Selasa, 22 Maret 2011


Wednesday, 23 March 2011, at 04:00 pm
KKF Gallery
Exhibition will be held until 15 April 2011
Open every day, at 11:00 am - 09:00 pm
(except on Tuesday, KKF is Closed)

The Diary of Irennius Bongky (Born in Yogyakarta, 28 July 1979)

His works are centered and oriented to himself, a burbling monolog about himself. Bongky creates a character sort of thin doll, with a head looks like a skull, and wearing a hood-jacket. That character is used for hundreds of times repeatedly along with Christian-nuanced texts.

Just imagine like we are in urgent situation, must sit for a long time, and there is no chance to move. So, all we have to do is just try to make ourselves comfortable by changing our position, e.g. bending knee, cross-leg sitting, straitening the back, or stand up for a while for stretching the muscle, etc. Those are the impressions of the characters, just like a person who bored. It poses this and that ways, looks over that direction, bends this way, spread the arms, and lift-up the legs, etc.

In early 2011, I visited his studio at Suryodiningratan area, Yogyakarta. Bongky was thrusting 2 instant noodle boxes, 2 sketch books size A3, and 2 diaries around 2,5 cm thickness. Those boxes contain hundreds of small pieces of cardboard, size around 10 – 12 cm x 15 cm. On each piece, there is a drawing of the character in poses, which I had mentioned above, and it is added with quotations about a good life on God’s ways, quotations from the Bible, advices from saints, and personal statement about his believe on better future.

His works are monotonous, less variation, no dimension, and flat. All of the cardboard pieces are rectangle; there is no circle, triangle, airplane’s shape, boat, butterfly, or anything else. All are rectangle and rectangle. He also keeps it in the same way, in cardboard boxes, bind together with round-rubber (some are cut, but it is tied again). It presentation is also very profane and measured, lined to the side, stacked to top, just like counting in a row, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-ff. There is no mistake and deviant effort. So it feels natural to be suspicious, why is this artist seems loosing his imagination, creation, no emotion nor hatred, and no rebellion. It seems like Bongky is telling his lonely life and also I got impression that he has no attention nor interest on anything surround him.

“These drawings were made when I was in prison in 2009, because of drugs. I worked with any material which I could get there. So I only used cardboard and pen. Paint and books were donated by my friends. I cut the paper with cutter with strict supervision from the warden, because cutter is part of forbidden tools there.” So, he, at intervals, told his process of creating and his stories around the prison.

The 2010 series are even more powerful. A glimpse, those look like printed materials, very similar from one to another. In my opinion, this hundreds of drawings are produced mechanically. I almost confuse, whether the drawing, which I am holding, is the same drawing which previously I held. I even tempted to make kind of joke by playing “find 9 differences” game. I did not do it. I am more concern on thinking of the strategy for Bongky’s later exhibition. We discussed his wish to exhibit all his works when he was in prison. Bongky is addictive substance users in a long time, its dependence on these substances makes dealing with the authorities, “I want to share all that I had done in my past. I was 3 times in jail.” Drug users in Indonesia and other addictive substances regarded as criminals.

Suddenly, in the overlay of those similar drawings, I found “a mistake”. Still in the rectangle and neatly-cut cardboard pieces, there were a series of photographs, around 20 something of local and international celebrities, for example Vena Melinda and Oprah Winfrey. Those passport-sized photos were packed in plastic, and then attached it with staple right in the middle of the cardboard. Each cardboard is attached with one of the celebrities’ photo (which all women), that he cut from magazines. A brightening “mistake”, because it gives hope that there is an interest in Bongky on something else. (Yustina Neni)


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