Saturday, 2 April 2011

Diskusi 'I am Always Stammering!' Vol.1

‘I am Always Stammering!’ Vol.1 was successfully conducted at The Painting Garage on Friday, March 25, 2011. The discussion session was dedicated to collect funds to assist the construction of temporary shelters for the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami victims in Japan. Funds collected from the event were donated through a collective network that support the initiative of Shigeru Ban – the architect whom is designing the temporary shelter units. The discussion attracted audiences, not only within the arts and architecture community, but also crowds from other disciplines that include film and music critics, law, language and cultural studies, media and writing and others. A big group of Japanese residing in Bandung also attended and donated during the event, and not to forget the big support we received from Sushi Tei.

The discussion theme was loosely structured to invite audiences to share and discuss their understanding and thoughts on the issue of being a stammerer – which can be loosely interpreted within the context of language, narrative, ideas and ways of working things and one’s thought. The event started with a projection of visual narratives from Jean-Luc Godard’s latest works, Film Socialisme that then drove the stammerer of the night, Kumiko Homma(1) into the topic of creative stammering. She relates creative stammering with a statement from Gilles Deleuze who described Godard as always being a stammerrer, but not stammering in his words, but stammering in the language itself. Kumiko described herself as being a foreigner actually brought many positive insights for her to not only understand, but expressed something by viewing things from the perspective that locals or people who are used to a certain context can’t. She again borrowed Deleuze’s text that support creative stammering as a powerful tool in the process of learning and creativity, “to be a foreigner not in another language but in your own language...only creative stammering can make a force..”

Taking the discussion to the context of architecture and art, Kumiko then presented some of her researches that studied the work of Junya Ishigami, the young avant-garde Japanese architect, as well as works and teaching method of Shin Egashira, a diploma unit master at the AA School of Architecture, which has also taken similar curious approaches. Henry Gunawan(2) supports the presentation with some architectural and design aspects of the works, making a more concrete and clearer statement on how creative stammering and the in-between-ness of art and architecture can also be a valid approach in the context of making good and interesting built environment. David Hutama(3) then brought the audiences into the discussion of being a stammerer by providing information and facts that connected the gap between Godard, Ishigami and Egashira and took the discussion into the context of Indonesia. Being a stammerer himself while becoming an Indonesia student living in Japan, David viewed the issue from the other side that Kumiko had not noticed while being a Japanese living in Indonesia. This is also the case with Henry and Hafiz Amirrol(4), whom both had experienced living outside of their own country and became stammerers themselves.

Asti Goenawan(5) brought some of her beautiful paintings to The Painting Garage and shares her experience of becoming the painting lawyer. Not having a formal training as a painter, Asti developed her painting skills through observation, influences and experience. In her case, she is experiencing creative stammering not in the context of geographical, cultural and social differences, but as someone who is stammering in a discipline that she was not trained in. Hafiz also presented some of his works that have strong roots in the field of fine arts, which he developed through his formal training as an architect. Adding to those presentation, Reza Ismail, an urban architect that religiously is also a music collector gave some of his insights, which then brought Tata Soemardi, an assistant professor and practicing urban designer that has practiced in the United States, Europe and Asian countries to share some of his personal thoughts on working in foreign land and coming back to his hometown Bandung. Ade Tinamei who is also a practicing urban designer gave some added notes on her travelling experience that was a mixed between heaven and hell.

Click here for further reading on a note by David Hutama.

*Stamerrer, Moderator and Discussants:
1. Kumiko Homma is a PhD candidate in Comparative Civilizations Studies and has been living in Bandung for three years. A big fan of Schoemaker, Deleuze and Rossi? No, she is just a Stammerer!

2. Henry is a practicing architect, graduated from Columbia University and the Ohio State University. He is the principal of HGT Architects, and has worked on numerous projects in Indonesia with experiences in prestigious New York architecture firms. Some of his current works include residential and commercial projects, as well as participating in international conferences and exhibitions.

3. David is an architectural and urban historian by training. His latest writing "Ruang Publik dalam Arsitektur" has been published in a book titled "Wacana tentang Ruang Publik" edited by F. Budi Hardiman. David teaches at Universitas Pelita Harapan and is currently the Head of the Architecture Department.

4. Hafiz is the writer of this blog.

5. Asti loves to paint since she was a child. Graduated from the Faculty of Law, Universitas Parahyangan Bandung, Asti is a self-trained painter. She had her first solo exhibition in July 2010, entitled "In Her Comfort Zone", followed by a second one, "The Tales of Purple" in August 2010 at Jakarta.

*Photos courtesy of Sarah Permana Martakoesoemah and Kumiko Homma

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