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Love is Blind, Huh!

I Wayan Juniarta

The Jakarta Post

Sanur, Bali  /  Thu, March 2, 2017  /  01:35 pm
Love is Blind, Huh!

Pertanyaan tentang Rindu by Srizkiki (JP/I Wayan Juniarta)

From time immemorial, love has always been one of the most fascinating subject matters for artists, who try to capture its essence in rhyming words or moving colors.

Most often than not, love is also so elusive that it escapes any definition, thus, ensuring that each generation of artists tries to at least once formulate its own distinctive narrative on love.

“Love is Blind, Huh!” is a contemporary effort to define love. It features the works of three emerging visual artists; Bombdalove, Suku Tangan and Srizkiki.

Bombdalove, a street artist whose mission is “bombing the wall with love,” sharpened his skills in 2015 in Jakarta before relocating to Bali, while both Suku Tangan and Srizkiki are talented illustrators trying to elevate their game up to fine art. Their past works can be viewed on their respective Instagram pages.

Signature: Bombdalove's signature work, which has no title, reveals his street arts credential.(JP/I Wayan Juniarta)

Bombdalove’s signature work, which portrays a man using a fire extinguisher to spray streams of short sentences on love, displays his street art credentials with scores of heart-shaped images in bold colors and the important positions and placements of words in the work. The sentences, ranging from “I miss you but I hate you but I love you” to “spread the love,” underscore the gamut of emotions love could endow a person with and the artist’s dream of a world where love manages to transcend all man-made barriers.

Desire: I Am Yours by Bombdalove(JP/I Wayan Juniarta)

His other work, I am Yours, is clearly more personal. A sensuous painting of a woman placed next to stalks of fiery red roses jutting out of empty wine bottles inside a shopping cart clearly speaks about lust, commodification and instant gratification. Srizkiki, on the other hand, draws inspiration from poems written by her friend Yuniorika. Naturally, her works are more personal in nature compared to the ones created by Bombdalove.

“Sometimes people who are so in love cannot live together, sometimes a couple lives together although they are not in love with each other. How could these things happen?” she asked.

Read also: Aan Mansyur: All poems are love poems

Her works, therefore, from Rinduku Padamu (My Longing for You) to Pertanyaan Tentang Rindu (A Question on Longing), are her personal journey to seek the answer to that question.

“It turns out that in the end acceptance is important,”

From an aesthetic point of view, the star of the exhibition is undoubtedly Suku Tangan. His clean lines, subdued colors, surreal character and landscape lend his works a captivating visual quality.

His works at the exhibit are the result of an inter-text process, during which he carefully read short stories and writings penned by young author Sekar Wulandari Yogaster before creating his own visual characters and interpretations.

“It is about a relationship, particularly how it can force a person to change to please his or her partner,” he said. His three paintings hung side by side, Kolektor yang Bahagia (A Happy Collector), Residu (Residue) and Asmalelana, narrate the journey of such a relationship through the eyes of the person who experiences it.

Kolektor yang Bahagia by Suku Tangan(JP/I Wayan Juniarta)

A Happy Collector is a colorful portrait of a powerful man, his suit made of stone and his hair is a raging flame. He is a skilled manipulator, able to mold his women into the person he deems ideal. In his left hand is a smoky snow globe.

Residu by Suku Tangan(JP/I Wayan Juniarta)

Residue is a close-up rendition of the snow globe. Outside the snow globe everything is presented in vivid colors. Inside it, on the other hand, is a dull, black and white world of a young woman trapped by her man’s ideas and ideals. Inside her body are images of her old self — places she visited, trees she loved and clouds she was fond of — all now in grey. She holds a mirror, out of which a colorful hand reaches out to her.

Asmalelana is the climax of this visual drama, as the girl accepts the hand reaching out to her, she immediately stands in front of the colorful version of herself. The version of self that has the Milky Way in her hair, sun in her eyes, deep blue ocean in her torso and warm summer houses in her chest. It is her previous self before she caved to the ideals imposed by her man. She embraces her previous self and her world is colorful again.

“I am quite optimistic about love, “Suku Tangan said.