Letter No. 1: Pulsar Dance
The New East Indies
Written by Melissa Sunjaya
Illustrated by Melissa Sunjaya
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 civilisation. 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 civilisation which produces pollution in abundance.
The opening collection from the New East Indies ponders the awareness needed to maintain harmony between humans and Mother Earth. This outlook is relayed through the artist’s reflections on modern environmental problems and their imaginable solutions. The collection reflects the artist’s frame of mind in regards to the ultimate potential of this era.
a. Tessitura: A concept which explored chaos from a positive
view point and examined the relationship between mankind and the universe. I took the word ‘Tessitura’ from music, defining a range of notes that offered the best sound texture and the most comfortably produced by a musical source (an instrument or a singer). I interpreted Tessitura using a heated orangutan’s face as my subject. I tried to picture their habitat’s condition enduring from forest fire as a result of human’s carelessness in overexploiting the natural resources.
b. Filogenesis: Phylogenesis is the evolutionary development
and diversification of a species or group of organisms. In my essay, ’Filogenesis’ (Indonesian term) concluded a new change and defined a new identity. I had manifested the meaning of this word into a satirical phrase ‘Orang Gak Punya Utan’ in the same context of an orangutan as the subject. Along with the manifolds of disasters in forest fire, indirectly orangutans would be losing their rainforests and humans would also suffer the great loss due to the supply of oxygen. Note that this is only a small fraction of the loss.
c. Deformasi: An attitude towards the interior of self which examined every imperfection and undressed every defect would definitely shock many faces. Through the transparency of this approach, vanity in individualism was deliberately sabotaged to be aware on the importance of taking down ego, destroying old masks, and forming a fresh character. I visualized this deconstructive attitude in several ink splashes.
d. Fuga: An attitude to forget perfection, which is hard to obtain, and to see what we have in the present to reach progress. I believed that wishful dreams were never an impossible matter. If it became difficult to accomplish the dream, we just had to repaint our dreams. I visualized this attitude with a composition of pen scratches, chaotically overlapping each other between dreams and realities.
e. Transgresi: A defensive mechanism within my interiority which I exhibited with peace and discipline to overcome the old-world dogmatic attacks wishing to crush the new spirit. ‘Transgresi’ focused on the development of physical strength which worked side by side with humans’ spiritual maturity in protecting their privileges and territories. I visualized this attitude with a boundary line marked by an uncontrollable dripping ink.
f. deviasi: An attitude in problem solving which was conducted in many directions to reach a higher or a noble vision. I noticed that there was a spirit in our community for a change, where all experiential aspects were redefined. Truth and transparency became an absolute objective, and not a goal of a collective group. I visualized this attitude as a tentacular composition which portrayed an existence with no segments nor prejudice.
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