Tag: culture

Picturing Semarang

  • Faraway So Close by Ruang Mes 56

I rarely go to planet Pluto. Not because the planet is so far away from my place. It took only about 2 hours trip by UFO from my planet. I have no idea what’s on Pluto is, nor didn’t familiar with the name. I never want to know any kind of news or info about that alien’s place. Its like, what the heck is the benefit for me if I often go there? Why the hell I should go there if I already have all my comfy in my planet?

That’s a cynical paragraph about people whose have no clue at all about Semarang. Refers to; they don’t give a sh*t instead they live near to this Atlas City. How ironic. (isn’t it?) According to perceive “frigid feeling” with Semarang, members of Ruang Mes 56 (Yogyakarta) held they exhibition titled “Faraway So Close”, which opened last Saturday (13/4), at Semarang Contemporary Art Gallery. The point of ‘Faraway So Close’ on their works, not only about “relatively close distance”, but in addition, how far they could read and see several phenomena in a “relatively far and strange” city. Please do not imagine beautiful photos about Semarang’s landscape and its culinary.

Through this exhibition, you’ll see everything on their lens of view. Everything in a daily life that might not crossed your mind. Everything that created question mark on your forehead, why the hell they took pictures and videos about some simple things in Semarang. Well, that simple things counts the local food you rarely eaten, the dualism and it’s craziness of local football supporters, neighbors you never realize that they do existed, something what they find on your gardens or backyard, replaced places, dormant places that used to be a living scene, and some history you could read through a family’s ancient goods. The most fascinating work, a parody installation from the annoying voice we could find in most of traffic lights in Semarang.

If you are a local people, or you often visiting Semarang and hanging around the streets, you must know those annoying traffic-warning voice. Ha! So, in my opinion, they could read and see beyond a big glass of sweet-hot-brewed-tea; things that slightly underestimated by most people, and things that most people pay too much attention for. We see memories, we read history, and we’ve been through some transformation landscapes, which is, a friction of orientation, customs/ culture, social, and –hell yeah- politics.

Not every single thing have to be see as it seen. Like when you see a lumpia in an iron plate, you didn’t see it as a meal, but you see a plate of Chinese culture in a whole delicate Semarang’s culinary. Then call it ‘anatomy of common sense’. Anyway, who knows, from their own works, a whole members of Mes 56 could feel “closer” and more connected to this city. And so are you.

*pics taken by: @TiaChasmani, @iraramardijo @DanielSatya @GatotCaesar
edited by: me
far…01far…02far…03-aliqawAkiq AW
far…04-ranggapurbaya-smgRangga Purbaya “Semarang”
far…05far…06 far…07-setohariwibowo-domesticfoodSeto Hari Wibowo “Domestic Food”
far…08-danielsatyagraha-cinedememoriaDaniel Satyagraha “Cine de Memoria”
far…09-edwinroseno-scratchedmemoryEdwin Roseno “Scratched Memory”
far…10-andriwilliam-shouldistayorshouldigoAndri William “Should I Stay Or Should I Go”
far…11-angkipurbandono-seribururpAngki Purbandono “Seribu Rupiah”
far…12-djdollydj Dolly played reggae and 90’s
far…13far…14 far…15far…16Irara and me
far…17me, Abud and Ipiet

This Psychedelic World Turns Upside Down

Selendang Merah, Tiga Dari Trilogi Opera Jawa

Do not whip the bodies of men, their blood will turn into a long red river of blood, and I do not know where it will end”.

That’s a sentence from Selendang Merah (Red Shawl), the 3rd Opera Jawa’s trilogy. Flash info, the first trilogy is “Iron Bed” and the second is “Tusuk Konde” (Hair Pin). Anyway, last Sunday (7/4) I went to Solo, in order to watched this Garin Nugroho’s work at Teater Besar ISI (Isntitut Seni Indonesia). Why ‘Red Shawl’? Well, according to the show’s catalogue (yes, I have no idea the phrase of ‘selendang merah’ in Javanese terms, and I didn’t interviewed Garin for sure), red shawl or sampur in Javanese, refers to words “ketiban sampur” (fallen by the shawl), literally means an asking to have a dance.

Or, in another (larger) meanings, which is more philosophy, ketiban sampur is giving an honour, blessing and opportunity. It also has bad meanings; burden, trouble and coercive. The story itself was about the world has turned upside downs; where human behave like animals, and animals behave like human. Nothing remains in it’s proper place, living like a circus, fulfilled with tragedy and unpredictable things.

This two hours magnificent show, has hypnotized my eyes and ears so they won’t heard and seen anything but the show. I like the wardrobe, I like the psychedelic colors, and I like the lighting so I could bring home a heavy bag full of nice photos. I’m totally spellbound.

*photograph: meredshwl01 redshwl02 redshwl03redshwl04 redshwl05 redshwl06 redshwl07redshwl08 redshwl09- redshwl10 redshwl11redshwl12- redshwl13 redshwl14 redshwl15redshwl16 redshwl17 redshwl18