the irony of this (artsy) country

I still remember back on mid 2008. When I start drawing religiously (like every single day) without knowing why and what I want to achieve through my drawing. Well, the truth is I still confuse until today. 4 years already passed, slowly but not surely I get to know people from this so called art scene. The big guy also the struggle one. They’re all talented and know exactly what they’re doing, both of them. But I can see the tiredness in their face, just like what I feel. Because we fight alone. We have to find our way alone. We have to work hard on our art alone. We have to motivating ourself alone. We have to keep searching how to get noticed. We have to keep reminding ourself that we’re doing all of this because we believe in ourself, in our work. Some of you will said, it’s only 4 years. But believe me I know many people who work their ass off for more than 10 years (the 10,000 hours rule doesn’t work here), got the talent, got the mind, got the spirit, got the ‘mecun’ thing but nothing happen.

I did a little research about this scene out there, I envy them. They seem like have all kind of help we needed here. The organisation, the people, the website, the community, the how to, the support, the exhibition, the everything. When I visited Yogya for Artjog2012, I can see that they’re luckier than us here in Jakarta. Not much but enough. It’s not easy to live as an fulltime artist here, we have to work our ass to get money, to live, to socialize, to held an exhibition, to make our art. And that’s the evil circle. We’re worn out and feel tired all the time. And we’re still fighting alone. Well maybe not we, it’s more like my current situation. I have 3 notebooks full with sketches (and lost 1 already) and ideas and to do list without any realization, not even close. There’re days when I feel so tired that I’ll hate my own drawing and ideas. Also I hate people who have too much opinion. I become this other “full with hate” person. Hate that.

When I feel so numb, lazy, and negative.

I received this strange email from a girl, Felicia, she said she’s from +62. She asked for a meeting, I said yes because I always open for every possibilities and anything outside my routine. She’s not an Indonesian and neither her partner, Patrick. They’re from Canada and England. They have this mission to spread Indonesian artist to the world scene. They already approach almost every artist in Jakarta and now Bandung and Yogyakarta. The big guy and the struggling one, like myself. I asked them “Why?” and they said “Why not?”. And I can feel their honesty, without any hidden agenda. Which is very rare to found here. According to their opinion, they see too many wasted talents here (in Indonesia) because of the lack of opportunities and information. That exact moment I feel a bit angry with this country or I have to say the government. The carelessness. Why it always have to be someone from the outside? And believe me, these two are working really fast and based on a tight deadline. How not Indonesian is that?

I don’t care how they’ll running this +62. Or is it gonna work or not. But I like the spirit. The nothing to lose spirit. The unstoppable atmosphere.

Left to right: Interview from Andi Rharharha, Ika Vantiani, Emte, me, Wedhar Riyadi, Ella Wijt, Wormo, Popo, Koma, and Ika Putranto and more to come.

One more thing, I might still full with hate here and there. But I’m getting better inside (yeah, yoga’s working) and get back to work.


PS: Don’t worry. This kind of writing won’t make any appearance in the near future.

Jak-art-a, 11 Oct ’12



  1. hehehe.. then you’re not alone, artsy world, this also happen in engineering world, trust me. this country has a serious lack-of-trust problem to their ‘prospecitve’ people

  2. seems like we are facing the same problem here in architectural-interior-product design… Just got back from 100% design Singapore, and all i can think about is while every countries around us busy supporting their artist-designer-architect to promote their own culture, our “important people” is busy traveling around the world with our money… and get back with no innovation or improvement for this poor country that paid for their holiday.

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