Roby Dwi Antono – Epos
Edith Lebeau – Certain Scars Can’t Be Seen
February 6, 2021 – February 27, 2021
Roby Dwi Antono
What was the inspiration behind this latest body of work? What themes and ideas/idioms were you exploring?
This exhibition is my attempt to visit the memories that appear on the surface to dive into those buried deep in the bottom. It is not an easy thing to retrieve all memories, gather and organize them in a neat and timely order when they were born. Pieces of memory scattered in the middle of the map were piled up in the corner of the room. Maybe they really are not forced to be sequential and trace but random and not even traceable. The past that can be both good and bad.
EPOS is a kind of traditional literary work that tells stories of heroism. These epics are often stated in verse. Some examples of famous epics are Ramayana, Mahabharata etc. There is always balance, good and bad. Of course my childhood heroes were fictional 90’s characters. They are the things that provide a strong emotional bond. Whenever I feel lonely and have bad events, their presence will give me peace. Sometimes I even wish to be them.
Past memories are very influential in this creation process. Childhood figures that are deeply imprinted in emotional memories will be very interesting for me to re-draw into the work. There are many characters that I remember from various movies or cartoon series (Japanese and American) when I was a child. Like, for example, the old-school Kaiju in the Ultraman or Godzilla/Dinosaurs series. I think the kaiju have a strange physical form, they are like created from several combined creatures, whether animals or plants are modified into one whole creature which in my opinion is a pretty cool thing.
In this effort to dive into memories, I chose to try to look back one by one in the past from simple, trivial, and insignificant memories to very emotional memories. Then process this random memory and then present it into a visual language that might give birth to new meanings and feelings from the fragmented pieces of memory, whether it becomes simple or becomes even more complex and complex. On the way, this activity of remembering took me by and dragged my memories mostly toward the house, more specifically to the Family.
One by one the memories that I managed to capture were captured and broken down into details that may or may not be accurate. And that all open an assumption that the past that I experienced had a huge impact on me in the present. These memories are the accumulations of past human experiences that have always been the root of present and future events. Something that we do, even as a small child, can play a big role in our lives today. Time will continue to pass. Humans are always faced with worries and fears of a future that is always a mystery.
What was the inspiration behind this latest body of work? What themes were you exploring?
My work is about mental health. This series of paintings is once again centered around characters who are going through things. They all have their own journey, their own issues, their own fear and tiny victories like we all do.
A lot of this show is about our past that often leaves scars if we let it. All of us have our own baggages and deal with it in our own way.
This body of works includes pieces that go from girls who start to deal with mental illness and phobias at a young age to 30 something women who are dealing with issues due to their past. Some of the themes explored are depression, phobias, fear of going mad (a reoccurring theme), acceptance, small victories/ overcoming certain issues, and hope.
I hope to help break down the stigma surrounding mental illness with my work.
”Empathy is always the key. Don’t judge, listen.”
Video tour courtesy of Birdman