The Di Sana project launched through a research initiative called Creative Encounters and Adventures. I began this research, during my Asialink residency at Cemeti Art House and I worked with a number of creatives from the community of Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Participants were encouraged to explore their unique perspective and experience of Yogyakarta based on the premise that within each of us, exists a general mapping of our hometown that is different to the mapping of another person who lives in the same town. The physicality may be the same, but how we experience physical space is different from person to person.
Each participant was given a key and asked to metaphorically ‘open the doors of Yogyakarta’ to let outsiders experience the city through their eyes. Woven together, these explorations were a narrative mapping of Yogyakarta. I launched the website www.disanaproject.com with these stories. The Di Sana Project website was a bilingual site with each project able to be read in both English and Indonesian. My intention was to create an online platform for dialogue, participation and collaboration between artists across India, Indonesia and Australia. Then as more and more stories were added, the website would hopefully become a ‘living’ archive of people, places, community and culture across India, Indonesia and Australia. This project was put on hold when my father became gravely ill and one day in the future I hope to take it up again. Unfortunately the website backup was lost in 2017.
Yogyakarta is located on the island of Java in the Indonesia archipelago. Yogyakarta, or Yogya or Jogja as it is commonly referred to, is known as kota seniman, or The City of Artists. It is well known as one of the centres of art and culture in Indonesia and it is surrounded by some iconic places; historically, philosophically and geographically. To the north, there is Borobudur, the largest Buddhist temple in the world and the majestic Mount Merapi which has a wreaked destruction and plays a major role in the collective minds of the Javanese. To the east there is Prambanan, the biggest Hindu temple built in 9th century.
The first thing I noticed upon arrival was the abundance of artist studios, workshops, spaces and venues. Many of Indonesia’s well-known artists reside there, because of the availability of studio space and the relatively low costs of living. There is not an abundance of Government funding and artists tend to work through collectives. Whilst living there I had the great opportunity to experience the generosity of the artist community in Yogyakarta. Most artists are part of one collective or another – as a way of sharing ideas, skill sets and creating merchandise to fund bigger projects or to develop their work.
The Di Sana Project website was to act as aa virtual repository for creative projects and invite participation and creative responses.
Globalisation has changed the ways in which art is produced, presented and collected, and the terms by which it is understood. There is an expanding audience for art – for co-production and participation, and access to knowledge. New forms of cultural dialogue and international exchange are developing, involving artists, institutions and audiences, within and between cities, regions, and continents.
Thanks to the launching artists
mBedog Fairytale by Bagus Bagonk Prabowo & Maria Yohana Raharjo
Signature Hair by Malcolm Smith
Tasting Memory by Elia Nurvista & KHAIRUNNISA
Yogyakarta di Tangkilan by Henricus Benny Hendriono
From Second to the Stage by Hendra ‘Blankon’ Priyadhani
Dream Collector by Mira Asriningtyas
101 Reasons to Stay by Dito Yuwono
Yogya is my Home by Rismilliana Wijayanti
Listening to Yogya is my Home by Rismilliana Wijayanti at Cemeti Art House
Tasting Memory at Cemeti Art House by Elia Nurvista & KHAIRUNNISA
Introducing the projects
Interacting with the Dream Collector by Mira Asriningtyas
My home installation
The Dream collection in action by Mira Asriningtyas
Bagus Bagonk Prabowo and Maria Yohana Raharjo – MBedog River Story
Tasting Memory Elia Nurvista & KHAIRUNNISA