Aku bernafas, bergerak, dan berhasrat di suatu dunia bercadar yang takut disentuh.

Ada yang sukar diungkapkan; yang dilarang untuk diseksama; dan sekarang semakin banyak lagi yang tidak bisa dirasakan. Sistem yang mengelilingiku telah dirancang jauh sebelum aku terwujud dalam janin. Sistem ini tidak lagi berfungsi dengan baik untuk melindungiku. Seperti jaringan yang padat, sistem ini didirikan untuk menjaga keseimbangan di antara sesamaku. kini jaringan sistem ini mencabuti segala bentuk sensori dari rasa kemanusiaanku, dan merekayasanya dengan personalisasi lain.

–Melissa Sunjaya, Jakarta 2017

Curatorial Statement

The New East Indies presents an anthology of literature and artworks by Melissa Sunjaya, which examine the present state of Indonesian civilization and its potential future transformation. Traditionally, civilization has been interpreted through a distinct methodology based on human tendencies in viewing various problems and solutions through emotions, language, culture, art and science.

The digital era has opened the door to a world without limits, where each individual is able to access a seemingly endless assortment of information rapidly from this secondary cyber-universe. Concurrently, advances in transportation technology have made it possible to travel thousands of miles in a single day. The two sectors have greatly accelerated the progress of our civilization. Yet one thing remains certain: there are discernible tradeoffs occurring alongside our technological advances. This acceleration has diminished our connection to the natural world and cultivated a civilization which produces pollution in abundance.

The second letter from The New East Indies studies the essence of touch in human connection. The cultural shifts during this robotic era have caused an intricate connectivity and some communication conflicts, leaving touch and empathy as an unfamiliar and rare language. The essayist recounted her personal experiences in discovering harmony between heterogeneity in her surroundings.


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Artwork by Melissa Sunjaya
Photography by Zharfani Padmasedhana

Tulisan Chronicles Team

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