Kelvin Atmadibrata

Kelvin Atmadibrata

Kelvin Atmadibrata (b.1988, Jakarta, Indonesia) recruits superpowers awakened by puberty and adolescent fantasy to assemble formidable armies of outlaws. Equipped by shōnen characters and macho ero-kawaii, his antiheroes contest the masculine and erotic in Southeast Asia. He works primarily through performances, often accompanied by and translated into drawings, mixed media collages and objects compiled as installations.

During his residency in Rimbun Dahan, he plans to expand a narrative that is triggered by a Malayan historical figure, Laksamana Cheng Ho. He seeks to learn the Admiral’s influence in today’s society, in particular in regards to his masculine identity and how it has potentially structured the perception of power, race and religion in modern politics. This will also be motivated by cultural findings during his stay in Malaysia, discussions and exchanges with locals as well as his constant interest in virtual RPG elements.

He will be updating his progress in weekly blog-like entries on his website.

Irwan Sofwan

Irwan Sofwan

Irwan Sofwan is a poet and writer from Indonesia. His biography is written below in his mother tongue with a rough translation appended after:

Irwan lahir dan tinggal di Serang, Banten – Indonesia. Karya-karyanya terdapat dalam beberapa buku antologi puisi bersama, di antaranya: Dari Batas Waktu ke Perjalanan Kamar sampai Kabar dari Langit (2006), Candu Rindu (2009), Akulah Musi (2011), Narasi Tembuni (2012) dan juga di beberapa media massa.

Sehari-hari ia bekerja sebagai guru Bahasa dan Sastera Indonesia di SMP PGRI 2 Kota Serang dan aktif berkegiatan di Kubah Budaya (Komunitas untuk Perubahan Budaya) – sebuah komunitas sastera dan budaya yang didirikannya bersama Wan Anwar (alm) dan beberapa kawan satu angkatan. Ia kemudian dipercaya menjabat sebagai ketua Kubah Budaya dari tahun 2006 ke 2009. Bergelut dan berdiskusi bersama komunitas membuatnya lebih mencintai dunia sastera dan semakin terjerumus ke dalam belantara puisi. Puisi seolah menjadi magnet yang menarik keinginannya untuk selalu menulis dan berkarya, meski ia juga sesekali menulis esei dan beberapa artikel yang berkaitan dengan sastera  dan dunia pendidikan.

Baginya, menulis puisi adalah mencatat kehidupan. Mengekalkan sekaligus menyatukan pengetahuan, pengalaman batin dan pikiran untuk kemudian dilepaskan mengarungi lautan kehidupan itu sendiri. Dalam lawatannya ke Rimbun Dahan sebagai artist resident, ia berharap dan akan berusaha untuk menemukan pengetahuan dan pengalaman-pengalaman itu – yang seutuhnya baru – untuk diolah kembali menjadi karya-karya yang memiliki corak berbeda dengan karya-karya yang ia tulis sebelumnya.

Sekarang, Irwan sedang menyiapkan puisi-puisinya untuk diterbitkan dalam sebuah buku yang akan menjadi buku kumpulan puisi pertamanya. Menjadi penyair dan guru adalah hal yang tidak pernah ia cita-citakan semenjak kecil, namun ia bersyukur dapat menjalaninya sekarang ini. Ia pun percaya dengan apa yang dituliskan Herwan FR (penyair, guru dan sahabat) dalam sebuah ulasan untuknya, “Penyair yang baik adalah penyair yang santun. Penyair yang santun adalah penyair yang rendah hati. Penyair yang santun dan rendah hati, berkemungkinan besar termasuk penyair yang beriman dan beraamal sholeh, sehingga terhindar dari azab Tuhan, karena penyair, menurut tuhan, adalah orang yang suka mengembara ke lembah-lembah khayalan. Maka sebagai penyair dan guru adalah sebuah kenikmatan yang harus disyukuri, sebagaimana seorang penyair dan sekaligus kyai.”

Irwan was born and lives in Serang, Baten in Indonesia. His works have appeared in a few poetry anthologies, such as Dari Batas Waktu ke Perjalanan Kamar sampai Kabar dari Langit (2006), Candu Rindu (2009), Akulah Musi (2011), Narasi Tembuni (2012) and have also appeared in other mass media.

His day job is as a teacher of Indonesian language and literature SMP PGRI 2 Kota Serang, and he is also active in Kubah Budaya (Community to Change Culture) – a cultural and literary community founded by himself, colleague and friend Wan Anwar, and a few other peers. Irwan was entrusted with the heading Kubah Budaya from 2006 to 2009. Engaging and conversing with the community increased and deepened his love for literature and involvement with poetry. Poetry to him became like a magnet for his deep interest in writing every day; he has also written a few essays about the world of literature and education.

To him, writing poetry is to record life, a way to preserve as well as unite knowledge, experience, and thought to then be released into the flow and waves of each person’s life. During his residency at Rimbun Dahan, he hopes to discover new knowledge and experiences to be formed into works that contain different patterns to works he has written before.

Currently, Irwan is working on writing poems for his first poetry collection. Being a teacher and a poet was something he never even dreamed of, but he is grateful now for the opportunity to be both. He believes in what Herman FR (poet, teacher, and friend) once wrote, “A good poet is a poet that is a mannered poet. A mannered poet is a humble poet. A mannered and humble poet has a high likelihood of becoming a poet of deep belief and piety, escaping the punishments of God – because poets, according to God, are those who like to explore the wilderness of fantasy and the imagination. Therefore to be both a poet and a teacher is a pleasure to be appreciated.”

Irwan Sofwan 2

Irwan Sofwan

Doni Maulistya

Doni Maulistya

Doni Maulistya (b. 1987 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia) is an artist with an educational background in photography. He studied documentary photography through workshops such as Angkor Photography Workshop in Siem Reap, Cambodia (2009) and Foundry Photo Workshop in Istanbul, Turkey (2010). He’s also made works using installation and film.

As I live my life as an artist, I started to question my position in a society that is continuously in a dynamic negotiation between ‘the old’ and ‘the new’. I see the negotiation as an identity formation process that will always happen in human history. Thus, in making artworks, I am always interested in exploring the themes of history, tradition, and other dialectic dimensions that happens within society, an intermingling of culture.

Through my artistic research, I realize that no one medium should be considered a sole artistic language that can convey messages. Therefore, I expand my exploration on photography as well as on other media beyond photography.

Within the past four years, my artistic exploration has mostly been of the elements of performing and motion. My interests in that exploration started when I worked on performing art projects with Papermoon Puppet Theatre and Migrating Troop Theatre. Those events have enriched my experience to develop my body of work. One of the biggest challenges I have gone through is how to make objects that can cover all the different elements in performing art, such as movement, sound, interactivity, storytelling, etc. Afterwards, I decided to explore kinetic, video, sound, installation, and any other medium that I can learn about and apply to my artistic works. Besides learning the intermingled elements of any medium I use, I also always aim to learn how to discuss the local aspects in global context.

During the residency at Rimbun Dahan I hope to work on developing my current project called Still Praying. This project is about exploring the ‘Believing Practice’ that happens in contemporary society. But still, I always keep a vacant room on every project to allow new ideas to further develop.

To find out more about Doni and his work, you can find him on Instagram, Facebook, Issuu, Youtube, or check out his website. He will be in residency in Rimbun Dahan until the end of July 2016.

Ibed Surgana Yuga

Ibed Surgana Yuga

Ibed Surgana Yuga was born in a traditional Balinese farming family, 14 August 1983. He has been living in Yogyakarta, Java since 2003 to complete his theatre direction study in the Theatre Department of the Indonesia Arts Institute of Yogyakarta.

In 2012, Ibed initiated the Kalanari Theatre Movement, an institution which conducts cultural movements through theatre works. The objective of Kalanari is to reaffirm the bond between performance and society, and to inspire people to develop their cultures. In Kalanari, Ibed has framed his works through the concept of engaging intimately with space with ‘space’ understood both in a broader social and cultural context and more narrowly as the physical (natural and architectural) space of performance. His theatre works are site-specific so as to give highest value to improvisation.

He’s applied this concept by working with groups such as villagers, labourers, traditional art communities, domestic workers, interdisciplinary artists, etc. Ibed has worked in and around Indonesia, in historical, natural and architectural sites. He has also worked internationally, in Japan, Singapore and Ireland. He’s given meaning to his works as not just a collaborative artistic work, but a cultural dialogue. According to Ibed, theatre is neither for the creation of only performances or artistic works; it has a noble vision and mission to develop society’s cultures by emphasizing values of humanity.

During his short residency at Rimbun Dahan, Ibed wants to create a theatrical work based on ideas of engaging intimately with the natural, architectural and textual (story, history, myth, etc.) aspect of the site. He aims to choose a site in Rimbun Dahan by digging into the many textual aspects of the site, which will then be interpreted to create a site specific performance which is blended with his cultural background. He hopes to collaborate in this endeavour with local artists in any disciplines.

Find out more about Kalanari Theatre Movement, and see photos and videos of Ibed’s work on Flickr and Youtube.

Martha Soemantri

Martha Soemantri

Martha Soemantri (b.1984, Berlin) is a trained art & cultural manager, researcher and writer. She has worked in managerial & curatorial capacity in art & cultural projects for years with invested interest in mutual heritage, material objects (cultural artefacts, textiles in particular), women artists and art & cultural education for young audiences. Her past projects span several cities such as Singapore, Shanghai, Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Bali, Bandung, Utrecht, and Arnhem.

Her focus of research at Rimbun Dahan during her one month residency is on women artists’ practices in the Southeast Asian Region. Her journal and writings can be found on her blog.

Martha Soemantri

Khairani Barokka

Khairani Barokka

Khairani Bairokka, photo by Annie Marrs.

Khairani Barokka (b. 1985) is a writer, poet, and interdisciplinary artist. She is also a practitioner of think/do advocacy in the arts, particularly on the ways in which new media can increase inclusion and access for and by disability cultures and feminisms (both of which she is happy to be a part of). Born in Jakarta, Okka works, teaches, and is published internationally, with art, literature, disability culture and transdisciplinary performances and workshops held across India, the US, Australia, Malaysia, the UK, Austria, Singapore, and her native Indonesia. She has a masters from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, as a Tisch Departmental Fellow, and among her awards and honors was Emerging Writers Festival’s (AUS) Inaugural International Writer-In-Residence for 2013. Okka is the writer, performer, and producer of a (hearing-impaired accessible) solo poetry/performance art show, “Eve and Mary Are Having Coffee”, which premiered at Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014.

Okka is delighted to be part of the Rimbun Dahan community for 6 months, where she is working on writing projects as well as using text in mixed media works.

Oceu Apristawijaya

Oceu Apristawijaya

In 2008, Indonesian visual artist Oceu Apristawijaya undertook a three-month residency at Rimbun Dahan, accompanied by his wife Fadilla, who was volunteering at the international development organisation Third World Network.

In February 2012, returned to Malaysia and completed a mural at Hotel Penaga, created during his arts residency in George Town, Penang, under Rimbun Dahan and Hotel Penaga’s cultural program.

Under Protection presents treasures that need to be protected. “Our environment changes, as our culture does,” says the artist, “In this art work, both of them are in one unity that cannot be separated. Our culture gives us knowledge as our environment gives us life. By giving them space and time, we will always have reflection.”

The enormous mural stretches along an outside wall of Hotel Penaga beside a laneway between Lebuh Transfer and Lebuh Clarke, and is freely visible to the general public.


Oceu Apristawijaya started working in fine arts when he entered the Fine Arts Faculty of the Jakarta Institute, and was a member of Garajas Studio in Jakarta from 1993 to 1995. In 2002 he received a Bachelor degree in Fine Art with a focus on painting from Jakarta National University. He also studied graphic arts at SUDARFAST-Kraan Graphic Studio in Pondok Gede.

Oceu also volunteers for the non-profit organisation Sokola as an alternative education teacher for marginalized communities. He has taught literacy and alternative art methods for indigenous communities in Jambi and Bulukumba and for poor fishing villages in Flores and Makassar.

Oceu’s works centre around the theme of nature, and man’s relationships with it. He is hoping that his stay at Rimbun Dahan will help him develop the natural mood of his work and explore the diversity of nature, whether in Indonesia or in Malaysia.


Saya Cinta Kamu, 2005, Acrylic on canvas, 100 x 130 cm x 2.

“Saya Cinta Kamu”, 2005, Acrylic on canvas, 100 x 130 cm x 2.

Arahmaiani’s exhibition, entitled Lecture on Painting, Part I, accompanied by photographs by Bernice Chauly, will be on display at Vallentine Willie Fine art from 24 August 2005 to Saturday 10 September 2005.

The artist will give a talk on her work on Saturday, 3rd SEPTEMBER, 2005, at 3.30 pm. Tea will be served.

Vallentin Willie Fine Art,
1st Floor, 17 Jalan Telawi 3
Bangsar Baru
59100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 60 3- 2284 2348
Fax: 60 3- 2282 5190
Southeast Asian Paintings & Works of Art

Gallery & resource room opening hours Monday – Friday: 12 noon – 6pm. Closed on Sundays and public holidays.

About the artist:

Coming soon to VWFA is one of Indonesia’s most outstanding contemporary artists, Arahmaiani (b. Bandung, W.Java, 1961). Working mainly in performance and installation art since the early 80s, Arahmaiani has gained an international reputation for her often provocative work. Her Indonesian
roots, Western art training and humanist concerns has bought Arahmaiani to numerous exhibitions and performances, ranging from those held directly in streets protests in Indonesia, contemporary art museums in Asia, Europe and America, and notably to events as such as the pretigious 50th Venice
Biennale 2003 and the “Breaking Words” Performance Art Expo in Nagano, Japan (2004). More recently, Arahmaini has been working on art and social projects in Kuala Lumpur and Germany.

For her first solo exhibition in Malaysia, Arahmaiani will use this private gallery as a platform to question the mechanisms and politics that govern the making and selling of art. As the artist aptly puts it “I am not against the market, but I hate market fundamentalism, exploitation, monopoly – market terrorism!” To express this delicate negotiation between her needs and personal journeys as an artist with the pressures of mass consumerism, the artist will present a series of painted diptychs and also give a performance. “I want to turn the medium of painting into performance. I want to transform the individual ‘product’ of painting for the commercial art world into a complex question of authorship and its marketability”. Photographs by Bernice Chauly of Arahmaiani’s performance ‘body/text’ will also be on view.

More information on Arahmaiani please visit,


Ahmad Osni Peii

Ahmad Osni Peii
Pak Ahmad and his creation.

Pak Ahmad and his creation.

Indonesian sculptor Ahmad Osni Peii has loaned us three magnificent sculptures that he had no room to store as he is working on new pieces all the time. We are happy to look after them for him, but they are for sale so if you are interested please contact us. Ahmad was resident at Rimbun Dahan for 6 months in ’99 when he returned to Southeast Asia after living in the States for 40 years. And the pieces can be made any colour you want.

“…This see-through spatio-shell structure is not mathematically formulated as many may assume.  It is simply an intuitive discovery, so to speak, in mathematical sense for I believe all forms created knowingly or unknowingly are not absent of judiciously purposeful plan unless unconsciously or deliberately done, in other words unaccountably playful, cynical or whimsical.  This is not so with my work.  It is a medium discovered, precise and fit, I think, for the theme of ‘formal allegory’, a visual suggestion on harmonious relationship, a Gestalt, between ‘things’ as a whole in unity, rhythm, order, contrast, balance, proportion, to name a few, just as one would reflect on or appreciate the unarbitrary composition of all immeasurably diverse living things interactively created in nature…”


Sakinah (above and below) was the first large outdoor sculpture by resident artist Ahmad Osni Peii to be installed at Rimbun Dahan, in the Bulatan Plong in 1999. Two other pieces — Geliat Nusantara (red piece) and Gelang Serai (white piece), were installed in 2005. All three are made of painted aluminium.