Well, what can I say? It's my first solo exhibition. Never thought I would have one this quick, and I certainly didn't think it would look like this. But I've learned quite a bit during the relatively short period of its preparations, and honestly I'm quite excited. Not because of the fact that I'm having an exhibition, but rather the possibilities (technical and otherwise) that open up with this particular exhibition's presentation. So please come and let me know what you think!

Opening | 27 Dec 2011 | 19:00 WIB | 7 pm

Venue | Rumah Kelas Pagi Yogyakarta
Jl. Brigjen. Katamso - Prawirodirjan MG II /1226

Performance by in between magician: Kadir Risqiano

Exhibition | 28 Dec 2011 - 10 Jan 2012
Conversation | 7 Jan 2011 | 16:00 WIB | 4 pm

Programmer | Ruang MES 56
Partner | Kelas Pagi Yogyakarta
Media |

Dalam pameran kali ini, Legal Artist #3 akan mempersembahkan karya-karya Kurniadi Widodo dalam sebuah pameran berjudul ‘IN BETWEEN’. Disini Kurniadi Widodo akan memamerkan 10 karya yang akan dipresentasikan sebagai wallpaper di galeri. Dari sepuluh karya ini publik bisa melihat bagaimana seniman bisa mengekploitasi salah satu fitur terpenting dari fotografi, yaitu framing. Praktek framing yang ia lakukan merupakan kunci yang membedakannya dengan karya-karya yang dihasilkan fotografer lain. Kurniadi Widodo tidak mendasarkan diri pada hubungan-hubungan antar obyek yang terberikan, bahwa kenyataan tidak dia rekam sebagaimana adanya. Dialah yang mengatur hubungan-hubungan antar benda tersebut.

Coba amati bagaimana ia dengan sengaja mengambil angle tertentu sehingga sebuah tugu dan kebun jagung menjadi sebuah peristiwa baru yang seolah memiliki hubungan; atau bagaimana sebuah gambar kuda di tembok, kabel listrik dan bayangannya, dan batang-batang pohon menjadi sebuah kesatuan peristiwa. Dari kedua gambar diatas, kita bisa nyatakan bahwa hubungan-hubungan yang terjadi tidaklah ada begitu saja, tapi dengan sengaja diberikan dan dinyatakan oleh fotografernya. Begitupun jika kita liat pada karya-karya lainnya; kita akan minimal menyadari bahwa ada upaya aktif dari fotografernya untuk memberikan sebuah pemahaman baru atas kenyataan yang ia rekam tersebut.

Program Legal Artist Series ini tidak melulu soal seniman muda berbakat atau karya yang bagus, namun lebih jauh menuntut bahwa artist dan karya yang di pamerkannya harus memiliki kekuatan di inovasi, tradisi dan masa depan. Yang di pertimbangkan adalah bahwa praktek kesenian yang dijalankan memiliki akar yang kuat serta memiliki kemungkinan pengembangan, baik dari sisi wacana hingga teknik-artistiknya. Sedangkan inovasi yang aku maksud adalah pada penemuan cara-cara baru, subject matter serta estetika-estetika baru.

In Between dalam presentasinya mencoba meyakinkan publik, bahwa keraguan utk menjadikan karya seni lebih fungsional bisa diatasi dengan cara yang cerdas. Pilihan untuk menjadikan karya-karya dalam In Between ini menjadi wallpaper sebenarnya berangkat dari pemahaman bahwa teknologi dan material wallpaper ini udah jamak, dan kemungkinan-kemungkinan aplikasinya dalam fotografi juga bukan barang baru. Persoalannya hanya perlu mencari kemungkinan-kemungkinan artistik yang sesuai, disini Legal Artist Series memberikan penegasan bahwa teknik dan material ini acceptable... anda sendiri bisa menilainya.

/ Tentang Legal Artist Series
Legal Artist Series adalah Program yang digagas oleh Ruang MES 56 untuk melegalkan seniman yang dengan serius menggunakan medium fotografi sebagai alat untuk menyampaikan gagasan inovatif secara visual dan pengembangan dalam teknik presentasi, serta sebagai laboratorium seniman dalam interaksi ruang dan publiknya.

Legal artist Series #1 (2006), Beyond Coca-cola oleh Edwin Dolly Roseno, Kurator oleh Angki Purbandono
Legal Artist Series#2 (2009), Pingpong Education System oleh Anang Saptoto, Kurator oleh Angki Purbandono

/ Tentang Seniman
Kurniadi Widodo, lahir di Medan pada tahun 1985, mengenal dan mempelajari fotografi secara otodidak sejak tahun 2006 pada saat menempuh pendidikan di jurusan Teknik Arsitektur dan Perencanaan di Universitas Gajah Mada (2003-2006), juga sempat kuliah di jurusan Fotografi di Akademi Desain Visi Yogyakarta (2006-2007), walau keduanya akhirnya ditinggalkan.

Dalam berkarya di bidang fotografi memilih jalur dokumenter, dengan ketertarikan utama pada pendokumentasian visual perkotaan dan isu-isu urban. Pada tahun 2010, bersama 7 orang fotografer muda lainnya membentuk Cephas Photo Forum, forum fotografi yang berfokus pada diskusi aktivitas fotografi. Saat ini tinggal dan bekerja sebagai fotografer lepas di Yogyakarta.



At LIR Shop, a nice little alternative space in town which regularly hosts various creative events.   

111029 - 2 Days in Jakarta

Went to Jakarta last week to attend the opening of Beyond Photography exhibition (which I'm a part of) in Ciputra Artpreneur Center. Days later and I'm still not sure what to make of that exhibition. While it claims to try to map the current practice of photography in the country, to me the exhibition is somewhat a distorted view. Some practices are underrepresented while some others are clearly really highlighted. I am by no means an expert in the field but I'm pretty sure Indonesian photography is more varied than the exhibition would have us believe. And it also feels like many participating photographers choose (or make) works which look or feel artsy to fit in more in the exhibition, so there's this air of sameness in it. It seems that so many photographers/artists are trying so hard to think outside the box, while the problem is as far as Indonesian photography is concerned, the box is still way too empty (and it's a pretty huge box). 

But all that aside, overall it's still a pretty impressive show. Some artists spared no expense in their displays and they're quite a delight to see. My favorites include the cubism-style portrait by Riset Indie: Polaroid, the self portrait series by Rama Surya, and Henrycus Napitsunargo's series of dumped bathtubs and sinks. The exhibition is still on display through November 6th if you want to visit. 

Beside Beyond Photography there were also two other exhibitions I visited. The first was a group exhibition titled Indonesia: A Surprise at Galeri Salihara. To be honest I was rather disappointed by this one. I think it failed to even live up to its own title, as there's nothing new or surprising in the exhibited photographs: it's all the typical "natural beauty of Indonesia" cliché. There's an accompanying photobook, though at IDR 500k I think it's way overpriced. This exhibition ended just yesterday.

The next exhibition I went to was Eastward by Martin Westlake at Dia.Lo.Gue Artspace Kemang. Eastward documents Westlake's extensive travel throughout many countries in Asia since 1991. While the images also mostly convey beauty, giving a sense of nostalgia by the muted colors of the photographs, I found this show much more enjoyable than the show at Salihara. Westlake's mastery of the craft (he mainly uses large format camera) really shines through his beautiful prints. This exhibition is still on display until November 20th. Eastward is also available as a book.

But above all, by far the most interesting moment during my brief visit to Jakarta was meeting and having conversation with Erik Prasetya:

The man is lively, intelligent, and most importantly, humble. Though it was the first time we met, he made the atmosphere so unbelievably comfortable that it felt like we've known each other for years. In a way it really explained why his book turned out that way. We talked about many things; about his days assisting Sebastiao Salgado and how that really affected his own work, about his book (and how its concept is something that he still wants to work on—exciting news), about the current state of photography in Indonesia, and much more. Three hours of conversation passed by just like that. So glad I got it all recorded. ;) Really looking forward to discuss many things with him again. And since it turns out that he's practically my neighbor in Jakarta (he lives just 15 minutes away from my home... who would've guessed), I think from now on I will always have a good reason to go back to that contemptible city. 

Aboard Senja Utama Solo, heading out to Jakarta.

Aboard Fajar Utama Yogyakarta, heading back home.

111020 - Kraton Wedding (As Seen By The Average Onlookers)

Last Tuesday (10/18) was the wedding day of Sultan Hamengkubuwono X's youngest daughter Gusti Kanjeng Raden (GKR) Bendara with Kanjeng Pangeran Haryo (KPH) Yudanegara. Aside from national television coverages, the event was also reported live through its official Twitter account @KratonWedding with photos posted to its Tumblr site. It was pretty interesting to see how, for such a royal event, they chose to utilize the instantaneous mobile phone camera photos (lots of Instagrams too) over the higher quality pictures from photojournalists. And seeing the positive reactions from their Twitter & Tumblr followers, I guess nobody really cared about it either. People were already entertained enough to see close up pictures of the groom and bride and all the fancy traditional Javanese processions. 

For those who want to see it firsthand though, it's the usual experience of getting packed with thousands of other onlookers for hours on a really hot day just to get a chance to catch a glimpse of the parading newlywed royal couple through the Malioboro street.

Oh, and I should also mention there were free snacks provided by Kraton through 200 angkringan placed on the sides Malioboro street. Yeah, you can guess how that turned out. 

When the angkringan keeper took out the goods, the whole stuff only lasted for less than 10 seconds. 

And then the long-awaited couple showed up, and everyone waved and clicked away...