A Small Fragment through the Passage of Time


Sunaryo is not only known as an artist who works with multi-dimensions; he is also the founder of Selasar Sunaryo Art Space (SSAS). To celebrate the 20th anniversary of SSAS, he held a solo exhibition titled Lawangkala.

The topic of Lawangkala stemmed from the idea that humanity is ephemeral, meaning human life is just a short stop in the passage of time. Lawangkala is a hybrid term consisting of the word time (kala) and door (lawang). This term signifies a dimension in which space and time unite.

Sunaryo visualised the meaning of Lawangkala into an installation. It highlighted the latest work of the maestro, featuring multidisciplinary works with bamboo, fibre-based materials, as well as sound and digital media to manifest the idea of ephemerality.

The main body of the installation is a bamboo tunnel constructed through the main exhibition hall at SSAS. It is here that Sunaryo placed a piece of woven bamboo similar to a gigantic version of a bubu (a tool to catch fish made out of bamboo blades). The cone end of the bubu extended through the wall, reaching out beyond the exhibition room. The walk through the tunnel portrayed the human timeline, beginning from birth, then through childhood and ending with the present. Every turn in the tunnel evoked a different space and time.

Sunaryo designed this installation in a way that allows the audience to experience both space and time simultaneously. From Sunaryo’s point of view about this concept, he said: “There was never truly a straight ‘route and motion’… inside (the installation) we would be faced with ‘traps’ where we must choose and decide on a stand.” Agung Hujatnikajennong, the exhibition curator and writer wrote that this installation is comparable to a microscopic lens that scrutinises a small fragment or moment in a human’s life.

Starting from the early 1990s, Sunaryo has been using natural materials such as rattan, bamboo, wood and fire in his work. Materials such as Daluang paper - from leaves - has been used in several parts of the bubu. His attitude towards these materials is not to change its natural form but rather to make it “speak” more loudly.

Much like the meaning of its own name, Selasar is just a terrace, a verandah, a place where artists can quickly stop by. Sunaryo continuously supports young artists and provides this art space as a place to display their works. For those who want to enjoy the beauty of nature and the cool air while enjoying a meal, Kopi Selasar can be an option. This place has a variety of food and beverages perfect for a nice lunch, and is a comfortable, cosy venue to hang out with family or friends.

In its entirety, Lawangkala is an art project that tries to activate our awareness of space and time through Sunaryo’s artistic and philosophic wild thoughts translated into his own language. It is certain that the space and time intended here is essentially a subjective temporary circumstance, a space -time in Sunaryo’s horizon as an artist, and a human being that realises one of the deepest realities of the universe.

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Rosiany T. Chandra
Graduated as an architect from the Technische Universitaet Berlin in 1987, the Bandung based contributor is passionate about art, history and culture; and loves writing about the subjects. She had previously worked as the Corporate Marketing Communication for a hotel and restaurant group in Jakarta, before moving back to Bandung in 2016. As she is a people person, she enjoys meeting people. In her spare time, she practices ballroom dancing as both hobby and sport.