Following the residency initiative to increase the new creative relationship between the UK and Indonesia and Diane Wiltshire of Birmingham Open Media visit to Indonesia last year, three woman creatives from Yogyakarta, Indonesia will be visiting Birmingham to conduct a residency with Birmingham Open Media as the host. The three creatives are Amarawati Ayuningtyas, Sita Magfira, and Ferial Afiff. These three creatives are a member of lifepatch - citizen initiative in art, science and technology: a cross-disciplinary organisation based community in Yogyakarta.
We talk with one of them, Amarawati Ayuningtyas or Mara, before they go on board to Birmingham next week and spend one month in there.
Amarawati graduated from Modern of School of Design with a diploma in Visual Communication Design. Spending most of her time in Yogyakarta, surrounded by numerous art environment, Mara started her interest in the art world by interning in Hyphen, research and development body focusing on arts and culture. She’s been a part of many projects, one of the project is art database project – database of Indonesian artist, Agus Suwage, collection.
Mara talked to us about her expectation in the residency programme, what got her interested in art, and why she thinks, art is important.
What makes you interested in art?
At first, I started as a design student in Yogyakarta. However, living in Yogyakarta, which is a very culturally-rich city, allows me to interact directly with the art world. There are many galleries and artists here, so I get a hands on experience about the art world. I also had an internship with IVAA (Indonesian Visual Art Archive).
How do you think technology impacts art?
In a very significant way. There is a tight connection between the technology and art. I think I start to see it when I see artwork by a Japanese artist in ArtJog. I see how technology is critical in their artwork creation process.
You were involved in a publication of “Three woman collaboration: Makcik Project” which includes a collaboration of three artists and transwoman, can you tell us more about the project?
Yes. We were working together with Hypen as well. The project was curated by Grace Samboh, an Indonesian curator based in Jakarta. There were three woman artists involved: Ferial Afiff, Jimmy Ong, Lashita Situmorang. But there were also a lot of other artists involved in it including X-Code Films, Tamara Pertamina – a transwoman from Yogyakarta, Broken Mirror project – visual artists’ collective which consists of Bob ‘Sick’ Yudhita Agung, S. Teddy D., Tohjaya Tono, Ugo Untoro, Yustony Volunteero. They were all involved in a different way, X-Code produced a video documentation, Broken Mirror Project created the paintings, and all of these works are presented in Kedai Kebun Forum. One of the most impressive work was an installation by Jimmy Ong called Talk To Her. With the assistance of Tamara, Ong created two Makcik (transwoman) styled living rooms on the terrace of Kedai Kebun. Each day, one or two makcik collaborators will be present to talk to anyone. Each makcik collaborator becomes the hostess or the homeowner. Anyone who enters the living room becomes her guest. During each encounter, both the hostess and the guest are granted at least three questions or 15 minutes to ask of each other. This project was conducted in parallel with Jogja Biennale in 2013.
Now, about the residency, what are your expectations from the residency programme?
To see the potential that could be applied here. Such as the technologies there and how its’ being used and then adapt it to fit the local context in Yogyakarta.
Why are you interested in doing the residency?
Obviously to learn and see new things. In lifepatch, I’ve discovered the local context; now I want to see how it is done in Birmingham.
What do you think of the art scene in Indonesia now?
In Yogyakarta, I’ve seen the rise of interest in the art world. There are many huge art events such as ArtJog and Jogja Biennale, and there are many galleries and art events that can be accessed easily by young people in here.
Lastly, why do you think art is important?
I see art as an integral part of our daily life. Every day, even in the mundane and everyday things, we’re essentially creating art, we’re in the process of establishing something. So yes, I think art is an inseparable part of daily life.