on women, power and traditions #3

16 November 2022 - 16 January 2023
Prajna Dewantara Wirata and Sekar Puti Sidhiawati

These two artists are connected to their shared situation of personal body and domestic experience that is important to be shared with the wider public. Using arts as their approach to articulate their experiences and feelings, these two artists survived the dark moments of their life. They recorded the memory through works of art. While domestic violence and sexual harassment had increasingly become a significant concern for the younger generation of women in Indonesia and many parts of the world, it is still a big taboo to express a strong voice of resistance.

Their artworks can be seen as witnesses and evidence of the difficulties of women to live peacefully with their bodies, or thinking independently with their minds and will, particularly with various social limitations either from religion, norms, and education. This exhibition brings forward brave articulations and the narratives from both artists; on how to embrace the trauma and dark memories so they can continue their life and inspire other women to survive through moments of difficulties.

The images they used may be very much different from each other. Prajna works more with the idea of paintings and bring the female figure to express fear but at the same time the hope of a better future, while Sekarputi uses colorful and playful image from books with the texts to reveal her feelings and thoughts. I would also underline these differences in medium and techniques as the mediation of sharing for women, that every medium contains emotions and (her)story, yet at the same time revealing women’s ability to create their own narratives using their own language.

After all, we are in this together.

Writer: Alia Swastika

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