Kartun Ber(b)isik

Face Jokes in the Body of Truth

"Face Jokes in the Body of Truth." Poland Novelist, Joseph Conrad.

Cartoonists in this Kartun Ber(b)isik exhibition tried to put that jokes face. The face of the jokes probably can be called as critic. While the body of truth itself is the actual problem of this country.

Through this exhibition, they want to remind the critic tradition in cartoon. They tried to display appropriately as "nowadays" spirit with the whole very fast changing. They also want to persuade millennial generation to criticize politely as a member of civilized society. They also want to persuade us to remember that nation's progress has positive and negative impacts. For that we need a wise way to through it.

Conveying in the cartoon language may not be easy. As daily Kompas cartoonist GM Sudarta (deceased) said, sometimes the cartoon or caricature criticism less sharp. The sharp caricatures according to GM Sudarta is the caricatures that makes someone smile even anyone criticized. Cartoon’s vision more on to delivering the improvement through "shouting in a whisper" way that something needs to be fixed.

Probably that whisper for some ears will be too noisy.

-Frans Sartono-
Bentara Budaya Program Director

Exhibition Introduction

The opening exhibition on Wednesday, October 3rd, 2018 on 7.30 PM inaugurated by Ade Rai (Indonesian athlete). This is my first time heard that the opening exhibition inaugurated by athlete, when generally inaugurated either by government representative or the artist himself. The exhibition started held from October 4 - 13, 2018 on 10 AM to 6 PM at Bentara Budaya Jakarta with event series as following : Cartoonists Talk! on Friday, October 5, 2018 then Workshop Ayo Ngartun! (Let's make a Cartoon!) and Kartun Editorial (Editorial Cartoon!) on Saturday, October 6 & 13, 2018.

I spent around 45 mins. at Bentara Budaya Jakarta on Sunday, October 7, 2018. Actually, that was my first time visited that place after several times heard that amazing place. The crazy things, Bentara Budaya Jakarta location is very close with Gelora Bung Karno Senayan where I had a full-time project in Asian Games 2018 Event for around 5 months, then I visited there after my current work place far away. My Asian Games 2018 Event experience will post on the next several posts, please keep waiting. 😊

After looking around where is the location of Bentara Budaya Jakarta Building, finally I arrived at 3.05 PM there safely. I wrote down the registration form then as usual I had a light conversation with the exhibition staff and read the exhibition introduction. Kartun Ber(b)isik – Yes, Kartun has a same meaning with “Cartoon” but then what is the mean of “Ber(b)isik” with the “B” alphabet inside the bracket? “Berbisik” meaning is “Whisper” then “Berisik” itself mean “Annoying”, just one alphabet difference with totally different meaning. Suddenly, after just saw the title of exhibition I smiled. “What an unique and smart title!” I thought.

Turn left to the first object, there was “Jembatan Buaya” (Crocodile Bridge). Then second and third object “Bencana Sosial” (Social Disaster), and “Perang Hashtag” (Hashtag War) have the same general theme about social reality that until nowadays and still recently happened around Indonesian citizen. The artist of these three objects, Beng Rahadian wants criticize the social issue about “common” corruption, hoax, and hashtag war that happened especially when the almost president election time. When you watched news TV in Indonesia it will not difficult to hears about corruption in government almost in all government’s field. Then, hoax nowadays is more likely a daily news for Indonesian, you want it or not you will easily hear about hoax news from your friends, relative, or especially communities. And hashtag war several times happened especially in social media Twitter with generally two sides with their own strong believes which their hold too tight as if they ready to battle until the last blood drop for it.

“Jembatan Buaya” – Crocodile Bridge
Beng Rahadian
Pen Brush & Watercolor on Paper
38 x 46 Cm

“Bencana Sosial” – Social Disaster
Beng Rahadian
Pen Brush & Watercolor on Paper
38 x 46 Cm

“Perang Hashtag” – Hashtag War
Beng Rahadian
Pen Brush & Watercolor on Paper
38 x 46 Cm

Beng Rahadian : “There is always funny side of life and drawing cartoon is one of the way to capture it.”
Beng’s Picture : The funny thing is the sad one.

Continued to the next object by Ika W. Burhan, Fake (Time to Share) – the theme of this object also about social issue but in a smaller area that called as “Family”. In “X” Family looked were sitting together on the dinning room. Father with “laugh” mask and business attire image, mother with “smile” mask while preparing the “luxury meals” image for family, one son, and one daughter. That looked like a perfect family, nowadays if they are there without any masks and images. I thought the artist wants to show to the exhibition visitors how generally people want to have a “perfect” image family however in the deep inside the reality is totally different, they are still trying to show to everyone about the “perfect” family image even though they need to struggling day by day. The unique thing of this painting that I just realized is the background of the dinning room are “fake” too. Yes, the refrigerator and television are image inside of the painting. How brilliant!

“Fake (Time to Share)”
Ika W. Burhan
Acrylic on Canvas
139 x 150 Cm

Artist – Even though the painting title is “Artist” but the first sentence of this painting is “Unclear Artist”. For the first time I saw this painting, my mind directly related this artwork with Benny and Mice Cartoon. Actually, long time ago I have visited Benny & Mice exhibition at Galeri Nasional Indonesia. Because of that I have assumption this exhibition will be similar with the previous one. But the reality, this exhibition much more amazing and above of my expectation. Back to the “Seniman” art by Muhammad Misrad, inside of the painting there is someone with description as following : Long hair to make it visible as artist, Holding Pram’s book (one of the most popular Indonesian novel author) and proposal sponsorship inside of the map that never succeed, always looked like a serious person then talk about political issue and criticize other’s artwork while his artwork worse, and always wearing same fashion style ; denim with matching color.

“Seniman” – Artist
United Colors of Indonesia
Muhammad Misrad
Print on Canvas
50 x 70 Cm

Continued to Rahardi Handining’s artworks, “Simfoni Negeri” – Symphony of the Country and “Bermain dengan Pohon” – Playing with the Tree. These artworks displayed another “smart” arts about the hope for country and environmental issue that continuing happened especially in urban cities around the world. The first artwork tried to describe about one boat in the ocean surrounding by six dolphins then inside the boat there are five people with their Indonesian traditional music instrument such as Gamelan. Then when we looked deeper inside in the boat, actually the boat’s floor are beautiful houses symbolized as “country”. Five people were sitting upside the houses looked like were trying to control the “country” with harmony by the music instrumental. Beautiful hope for Indonesia. 😊

“Simfoni Negeri” – Symphony of the Country
Rahardi Handining
Acrylic on Canvas
160 x 210 Cm

Then the second Rahardi Handining artwork consist of five people around the tree which is the tree’s trunk made by skyscraper buildings surrounded by factories that produced huge air pollutions that symbolized by the tree’s leaves. The effect of air pollution also appeared on the background painting with the base color is total black. I hope everyone who saw this art will more reminded to keep the world from global warming issue.

“Bermain dengan Pohon” – Playing with the Tree
Rahardi Handining
Acrylic on Canvas
160 x 140 Cm

When the theme of this exhibition is about “cartoon” same as the title, but there are several 3D installations that installed in the center of the exhibition room. The artist Ika W. Burhan lifted the very unique and light but deep social issue that are the pure thing about friendship and the unity in diversity. For the first object, there are two stones looked like person then above the object there are several heart shaped stones. It more likely two different background people surrounded by love friendship atmosphere in the air. Looked simply but has a very deep meaning when the exhibition visitor tried to contemplate it.

“Temenan” – Friendship
Ika W. Burhan
Acrylic on Stone

Then the second installations there are stones with the form of colorful “monsters”. On these collections, the artist wants to reminder especially Indonesian people to unified in our amazing diversity. “How could monster troop can get along together while human is too difficult to living in harmony together?” I thought that the main meaning and message of this installation. Let’s make it happened together. Yes, start from yourself to the smallest part of your communities.

“Monster Troop”
(Unified by Monsterity)
Monster Aja Bisa Akur
Ika W. Burhan
Stoneware, Pinch Technic, and Slab
Variant Dimension

Monster Name :
Naif monst, Bodyless monst, Hijimata monst, Dakocan, Rumpi monst, Si Badut, Matalat monst, Mukabiru, Nocturnal, Purple face, Blue devil, Monster gajah, Monster jingkrak, White blue monster, Uncle Sam, Hijimata blue monst, Nyinyir monst, Taringan koplak, Ndas monst, Galau monst, Alien, Dobleh blue, Red tongue monst, Bulu babi, Green head, Bakteri, Dua muka, Green tongue, Red face, Snobbish bird, Golden dwarf.

HAPE – Today you could forget to bring your wallet, but you can’t forget to bring your handphone. When you need mobile you can easily make an online order to online transportation, when it is lunch time you just need order food by your phone, etc. That’s truly happened in Indonesian nowadays. Even at public space alone, with your friends, family, or relatives we will too busy to have a conversation and interact each other because we are too busy with our HAPE by either listening the music, chatting through social media, browsing, or just reading news through digital portal. The artist wants reminder us to do not forget about our fundamental point as human to have interaction in “real” world by face to face.

Ika W. Burhan
Acrylic on Canvas
80 x 100 Cm

The central building of Bentara Budaya Jakarta that very stand out and traditional fancy among the skyscraper buildings surrounded. My first impression about this place was authentic!

“One of Bentara Budaya Jakarta Building”

My score for Kartun Ber(b)isik exhibition is 8.8 after spent around 45 minutes in this exhibition. This exhibition divided into two types of general artwork that are two dimensions (painting) and three dimensions (installation). I felt really relaxed and enjoying the exhibition. The theme looked very light even though actually has a very deep meaning and general message need to be convey and spread to the worldwide. That social issues that possible happen to everyone and everywhere but all artists want to reminder all of us with different style of media which is by “art”. Thanks to all artists of this exhibition and all parties involved. Good job good art! Please don’t stop make a brilliant artwork.
Thank you for the reader of my blog and please waiting for the next post. 😊


For further information :
Bentara Budaya Jakarta
Jl. Palmerah Selatan 17, Jakarta 10270
+6221-548-3008, +6221-549-0666 ext. 7910-7916

Social Media :
Twitter : @bentarabudaya
Facebook : bentarabudaya-jakarta
Instagram : @bentarabudaya.jakarta

Bibliography :
·         Kartun Ber(b)isik exhibition poster
·         Personal photos and documentation
·         Personal impression and experience


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