looking back // 2014 // life

//best moments//
1/ that one night, when we and a bunch of our close friends impulsively took a short trip back and forth to kaliurang to see dito's show in a hotel room. It's been awhile since we do anything *that* impulsive  (proof that we are a bunch of responsible grown up, right?) | 2/ that time when Lani (frau) play our favorite song on my piano in our home! (dito cried a little) | 3/ spending lazy afternoon with Soirée | 4/ that time when we first had watermelon by the sea~ Japanese style (by that, we mean: bash it against the rock) | 5/ that time when we finally get our Amelie-style instant photo taken after three unsuccessful attempts. We giggled so much and end up not getting great photographs..but it was perfect! | 6/ that night when we crash into someone's birthday picnic with the Darwinians by the jellyfish point.. | 7/ that time after an encouraging meeting and just before a very important meeting that makes me very nervous.. and I lookup only to see my name somehow written on the sky (it's actually turned out to be 'mimi' but when it gets to 'mir' point, I was so excited!)

1/ birthday picnics (mine- twice: by the sea and up the hill; dito's: at a market with all his favorite food) | 2/ 1st wedding anniversary | 3/ Melbourne coffee trip for me and the whole Melbourne trip that was like a big pilgrimage for dito | 4/ that time when I surprise myself and enjoy eating out alone in Sydney's best pie shop (eating out alone usually makes me really nervous) | 5/ this year I walk more than I have ever been in a year | 6/ feel like studying more and more ~and got selected to join the 4A Curators' Intensive in Sydney | 7/ and also Japan Foundation Curator workshop at Jakarta | 8/ lost my Shadow | 9/ just when I got even more excited to learn, there was a very inspiring event: Equator Symposium 2014 | 10/ did two presentations about Lir: first, at the Indonesian Consulate in Darwin and second, at IVAA | 11/ my very first 'dugem' with my best people and (almost) the whole artscene of Jogja | 12/ start a new hobby: experimental cooking and midnight baking! / 13/ start and end the year by making exhibitions at KKF, with one same reference book!

1/ Wonosari (to Beton) | 2/ Sydney (fly solo!) | 3/ Darwin (for an art summit and to give a talk) | 4/ Explore Kaliurang (a new old-favorite) | 5/ My favorite seaside (the only seaside that make sense with this year's crazy schedule) | 6/ Melbourne (with him) | 7/ Malang (with the big big family) | 8/ Jakarta (several times for work)

1/ The Memories of Unidentified Experience - Dito Yuwono's solo exhibition | 2/ Tell Me a Tale! - Monster Buaya's solo show | 3/ Exhibition Laboratory 1.1: Alfin Agnuba - Cita Rasa '75 | 4/ Exhibition Laboratory 1.2: Gandhi Setyawan - Koperasi Dinas Merchandise Yogyakarta | 5/ Exhibition Laboratory 1.3: Yonaz Kristy - Between Media and Other Stories | 6/ Exhibition Laboratory 1.4: Cosmas Dipta - Kelas Salah Jurusan | 7/ Poetry of Space - intervention series and process exhibition | 8/ (ongoing) Exhibition Laboratory 2

1/ preserve the rose-scented journey on a jar of rose petals jam | 2/ the very first Walk the Folk with my favorite working partner | 3/ Lir's Official Merchandise with my team | 4/ Poetry of Space with the best team I could ever asked for.. :)

1/ Agung Kurniawan's studio - Majalah Dewi | 2/ Angki Purbandono - Things! | 3/ DGTMB - Majalah Dewi | 4/ Go Tik Swan - Elle Decor Indonesia | 5/ KKF - Things! | 6/ Guerillabunker - Elle Decor | 7/ Guerillabunker - Majalah Dewi | 8/ Mella and Nindit's House - Majalah Dewi | 9/ Papermoon - Things! | 10/ Lifepatch - Things! | 11/ Horror and Art - Things! | 12/ Curatorial essays | 13/ Catalog essay for Jae Hoon Lee - Cemeti Art House | 14/ Dear Curator, Curate Me - Cemeti Art House | 15/ Wolffriend Project #1: Cups (with Yudha Sandy) | 16/ (ongoing) Shaggydog Visual Biography | 17/ www.trulyjogja.com  

(this year was one of the best year. I promised to slow down but end up being much more productive than last year, travel much more, and had a lot of fun. It was indeed filled with good madness. I surprised myself every now and then. My resolution was pretty much fulfilled~ even more than I imagined at the beginning of the year. I can't thank enough..)


thought // the question

"One is always tempted to be unfaithful to one’s own country. To have imagination is inevitably to be dissatisfied with where you live…in our wanderlust, we are lovers looking for consummation." || Elisabeth Eaves ||


(Have you ever get out of your comfort zone for a while, taking a step back, and start having these questions about life? Things start to seem a bit more clear and yet, we can't help but somehow get drifted farther away. 

Those questions and the process of questioning life as we know it.. is what I look for whenever I get out of my comfort zone and shake things up. It's not always about travelling to a place far away but that particular thing usually does the trick. There will be the first one week when everything I see and do start to feel new and interesting. Then, there comes the gloom, the loneliness, and the questions. The more I learn something new.. the more I feel like I don't know enough. To me, it feels like drinking salt-water: the more I drink, the more I get thirsty.  

The distance allows me to think about life: how I want to live it and imagine it to be. I feel like I need more time to just read and digest all the books and ideas, rethink about what I have learned, and even reconsider my long-buried urge to go back to school. There is a need to learn something new~ to share exciting thoughts and ideas with friends. To think about love and the longing feeling to go home when we are away. It makes me question about loneliness and independence; and how to grow up without growing apart from your friends.  At the end, it leaves me with a wish to travel more often and shake things up in my comfort zone. Then again, don't you have to keep on moving to stay alive?)


note // 01

"Compassion is a muscle that gets stronger with use, and the regular exercise of choosing kindness over cruelty would change us." || Jonathan Safran Foer ||


eat. go. do. // sydney

(last month, I spent ten days in Sydney. It feels like a breathe of fresh air in my warm comfort zone. The fresh air was very chilly, by the way. I was there during the mid-winter and spending day to day fighting with the winter bite.. but still, Sydney has been very lovely. The people are nice, the city is especially green and gorgeous, the food are indulging, and the sky~ oh.. don't let me start talking about the sky and those rippling clouds! 

I also love the solitary walk! It feels somehow meditative. Walking alone in a random bookstore talking about the shopkeeper's favorite book that he would recommend is probably one of the moment I'd like to remember. I spent most of my time there working (read: studio visits, gallery and museum hopping, writing, and joining talks about art); but I was lucky enough to have a friend who shows me around the city, the tourist spot, the beach, and up to the cabin in the wood!)

I didn't go and eat out as much as I usually do when I'm in a new city, but here are a few of my favorite place around Surry Hills (where I stayed): 1/ line up at Bourke Street Bakery for their famous ginger creme brulee tart (it's a 'thing' to do in the morning.) 2/ grab a cup Almond & Macadamia milk cappuccino at Reuben Hills (they serve crocodile meat too!). 3/ have Asian stir fry, sausage roll, or meat pie on the go to eat at the park! 4/ have fish 'n chips and king prawn on a picnic by the sea.. 5/ chill out and treat yourself for a glass of wine and a slice of cheese at Formaggi Ocello. 6/ line up to get a scoop of nitrogen ice cream or Gelato Messina in the mid-winter afternoon.. "because it's not a gelato: it's Messina!", they said.. (I know.. it doesn't actually make sense to line up in a four-degree-celcius mid-winter afternoon for an ice cream.. but apparently, it's a 'thing')

there are so many bookstores to go but I only went to some walking-distance bookstores around the neighborhood. My favorites are: 1/ Pentimento-- super cute! it reminds me a little bit of Cat Socrates in Singapore.. 2/ Magnation-- if you're crazy about sidestream magazine, here's heaven! 3/ Elizabeth-- it's not so great but if you're willing to spend hours and hours digging for treasures for bargain second-hand book.. this is the place. 4/ Title-- most of their collection is about music and film but when I was there, they have 30% off mid-winter sale and I got Brassai's book for $17.5 only! 5/ Oscar & Friends-- my personal favorite. The shopkeeper is passionate about book and they have a section called 'Beautiful Books' and just like that.. consider me sold! 6/ the Art Gallery of New South Wales' bookshop-- I died a little when I was browsing through the shelves! // as a part of my job, I went gallery and museum hopping quite a lot (and it was literally hopping-- seems like we're always on the run!). Some of my favorites are those that are architecturally stunning, such as: 1/ Alaska Art Project which is a contemporary art initiative located in a parking space where people usually sell used car.. 2/ Carriageworks-- during my visit, they have a show called "Hereby Make Protest".. the show was enlightening and the gallery is located in an old railway station which is .. magical! 3/ National Art School's Gallery was showing a powerful series of Chien-Chi Chang.. and the gallery used to be an old jail-- which is especially contextual with the works shown at that moment.. 4/ The Commercial Gallery is located inside a plain store building-- which make it reasonable to choose the name and the ongoing show at that time (work of art and 'self-portrait' presented as parfume-- yes, parfume!) 5/ The Conductor Project is an art project that shows artworks at two of the busiest train station in Sydney to get wider audience. // some other venues that I visited: 1/ 4A Center of Asian Contemporary Art-- it's where my curators' intensive was held.. 2/ Art Gallery of New South Wales where I finally see Monet's painting and Sol LeWitt's retrospective show in person..  3/ Artspace-- the space nor the work didn't exactly resonate with me but it was a good show nevertheless.. 4/ Museum of Contemporary Art Australia-- we were rushing because it was almost closing hour but we managed to get swayed by the video works by Taibamo 5/ Newsagency-- where the ladies from Indonesia had their show last year and the gallery has the sweetest cat ever! 6/ Gallery 9-- magical facade, minimalist artworks. // what I missed: 1/ First Draft 2/ Minerva 3/ Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation 4/ ACP 5/ Roslyn Oxley9 6/ White Rabbit 7/ Damien Minton 8/ Darren Knight Gallery

1/ if I could do it once again, I'd like to go for a slow long walk down the Botanical Garden, to the Opera House, and the circular quay.. which, I did in a very brisk walk because we were always on the run.. (and probably being the only 'touristy' thing I did in my visit) 2/ buy Lucas Papaw Ointment as a gift (everyone thinks it's a great idea: small, simple, local, and useful). 3/ climb the Barrenjoey Lighthouse in Palm Beach-- I was lucky that my friend took me to his summer house by the sea! It was a bit of a hike up to the lighthouse.. but if you are very very lucky.. you can see the whale migrating from that spot! 4/ go to the zoo or the Koala Park! (okay.. I didn't go there so I don't know what's inside the Koala park aside from koalas, of course.. but we drove past in on our way to my friend's home in the woods.. and then I realize: I haven't seen the koalas, the wallabies, and the kangaroos at all!! but well.. then there is a reason to visit the city once again!). 


let me think only about the sky!

(At this moment, I am desperately need a holiday from being concerned. Work has gotten to me lately. I just surprised myself by finishing nine articles for three magazines, two curatorial notes, one catalog essay, and six short online articles. All was done in one and a half months plus two weeks trips. Being back home only to find myself hosting ten dining parties in one week lead me to this point. 

This annual holiday open house ritual has made my house belong to many others: friends, families, and the loved ones. I actually enjoy the baking, the tidying up, and the daily get-together with different groups of closest people. It's heartwarming! It's just.. somehow my June and July has turned into numbers, words, trips, and to-do's. I need that kind of pause when you're so deep in a story that everything else is forgotten.. the world is gone and you are living a moment that is yours and yours alone. 

I am now in a holiday mode. Longing for more privacy; freedom to do whatever my heart tells, a pause to get lost in a good book for hours and hours, to go under the sun, sit on a park bench holding hand with him, transforming small poetic thoughts into something real, to be on the seaside and think only about the sky.. and for just one moment in life: stop making list in my head. For that, I have one more day before Lir start. 

Wish me luck and the fullest day to do nothing..)



"I like to see people reunited. Maybe that's a silly thing but what can I say. I like to see people run to each other, I like the kissing and the crying, I like the impatience, the stories that the mouth can't tell fast enough, the ears that aren't big enough, the eyes that can't take in all the change. I like the hugging, the brining together, the end of missing someone." 
| jonathan safran foer |

(This is the last day of my amazing solo trip in Sydney. I hate to be cheesy but I start to lost count of how many times I miss him.. wishing that he was here sharing all the new senses, excitements, and smells.. wondering about how the simplest daily things in life feels new and magical once again. Tomorrow is the day when absence become presence and the distance between us is just one hug away. The last time distance keep us apart was during my three months internship at Bandung. I remember the weather back then was also as cold and I wrote to him everyday.. The end of my fight with this biting winter weather is also the end of missing him. 

I start to feel warm inside.)


until we meet again!

(when I was much younger, I always imagine myself as a solo traveler. Flying around the world, experiencing life to its fullest. Travelling solo was listed in my dream-list in my junior high school's notebook, high-school group journal, and diaries. It was until when I first travelling solo to Manila in 2004; it start giving me a chill. Then, after finding the perfect travel companion for life, travelling solo start to sound less fun compared to travelling with him. It excites me more to be able to share that beautiful curve of a quaint house, that bluest sky, that thrilling moment of trying strange stuff, a hug when it's too cold, and sharing the excitement of new found little shops or cafe.

Today, I am going to travel solo. It brings me back to my old dreams, combined with all the excitements and unusual thrills. Sure, there will be many firsts: first winter, first walk around the unknown territory, and the sensation of being alone. A good friend will be there guiding me, so, there is nothing to worry about. Plus, I will be pretty busy with the tight class schedule, studio visits, and gallery hopping. Still, I wish I could share it with you

I wish you well, until we meet again..)


under the limelight of the camera's eyes

(you see.. under the limelight of the camera's eyes; the world is a little bit more colorful. Life is a little bit more exciting. The world is seen once again in detail and people develop a new way in looking. A split second of beautiful moment is captured and collected. Experiences are shared, personal gaze are opened to wider audience. We know how people arrange their table, eat their beautiful healthy breakfast, interact with their pets, spend their dreamy afternoon, gaze upon the cloud above them. We know what they read, what they see, and how it reflects on their aesthetic. Sometime it was as if people take us into their adventure. It amaze me to see how people could find beauty in the mundane, turning trash into treasure, painting life in a softer light, and get connected to new ideas. 

After all, lives are the sum of  memories. Wouldn't it be nice, in moderation, to capture a split seconds in life while living it? One day, it might be needed to help us remember.)


the silly old man who never finds his way back

(Today, I lost my Shadow.  

We became friend 13 years ago. He was this clumsy 3 years-old husky trying to adapt with the tropical environment and I was this teenage girl who was thrilled to get a dog for the very first time. We didn't get along that well back then. He was huge and our very first walk together resulting in an embarrassing tragedy when he chew and killed two of my neighbor's kitten out of curiosity. I was a little bit afraid of him before I realize that he was simply curious. 

Shadow is all about unconditional love. We had this on-and-off relationship. In some glorious day, I'll jump right away to where we keep him. But often my day seize me away and we separated for a week, months, or more. Even then, he would always be there; waiting for me patiently, hug me persistently, and gets really really excited when I'm around. He could not bark so he would howl when he hear my voice few miles away. It was as if I just left him for a day instead of two months. He never get bored, never gets cranky, never feel abandoned, never demanding, and always be so nice. Just like an old shoes, the more he spend time with me, the more comfortable we are to each other.  

Years passed and there he was through one broken hearts to another,  numerous adventures to the forest, purposeless walks, and many picnic photos together. In 13 years I had several other pets that are dear to me but Shadow is special. In my solitude, he will always be the one protecting me and my heart from any harm. He is just perfect to be my daydreaming pal and his hug is always comforting. With him, I'll take a longer walk to the unknown path and deeper heart of the forest. I know I am safe. 

Shadow, you silly old man who never find your way back home, remember me until we meet again at the rainbow bridge!)


thought // on doing your best

(four years ago I took a leap into the unknown. Back then, I asked for 'permission' from my mom and my uncle to try and live my dream for two years and if I failed.. I'll rush back to the path I was supposed to take. Then, I remember my uncle said I should never try and find a job that will satisfy him or make my mom proud. He said that I should not living up to anyone's expectation but mine and pleasing everyone else is never a good idea. He said that it is better to try and meet one's very own personal goals. That day, instead of two years trial, I was given a blank slate and unconditional encouragement from my loved ones. Since then, life has been an adventure.

About my uncle.. oh, the cleverness of him! 

What he did not warn me back then was how satisfying myself if far more difficult than satisfying everyone else. You see, people's judgement will be based on their narrow inaccurate point of view of you.. and people might have completely different value than you do. That makes their judgement can be considered irrelevant in some cases. It is a whole different case with yourself: you are *you*. You~ and only yourself will know when are you working your best and when are you just playing around with stuff. That limit is very personal. In my case, I always hope to surprise myself every now and then. When I feel like I wasn't doing my best, I failed myself. 

I remember asking a senior artist about his best artwork or one that loves the most. He said, "It is the one I have yet to create". Apparently, he doesn't like most of what he just made. He thinks that his artwork needs more time to show its hidden potential. Of course, there are moment when the time is right and he would actually like the work he made.

Don't get me wrong.. I'm happy with my life. But when it comes to job-related satisfaction and that particular feeling of achievement, I can be very difficult to myself. But.. is it always like that: to grow, you shouldn't be satisfied and settled~ go beyond your comfort zone, do your best, and never settle for what it is today. That, or be grateful? Stop for awhile and enjoy the moment or quickly asking for 'what's next'? Do I need time and space to judge things better and to breathe? 

How about you, dear reader?*) 

(*) of course.. only if there is anyone at all who actually read this blog.. lol! 


eat. go. do. // kaliurang

(for generations, my family have been living in Kaliurang~ a resort area located on the valley of an active volcano in Yogyakarta. When I was a kid, there are two seasons that I am familiar with: the tourist season and the non-tourist season. The tourist season means less privacy, noisy crowd everywhere, and it's pretty much the busiest time for the business. At the other side, it was also the best time to cuddle, read, and do the 'Disney/Ghibli movie-marathon' with my little sisters at home. While the non-tourist season would be more normal with school tasks, indulging days of unhurried routine, big playground just for us native kids, and  the perfect time for a quiet walk in the wood with a book to read under a big tree. 

Then, there comes a time when my life started to be built downtown and I took things for granted~ the fresh air, the scenery, the comfort and beauty suddenly translated into a long daily trip to go through. Luckily, that phase didn't last long. After the wedding, my husband and I decided to build our nest in this fresh-air little town. Having him as a new comer makes me see things in different light. This time, I mark the private-public territory in a bolder line: work at the city and home at the mountain. Suddenly, there is a newness in everyday life, enjoyable crisp peppermint wind, and instead of excruciating distance~ I start noticing how magnificent the volcano looks like as a deep black humps against the sky on our way back home every night. Things are exciting once again. 

If you're in town, come visit us in our little yellow house and I'll take you around!)

breakfast: 1/ during the weekdays, try nasi rames mbak Ninik or Gudeg bu Aris in front of the central children park.. of course, you got to eat it picnic-style inside the park for a true Kaliurang experience. 2/ climb a bit (of stairs) and eat pecel with noodle at the traditional market of Tlogo Putri while watching silly wild monkeys going down from the hill~ so kitsch, it's so fun! 3/ opt for the more traditional breakfast with 'meniran' made by mbah Noto and fritters to be enjoyed in privacy. // lunch: 1/ for a long lunch in an old-style house, try Vogel's 2/ if you're more into Chinese food, try ordering 'seninjong' at restoran Joyo's. It taste amazing and the portion is big enough to share! 3/ Try the old-style bistik at Warung Podjok4/ if you feel a bit fancy, go to the hidden restaurant Beukenhof and embrace the magic! 5/ have some honey toast and fresh milk with an amazing (!!) view at warung ijo // dinner: 1/ try tongseng kopyok or rica-rica at Mbah Ganis. 2/ chose between Pak Po's roasted corn, Dislam meatball soup, or chicken satay at Pak Raji in front of the busy night food-stall in front of the central park and wash it down with warm ronde or a teapot of traditional tea at Warung Poci Astomulya.  

1/ Ullen Sentalu museum is a must. It's surreal! 2/ climb the Plawangan hill and discover all the Japanese Caves (make sure you get your photo taken by pak Dasri). 3/ there are always a hidden path, secret garden, or private places you can visit when you're going with a native. 

1/ take a walk! It's the perfect place for that. 2/ find the wabi-sabi feel and go house-watching. There are a lot of beautiful old-style villas and abandoned houses, abandoned swimming pools, or anything whimsical that is instagram friendly and fun to explore. 3/ shop for antique at Joyo antique shop4/ visit the flower nursery, buy a bunch of cheap fresh flowers that will last for weeks or get your photo taken5/ play a little adventure game off the beaten path and get lost in the nearest forest. 6/ hike with a bunch of stranger early in the morning to watch the sunrise at the other side of the hill. 7/ take your favorite book and find a garden or any place to read while daydreaming, cloud-spotting, or bird-watching. 8/ find some place high enough to watch the light change from the glorious golden sunset to dimmed city-light from afar, watch the moon rise and star gazing.. 


thought // good distance

(lately, life feels like a feast with too many treats on the table. It is amazing~ yet, a careful consideration is needed to decide what will actually end up on the plate. In time like this, a good distance is what I need to see things clearly; to hold the pause button for a little while and reconnect to all that matters.) 


the tale of beton

(once upon a time, there was a spring surrounded by six villages. Everyone from those six villages lives a harmonious life. Everyday they walk to the spring to get fresh water supply as well as to meet and to greet. Back then, nobody mind the distance.. but time is a strange thing..  

one day, people start complaining about the distance from their village to the spring. They could not afford the distance anymore.. they need to save more time to do more things that could not be wasted on walking or talking. There was only one solution: a modern watering system. With that solution, comes a price to pay: a village. 

that village was the nearest to the spring. There were only few houses and a small street that connects that village to the five other villages. The people in this village are the sweetest of them all. The moment they learn that they need to sacrifice their village-- their houses, their territory; they agreed. From then on, the village become a small reservoir called Beton. 

yes, you can still see the street sign and the bridge connecting this old village to the other two. You can even walk on it, crossing the lake through the old street. On a dry season when the water level is a little bit lower, you can even see the roof of what used to be people's houses. When you wandering on a water bike around the reservoir, remember that you actually are wandering on top of a village-- above people's roof, and their houses are underwater.. how whimsical is that?)

visit beton?  
-- please note that this place is a bit hidden. If you're planning a visit, make sure to ask around and bring companions. (click here)

another story  
-- have you read the tale of the sixth borough? It's a bedtime story for grownup.. one of the best! A magical story about a lost neighborhood of NYC. (click here)


thought // the breakfast club

All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast. 
// John Gunther //

(Breakfast time is one of my most favorite time  of the day. I love to wake up earlier and steal a bit of me-time before starting the day with my beloved one.. cooking something healthy that should also be pampering to be enjoyed in a quality leisure time.  I, wholeheartedly, believe that a leisurely breakfast is the beginning of a happy day ahead. No wonder that the white queen of Alice's Wonderland believe in as many as six impossible thing before breakfast. Morning is the time for light, hope, and pure joy.

When I'm eating out, breakfast is still one of my most favorite meal time. Have you ever try going to a chain restaurant that serve breakfast? Chances are, you will meet all types of people with their masks off. It is the time of the day when the nice-scented office worker mingle with sleepy-faced family or a group of friends still in their jogging pants or pajamas. It is socially acceptable not to dress up during the breakfast time: the day is still very exciting and too early for judgement.

That is how The Breakfast Club at Lir begin.  

The Breakfast Club, as some of you might be well aware of, is the title of a celebrated 80's movie about five students from different cliques gather in a Saturday morning detention and develop friendship despite the different stereotypes each of them carries. At Lir, I want that hopeful time of the day to be celebrated in a way that strangers and friends gather; letting the warm morning sunshine, indulging menu, and conversation to bring happiness for the rest of the day. 

Instead of handling the club myself, I invite other people to host The Breakfast Club. They call themselves: The Aunties. The Aunties are three bright young ladies who become the think-tank and hostess of The Breakfast Club. The Aunties prepares not only beautiful sight and various types of indulging breakfast for everyone; but also honest hospitality and warmth. Their motto is to serve 'a bowl of joy'. Their first day of hosting ~before the heavy volcanic ash rain hit the city, left me smiling ear to ear. People were actually gather in one long table and become friends with those who was once a stranger. Even when the milk is to be served cold, the breakfast time should always be heartwarming, right?) 

// care to join the club? //

or just come to 

Jl.Anggrek 1/33 Baciro - Yogyakarta 
Every morning 6.30 am to 11.30 am (except Wednesday)


studio visit // heri dono

(It was a strange strange day when Dito and I went visiting Heri Dono's studio. There was no trace of bird's sound nor conversation in the air. It was as if the space is spelled with some kind of ancient magic~ so powerful and overwhelming. Maybe it was because the house used to belong to the royalty before it turned into a hospital, a school, and a police office before Heri Dono decided to use it as a studio. Or maybe, it was because of the almost-mythical figures he displayed here and there: from a lovely lady's statue looking at visitors from above, to human-head-swan statues in front of the house. The hanging upside down man-like plastic figure in all white and faerie-like troops hanging in the living room certainly builds up the atmosphere.

Heri Dono himself has this persona of someone who came straight out of Tim Burton's book. Living a solitary life in his strange fortress, creating magical troops of faeries and dinosaurs, combining the whimsical and the grim at the same time. This burtonesque feel gives me nightmares for a few days after the visit. This kind of effect is similar to that which I felt after going to Agus Suwage's retrospective few years ago~ with less sociopolitical issue and more fairytales. Before this visit, I wouldn't say that I'm much of a fans of Heri Dono. Yet, going through the whole buildings (three of them) full of his past works in a place so enchanted with old strange spell impressed me in so many ways. He is indeed, a story teller ahead of his time.)

He is going to have a retrospective show this year in Jakarta. (Something to look forward to!) | Click here to find out more about him.


hop on every pages you paint

(my dear friend Ame was first to wish me happiness on my favorite day of the year.. she said: 'hop on every pages you paint'. So I did. The day was kind and full of love. I was relieved from the excruciating pain from the night before, having a nice breakfast with two of my beloved ones, went for a private getaway to my favorite seaside, had a warm dinner with mom, and blessed by all the wishes at the end of the day. There wasn't exactly a white cake with fresh flowers and a sparkler but I am lucky to be a happy birthday girl. Let's not break the spell and let the day stay magic!)


looking ahead // 2014 // surprise yourself

//quote to remember//
"May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you're wonderful, and don't forget to make some art- write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself" | neil gaiman |

1/ write journal everyday (starting next week, perhaps!) | 2/ make a new blog (done!) | 3/ curate a show in another gallery but Lir (done!) | 4/ renovating Lir (done) | 5/ find a new hideaway in the city | 6/ a trip to a place with a view (done) | 7/ to study | 8/ to lose weight (of course..it's *the* classic resolution!) |  9/ to surprise myself! | 

1/ book: Joe; Tree of CodesCodex Seraphinianus; The Poetics of Space; The Bell Jar | 2/ pet: mini rabbit; toy dog; or a hedgehog (although I'm not ready for the possibility of the loss) | 3/ a trip to the hill and the seaside | 4/ a work space | 5/ birthday cake that looks like this with sparklers instead of candle on top! | 6/ a garden at my backyard | 7/ a fine-weather birthday

(Already..it's the second week of 2014. Last year was like a dream..it flies too fast. This year, I decide to go through it more consciously. Trying to be involved in less but better things and choose them carefully. Invest more in what I'm passionate about with people who shares the same excitement and not let things that doesn't worth the time and energy gets in the way. I promise to pay more attention to my baby Lir while dedicating the year to study and read more. To cherish every moment and every day I spend with him. More and more.. remember to always surprise myself!)


the memories of unidentified experience

(Dito Yuwono's solo exhibition is ongoing until the end of this month at KKF. I can't be happier! As our first collaboration, we shared a same energy level in preparing the exhibition and have been working on this project for awhile. It was almost like our conversation revolves around the ideas of it whenever we are going through the long drive home at night after spending a day finishing the reading supplements (me) or making the artwork (him). 

To read my curatorial note, click here | to read our conversation *around* the exhibition, click here)


ongoing project

(The Memories of Unidentified Experience is my first collaboration with Dito. We've been working on this for a year and a half with a book and an exhibition in mind as the result. It has been quite challenging for me. Wandering through his past, pain, fear, exorcising his foggy memories, and acknowledging his present state while being personally close yet at the same time should remain distance and try to avoid being sentimental have been an intense process. With his profound inferiority, I know how insecure he was about exhibiting this project. Yet, that is a step he is willing to take. I wish nothing but kindness.)


collecting flowers from the sky

Remember, remember, this is now, and now, and now. Live it, feel it, cling to it.
//Sylvia Plath//
(A friend once quote in his blog that new year eve is a time when people celebrate for no reason. Aside from my birthday and the night before Ied, this is one of my most favorite time of the year. Be it an intimate night spent with the beloved one over wine and dessert or a festive party with loud music and snacks with friends-- I love how people all around the world, on the street, everywhere.. seem to let things lose for that particular moment. In a world so easily lose faith, cheerfulness is indeed a serious achievement. It's hypnotizing when the sky shines so bright, people cheer and laugh, and everything seems so loud that you can't hear your own thought. It's like a void where you can just forget it all and be amazed by the twinkling flowers in the sky. 

This year, Dito and I decided to spend it intimately, just the two of us- in our new home. We joined my family for the 360 degree view of fireworks watching on my mom's rooftop only up to 11pm before going back home to enjoy it from our yard. There was a different sensation between watching the festivity of five-spots firework party from the height only to be completely overwhelmed by it and that more laid-back amazement of having surrounded by the fireworks while still staying on the ground. Both are amazing. Next year, I'm going to share that amazement with friends. Until then, have a happier days ahead, people!)