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Art & Culture21 May 2018

By Larasati Oetomo


“Can we really define what ‘Indonesian’ is?” Jakarta-based art collective DIVISI 62 asked their audience.

Assembling young people with background in music studies, design, anthropology, film, and photography, DIVISI 62 debuted at RUCI Art Space with an exhibition called “PARIPURNA” or “COMPLETE/PERFECT”. This time, they are wearing satirical “distant tradition of Indonesia” narration on their sleeves.

Curated by artist and lecturer Gesyada Siregar, the exhibition presents historical archives and relics to “remind” us where our roots are. These pieces are manifested in illustrations, installations, archives, to video and sound art. If you pay enough attention, you are going to see that these artifacts are not “purely” Indonesian, but a crossover of eastern and western traditions.

DIVISI 62 seems to point out the error-ness of our own people in recognizing what is and what is not our tradition and identity as Indonesians. Using merely objects, the collective experiments with the seemingly contradictory Western and Eastern views.  This notion aims to recognize that Indonesian culture is both hybrid and authentic, and that every culture is equal to each other.

The art collection includes Manusia Indonesia, a photo collage of Nusantara people combined with mirrors to “remind” us who we are. They also goes as literal as Riwayat, a fictional family tree derived from Indonesian families in 1940s. For more elevated experience, trained dancer Ali presents video projection of contemporary traditional dance, showing silhouette of his movements that resembles wayang. The music is exceptionally a mix between modern western synth with Dayak tribal chant and Gamelan ensemble.

The exhibition is open to public at RUCI Art Space every day from May 11 to June 10, 11AM-7PM.

PHOTOS Courtesy of DIVISI 62 & RUCI Art Space