Have you ever seen a piece of artwork by an artist on an exhibition? The answer is probably mostly positive since it is the traditional sense of an art exhibition. However, have you ever peeked through the artist’s sketchbook? If you do not know the artist personally, it might be hard to even catch a glimpse of their whole sketchbook if it’s not uploaded onto their social media. “Holy Bubble” exhibition aims to showcase the artists’ sketchbook to the visitors to be observed and enjoyed. “Holy Bubble” involved 10 visual artists with varying drawing style and they are Achinta Yualita, Andreas Suluh Putra, Yudhistira Leon, Oldy Pandu Nugraha, Bagussatya, Farah Fauziah, Khotibul Umam, Muhammad Iqbal, Khirzan Ulinnuha, and Taqqiya Najiatullah. Other than the exhibition as its main feature, “Holy Bubble” also invited a slew of music performers to make the event more festive. Surabaya’s indie bands like Humi Dumi, Taman Nada, and Senandung Sore accompanied the visitors with their music while inspecting the sketchbook from the artists. There was also a collective market held by Dysania Submerch, Penahitam Surabaya, Alchemy Book, Holy Bubble official merch, and many more. A workshop for Sketchbook Binding was also held by Alchemy Book in this event.
The exhibition was held in Surabaya by a newly formed art collective and taking place at Skale on 25 – 26 March 2017. We sat down with its initiator and curator, Nandiwardhana, to talk about the unique concept of the exhibition and the art collective itself.
The Display (TDP) : Hello Nandi, why did you choose a sketchbook exhibition instead of the traditional artwork exhibition?
Nandiwardhana (N) : We think that sketchbook exhibition is something uncommon but also exciting since sketchbook is like a personal journal of each artist, and automatically it archives many creative process and development from the sketchbook owners. Moreover, each sketchbook intrinsically holds the personality of the owner, that particular thing makes sketchbook becomes a fascinating thing to be displayed.
TDP : How long did it take for the committee to come up with the concept and content of the event and what is the main purpose of “Holy Bubble”?
N : We have developed the plan since October – November last year, and starting from December – February we initiated the curation process of the artists and from February – March, we executed the idea that has been built. The sketchbook exhibition aims to build a network of visual artists, enthusiasts, and all the participants involved in it, including the venue owner, media partners, tenants, performers, and also other supporting elements.
TDP : How was the enthusiasm from the visitor after attending the exhibition?
N : We could say that the enthusiasm was satisfying, because the number of visitors was far beyond our expectation. The appreciation from the visitors and other parties was also fulfilling, since prior and up to the D-day, there were some following projects being offered to us and the response from the visitors outside of our circle of friends has been great.
N : The curation process happened informally by observing the style of drawing and personality of each artist. The main principle that we hold high was, from the 10 artists that were chosen, there could not be similar artist who has the same style of drawing.
TDP : There was also a workshop about book binding which is rarely been held. Why did you choose book binding workshop?
N : We have a dream that it will be fascinating if people could make their own sketchbook, journal, or diary with beautiful aesthetic. Starting from there, people will be encouraged to archive every process that happens in their life whether visually or textually.
N : We should hire shaman to prevent the rain because as the event was proceeding, the rain fell pretty heavily and made it difficult for the music performers to perform. They were situated to play on the outdoor stage during the closing party. We also hope to improve the communication between the participants, so the event would be better than before.
TDP : After “Holy Bubble”, what is the next plan from your art collective? Do you wish to include more artists in your art collective or rather keep the remaining members?
N : We plan to blow “Holy Bubble” to other cities soon. For the mean time, we think that the 10 artists are enough but we do not close the possibility for other artists to join us and their creation will be curated as well.