DECK proudly presents artist-in-residence Abednego Trianto in his latest solo exhibition titled From Darkness to Light. In an old Javanese saying, the role of a woman is cooking, dressing and giving birth (masak, macak lan manak). The domesticated role of women is being contested and rewritten in the historiography of the colonised Dutch East Indies and post-colonial Indonesia. Through deconstruction of Raden Ajeng Kartini’s letter titled “From Darkness to Light” and myths the model of ‘ideal’ Javanese woman has been uniquely presented through political and social agendas.
The artist residency is a progress of the project of Javanese photo studio, presented with a group of Indonesian photographic artist collective. From Darkness to Light questions the relevance of Kartini as the nation feminist model in the historiography of Indonesia.
Abednego was born in Semarang in 1988 and graduated from School of Art, Design and Media, NTU in 2010. As part of his artistic project, he is pursuing his architecture study in Indonesia. In 2010, Abed was awarded the Kwek Leng Joo Prize of Excellence in Still Photography. His photographs has been exhibited internationally including the Chobi Mela Photo Festival, the Singapore International Photography Festival and the Noorderlitch Photo Festival.
Abed is known for his interest of the stories surrounding ethical policy in Dutch occupancy and its influence of post-colonial Indonesia. His earlier work titled Sugar Lord Java tells a story of sugar industry and photographic archives in the island of Jawa, looking at the glorious years of international trades and the figure of Oei Tiong Ham. His following project titled 1883 tells fictitious narratives of the grand eruption of Mount Krakatoa in Sunda strait made by locals and overseas writers. The lineage of interlinked stories has shaped the artist understanding of the subjects of Indonesia and the nation’s struggle to find its identity.