Written by Nin Djani
Humans are, by nature, sentient creatures. It is no surprise that many artists are drawn towards explorations of past experiences. Despite the intrinsic pain in the practice of recalling memories and meanings from the past, artists continue to find the answer to how a certain smell, sound, and mundane objects can suddenly conjure a past life to resurface in the present.
If an artwork is by proxy an extension of its creator, Roby Dwi Antono’s uniquely complex symbolisms are a reflector that communicates his inner thoughts and deep longings. The combination of naïveté and serious personal reflections is characteristic of Roby’s paintings and drawings. It is by exploring his personal experiences with themes around life and death, that he can approach his artistic works with honesty and self-awareness.
Lucid Fragments is a deliberate attempt to narrate the past. Certainly not in factual or chronological order, but in a mixture of tiny memorable moments about his own family, the people he grew up with, and the place he calls home. By dissecting and recollecting his childhood memories, even in scattered, tiny fragments, Roby channels his vulnerabilities in symbolic details, through pop-surrealistic compositions that resemble the familiar and the strange.
This is a celebration of complex emotions that stand out and moments that become more valuable only as he gets older – sentimental attachments evoked by the passing of time. With a lifetime of assorted positive, negative, and even neutral memories to draw from, the works included in this exhibition become an allegory of life itself: an accumulation of the past and a pursuit of the unexpected future.