negative stigma towards Barutikung village, Semarang. He is also writing his latest work on Anarchism arising from the years 1996-2006 in Semarang.

Raslene (b. 1991, Indonesia) is a Jakarta-based video and visual artist, art/project manager, researcher, and occasional writer. In her artistic practice, mostly, she works with found footage and archives, in requestioning and engaging the historical and contemporary moving image-making. On the research, any social, cultural, gender, political, sustainability, to lost archives issues attract her interest.

Redhy Murti Rosyidi, known as Redi, was born on 6 September 1987. He pursued his education from elementary school to graduate in Surabaya. Started to be interested in art and design in high school. After graduating from school, he continued to study Visual Communication Design at PETRA Christian University and graduated in 2012. He loves collecting books and magazines about art, history and comics. He is currently an active member of the Milisi Fotocopy collective, which focuses on publishing books and comics. His day job is managing a cake shop with his mother and siblings. He has an interest in the practice of fine arts, especially comics and graphic novels. In Surabaya, he studied graphic arts and woodcut and silk-screen printing methods. His work includes cover illustration designs and t-shirt drawings for local bands. Since 2015 until the present, he has been working on several cover designs for Komunitas Bambu publishing house.

Sekolah Musa (SkolMus) was founded in 2011 in Kupang City, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT). It focuses on developing the ecosystem of art, culture, and public archiving in NTT. In order to achieve this vision, SkolMus positions itself as an inclusive learning community for young people in NTT, as well as opening access to multimedia knowledge and public archiving in the context of culture and sustainable development. SkolMus has managed the MEREKAM KOTA Public Archive Exhibition (2020, 2022), involved in the Docking Partner of Biennale Jogja Program (2021), ARTIdentity: Kultur Pangan – Media Art Exhibition (2021), Digital Campaign focusing on Papuan Women’s stories with Asia Justice and Rights (AJAR) and Udeido Collective (2021), Jakarta International Photo Festival 2019 (JIPFEST’19) and KELAS PAGI BERGERAK-Kupang (2018).

Slinat (Silly in Art) is a muralist from Bali who graduated from the Indonesian Institute of the Arts (ISI) Denpasar in 2006. He started his career in the art world in 2000. In addition to street art such as murals, he also creates studio-based works using materials such as cardboard, found objects, and printed materials, then draws or paints them using paint, natural ink and Chinese ink. Slinat is interested in telling the hidden issues behind Bali’s gorgeous tourism. One of which is parodying tourism jargon into “X VISIT BALI YEAR X”, which shows the potential worsening effects of tourism in Bali. Slinat has had exhibitions in Indonesia and Australia.

Sudut Kalisat is a community that resides in Ruang Ingatan, they believe and live the process that leisure time is the source of culture. The membership of this community is dynamic, from diverse professional backgrounds and varying ages. It is considered dynamic because the membership is not bound and has had regeneration from the first time Sudut Kalisat was formed in 2015.

Today, Sudut Kalisat continues to nurture the memories of the community as a source to be developed into art activities. They believe that the locals are the masters of explaining the history of Kalisat. Because we can only love our hometown if we know its history.

Syska La Veggie. Her real name is Syska Liana, based in Sidoarjo. A visual artist with various media: painting, drawing, embroidery, graphic art, mixed media, video art, and performance art. Most of her works address women’s issues, especially gender equality and resistance to patriarchal culture. Syska is actively involved in managing various art projects and initiating several programmes. She is often invited as a resource person or mentor in seminars, discussions and workshops, especially on the theme of art and gender.

Together with several female artists in East Java, she manages Perempuan Pengkaji Seni, a forum for women to convey their perspectives through art and to build a more critical, diverse and equal art ecosystem in the context of gender justice. Syska served as Programme Director of the 8th, 9th and 10th East Java Biennale. Chairperson of the “International Women’s Day Surabaya” movement. Member of Koalisi Seni Indonesia and Puan Art Network. Syska, together with her colleagues, created the Art Down Forum platform and worked on several programmes on the Instagram account @artdown_forum.

Taring Padi was founded in Yogyakarta, Indonesia in 1998 by a group of artists and activists involved in the socio-political uprising against Suharto’s corrupt and violent military dictatorship. Taring Padi has a long history of working in solidarity with community groups on social justice and environmental issues. Taring Padi’s creative ethos involves a collective process-oriented production of artwork. They are well known for producing woodcut posters as well as creating cardboard puppets (wayang kardus), murals, banners, sculptures, and street theatre performances to support street actions.

Tennessa Querida Waksman, is an artist, illustrator, fashion designer, visualizer, photographer living in various cities such as Jakarta, Bandung, and Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Has studied fashion design (2008-2012) Bachelor’s Degree, Jakarta Arts Institute, Indonesia. Her artistic practices are applied to various mediums by responding to everyday issues such as human behavior, emotions, worktools, and so on. This art creation focuses on the idea of multiple visual interpretations to create an aesthetically pleasing alternative visual for establishing social relationships. She has been involved in several exhibitions such as Artisan Karya at Macan Museum, Indonesia (2020), and exhibited at Jakarta32*, National Gallery Jakarta, Indonesia (2010).

Theresia Agustina Sitompul (b. 1981) created artworks dealing with issues of (personal) memory, identity and rewriting histories within an intimate perspective in order to read the social context. Graduated from Printmaking at Indonesian Institute of the Arts (ISI) Yogyakarta, her artworks are visual objects created to represent her memories from certain narratives that have been taken for granted as truth in our daily life. Theresia wanted to bridge dialogues between her memory and her actual life, reflecting the moment of remembrance and against forgetting. The relations of her personal side of religiosity and complex dilemma of identities as a woman, a mother, and also about the values in life that she regarded as a given truth. She is a Lecturer for Printmaking at ISI Surakarta and the co-founder of printmaking collective, Grafis Minggiran. She has exhibited in Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Australia and Bulgaria.

Born and raised in Bandung, West Java, Titarubi studied Fine Arts at the Bandung Institute of Technology in 1987. Since she was a student, she has been involved in various humanitarian social movements, as she believes art is a way to share thoughts in understanding life. Titarubi explores the body, identity, gender, memory, colonialism, equality, history, social justice and other issues of the society by using various media realised in various art disciplines such as installation, sculpture, performance, events, painting, drawing, graphics, interactive and participatory art. She also collaborates with various other art disciplines: musicians, theatre, choreography, film, as well as working with various other disciplines to create her works.

Wimo Ambala Bayang (b. 1976) is a visual artist and among the first to experiment with contemporary photography and video art in Indonesia. He graduated in Photography from the Indonesian Art Institute in Yogyakarta. In 2002 he co-founded Ruang MES 56, an artist collective working with photography, where he continues to be an active member. In 2004, Ambala founded Video Battle, an online video compilation project produced and distributed independently.

In his artistic practice, Ambala shifts between photography, video, and object making to address and challenge the dialectics of reality and illusion, comprehension and experience, or presence and absence in image-making by always redefining the meaning of his subjects through multiple and uncanny visual perspectives. Using participatory approaches, staged photography, digital montage, or street snapshots, he often creates fictitious settings where ready-made objects or staged bodies become the central elements, shaping new subjectivities and ways of being perceived.

In the past 10 years, Wimo has participated in international artists residencies and exchanges, such as in China, Australia, Netherlands, Denmark, and Romania. Recently he also co curated Jimei X Arles International Photo Festival in Xiamen and Collaboration of Ruang Mes X Foam at the Foam Fotomuseum in Amsterdam. There he explored new ideas, approaches and different contexts related to the development of contemporary photography, which influenced his decision to juxtapose photography with other disciplines in art.

Woven Kolektif is a group of seven artists based along the east coast of so-called Australia and Berlin, who originally formed through shared diasporic connections to Indonesia. The collective represents a diverse range of practices, including the use of performance, installation, video, photography, painting and sculpture. Woven operates both as a group of individual practices and as a collaborative artist collective. Their projects are formed through collective thinking and resourcing: nurturing a mode of exchange that offers reprieve from the siloed nature of a professional arts practice. Past exhibitions together include: Woven at Verge Gallery, Sydney (2017), looking here looking north at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre (2019), Breathing Room at Cement Fondu, Sydney (2019), Bara at Bankstown Arts Centre (2020) and Cascade at Outer Space (2022). Woven Kolektif are Bridie Gillman, Ida Lawrence, Kartika Suharto-Martin, Kyati Suharto-Martin, Leyla Stevens, Mashara Wachjudy and Sofiyah Ruqayah. Five of the seven members are involved in this exhibition.

Yaya Sung (b. 1986) is an interdisciplinary artist who started her career in 2006. Within her artistic practice and work in the contemporary art world, Yaya raises narratives related to the issues of women, minorities and human rights. For her, art is not only about presenting beauty but can also be a platform to express her aspirations. In her work, she explores various mediums such as photography, videography, performance, and installation of designs, photos and texts. Not only does she use objects to represent her ideas, but she also uses her body to absorb authentic experiences from the onsite research she conducts before creating her artwork. Yaya has exhibited in Indonesia, Singapore, Australia, Japan and Taiwan.

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  1. Pingback: Mengingat 25 Tahun Reformasi | CEMETI

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