Celebration of Compassion
26 July - 26 August 2019
Written by Suwarno Wisetrotomo
“If one’s feelings of humanity are offended, everyone with feeling will also be offended, except for people who are mad and those with truly criminal mentalities, even though they may be university graduates.”
– Pramoedya Ananta Toer
This piece of phrase from the novel Child of All Nations by Pram revives our conscience. Entering the era of post-truth marked by the widespread of disrupted information, maintaining sanity and humanity is a substantial thing to hold on to. Humanitarian issues are an everyday problem. Such events involve our selves, our families, and communities throughout the world.
Humanitarian issues are a common issue, closely related to human rights. The issue of war and refugees, environmental or ecological problems, inter-human conflict, inter-community conflict, economic and social injustice, discrimination on minority groups and marginal people are part of our reality.
In the Indonesian context, the differences in choices which seemed fine on the beginning started to heat up and become increasingly tense prior to the celebration of democracy a few moments ago. We begin to segregate in groups. Friends are throwing issues in the communication group channel. One and another spread news, photos and videos which they believed to be the most genuine. To verify the truth, we often confirm with "no picture = hoax". Yet lately what happened is probably “the picture might be a hoax”. Our beliefs could be shaken, or we could even become a fanatic.
The disputes of the dissent defect the friendship, the brotherhood, and the sympathy. We no longer care about the place, the time, or the person we are facing. What are we really fighting for if we have to hurt others’ feelings?
After this political turmoil recedes, let's take a look to our conscience. Maybe we need to take a distant and reflect on the actualized portrait of humanity. This is a good time to celebrate our humanity which has long been eroded by resentment.
In this momentum, Srisasanti Syndicate is about to mark it by having an exhibition along with the release of a book entitled Celebration of Compassion. More than 20 artists from various places and backgrounds participated in this program, presenting their artworks with narratives that are closely related to humanity. In addition to the main program, Kohesi Initiatives and Nasi Goreng Diplomacy (two junior galleries from Srisasanti Foundation group) also presented two young artists in a special presentation project.
We believe that art is a medium that is able to provide space for expression and opinion. Medium which is always able to channel one of the human rights. Given its history, in times when a society is experiencing pressure and violations of human rights, there will emerge artworks that are in favor of humanity. In this moment, we hope that the artworks displayed will enable reflective & contemplative power for the audience. We believe that art is able to stimulate our imagination, it creates awe by playing around with the unpredictability around us.