The five artists, Rasheeda Rahma, Kevin Keev, Ray Lidya, Tiarama and Riki Sumardianto, took part in an incubation program for a year during which time they were mentored by Atreyu Moniaga himself.
The latest exhibition, which is the project’s third batch, presents 25 works by the five artists who transform blank canvasses into a spectrum of color. The exhibition takes place at Senopati 79 Qubicle Center, South Jakarta and runs until April 25.
The project aims to develop and also manage the art work of its members through a variety of activities. Anyone can join in the project as long as they can keep up with the pace.
“The most challenging thing is to shape the artists’ confidence because if they aren’t confident, they cannot see themselves more truthfully, or what they really are as artists,” he said. Aged between 17 and 22 years old, the five artists are said to have shown an interest in art, some since elementary school.
Each of the artists has a different way to representing herself or himself. Twenty-year-old Kevin Keev draws on his childhood memories and where he grew up using watercolors on canvas, while Riki Sumardianto translates the verbal abuse he received while he was still a kid in paintings that is a reminder of Jean-Michel Basquiat, whom he referred to as one of his favorite artist.
“I was bullied when I was in elementary school, maybe it’s because I have a big body,” said Riki, who is currently majoring in architecture.
“Back then, they would mock me like, calling me a gajah bengkak (swollen elephant), or babi air (water pig). Elephant is one of the biggest animals, and they called me a swollen elephant. Now that I’ve gronwn up, I thinks it’s funny because how ridiculously big would that elephant be?” Riki laughed.
Riki said that his art works represents the trauma of being abused, but he presents it in a witty and funny way, enabling him to “just laugh it out” he said.
During the opening exhibition, Ray Lidya illustrations entitled “Wild Flower” depicts a girl who likes to live by her own, and who grows beautifully like wild flowers. Tiarama presents 10 Indonesian haute couture fashion illustrations. Rasheeda Rahma showcases the Mixed Feelings itself, where she pursues her dream to be an illustrator, though her background is the opposite of art – she studied orthopedics.
“When I graduated from high school, I’ve always wanted to enter the art world, but my parents didn’t agree and pushed me to study in the health field,” said Rasheeda, who is the captain of this year’s batch.
“This [exhibition] is really important for me, because I can finally show my parents that this is my passion, and I can finally prove them that I can make something out of my passion,” she added.
Tiarama, the youngest among the five, who flew from Medan to be a part of the incubation program since last year, said that art is a medium for her to express herself, and it is where she feels the most free.
“I am really happy to see how developed my skills have become, compared to my previous drawings,” she said.
“What makes this year’s Mixed Feelings exhibition special and outstanding than last year is the artist themselves,” said Atreyu, who referred to the artists as the Mixed Feelings Rangers.
“Last year, most of the participant were either my students or those who basically have a background in art or design. But this year’s batch, the artists came from different backgrounds, like Riki and Rasheeda,” he added.
Said Atreyu Moniaga: “This exhibition itself isn’t our main purpose. What’s most important is the output or the collection for the artists themselves.”
The exhibition will be running until April 25 at Senopati 69 Qubicle Center, South Jakarta. The event is free of charge and opens daily until 9 PM. Follow Mixed Feelings Project for more information.
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