Finding Peace Amid Chaos in Jakarta With Architecture
Upon entering Andra Matin’s exhibition “Sebuah Sekuel” at Dia.lo.gue Artspace in Kemang, one is immediately confronted with a cacophony of clamoring noises: a clock tick-tocking, a dog barking, a hammer sledging.
Yet somehow, the initial impression of obtrusive dissonance that sounds like you have just walked into a huge bustle dissipates within a few minutes and all the discordance seems to meld together. In its place, a spark of curiosity lights up — which is precisely what the curator Avianti Armand aspired to communicate with this exhibition.
“Architecture is an experience. An experience that involves the three sensory inputs of the body as a whole,” Avianti said. “For this reason, film or cinematic presentation is chosen as the media to present Andra Matin’s architecture. Architecture representation becomes closer to architecture experience. It reintroduces movement and tactile qualities, as well as articulates livable spaces that constantly link reality between material and vibrant images.”
Nine short movies created by Davy Linggar, a photographer commended by Avianti and Andra, are integrated into different displayed renderings of Andra’s architectural work that are spread throughout the gallery.
The idea is to reconstruct the same impressions and sensations you would acquire from Andra’s architectural work as a cinematic experience.
“Andra Matin’s architecture engages our visual perception through our gaze, organized in a flow of experiences sequentially. This engagement follows a practical approach by taking in the thickness of the walls, materials, floor levels, depths and so on. It forms like a film, in the dimension of time and motion,” Avianti said.
Walking through the exhibition space, visitors are gradually introduced to Andra’s works through different installations.
Since Andra is one of the most prominent figures in modern Indonesian architecture, it was essential to not reduce the quality in the intent of reconstructing. That said, the first installation that will catch your eye as you stroll through are schematic 3D models of his designs, on a wooden table suspended by strings to the ceiling.
The most significantly arresting piece among the installations is contained in a montage of videos, played in sequential loops, behind a mirrored wall.
Whether intentional or not, it felt as if one’s own reflection assimilated into the piece itself. Another installation contained a movie playing in a small screen within a green, yellow and blue wooden pillar, making use of same pieces of his window designs of potato head bar and lounge that he was responsible for.
“If generally architecture flattens the human emotion, Andra’s work drives us to live through a story and emotional experiences,” Avianti said.
“In experiencing these spaces, memories and dreams, fears and desires, value and meaning, are combined with actual perception.
“It is a space that is integrated well within the subject’s life as a whole. In reality, we do not live in two separate worlds: the material and the mental; these dimensions are totally intertwined and linked. Andra always creates a bond or attachment to his work.”