Saturday, June 7, 2014

'A Political Pest Intimacy: Tikus-Tikus Korupsi'

So as you guys might have known from my instagram(@reinhardtkenneth), I joined an exhibit not long ago. I am really thrilled that this exhibit is to celebrate Surabaya’s Anniversary. The event is called Festival Foto Surabaya, and is actually the very first and the biggest photographic party. The exhibit being filled with talk shows, owl, and performance art along the week. I am so proud to see my exhibit, and the best part of it being my piece scattered around the main stage in the middle of Grand City. Honestly, the little apple-eating, ambitious, artsy boy in me is just highly excited. Being Indonesian, I’ve never really gained the exposure locally. I mean, my achievements and my art are usually exposed to other countries(Canada, Italy, England), but never really appealed so much to my country.

The controversy, or the style of shoot I do may not really be what the mainstream here in my country accepts. I’m glad I don’t play by the mainstream borderline, how I expose both the beautiful and the bad, the bad and the ugly. I find beauty in everything, sometimes in the least common places. With concepts that just, run, and float around my head. Many might appreciate more the beautiful, colorful, fashionable pictures that I take in the beaches of Maldives. The true heart, however, the true artistry, lies within the murk, the monochromatic contrasts on the pictures I take.

This piece, fortunately, passed the judges’ curation. I was overjoyed when I heard the news, apart from the fact that I was about to see Divergent after the e-mail was sent to me, the fact that they were like two days late delivering the good news, at first, dimmed the optimism in me. I am, however, up till today, still proud of this piece. This one “tingling” and “disturbing” piece talking for a great cause can shine with it’s brightest light.
'A Political Pest Intimacy: Tikus-Tikus Korupsi'
Anyways, I shot this photograph back in 2013 with one of my favorite models, Garry Digorry, with his amazing cheekbones and eye stares slaying the audience – screaming out an impression like “do you wanna get ‘dirty’” in the least appetizing way. Being filled by, literal dirt, which are rats. Honestly, rats are the only species I loathe. Just imagine me squealing, and screaming a bit when the rats are all over him. Garry definitely has what it takes to be a model-----literally. Oh and did you guys know he is one of L-Men’s Semi-Finalists? Slay right?

Apart from the glitz and not-too-glam shoot, I shot this for a purpose. This piece and another was exhibited at school for a political campaign, campaigning with a point to have the heart for the country and to eventually end corruption. I was never really interested in politics until a while ago. I guess passion drove me to my passionate feels on politics. The fact that I am frightened to be forced to join the military by upcoming regulations, towards an anti-globalization country, and to be driven onto a Chinese-loathing country(which is, by the way, where my roots mostly come from) got me onto politics. I’m taking standard level Bahasa Indonesia at school, which is supposed to be my “mother language”, and I am blessed to have been introduced to many topics regarding towards politics. A while ago I read an entry by the fabulous Mitha Komala on her blog regarding her views on Indonesia developing onto a better country and how we, as citizens, should help make a change. I am writing in English because The Photographic Sense is in the world wide web, and I would like everyone to really know what is really happening to this beautiful country, and so that their prayers will be passed along towards a better Indonesia.

Just in time with my “passionate on politics” sort of feels, I turned 17 a while ago with a costume party(you can see it on my previous post). Honestly, I couldn’t feel better than finally being legal. I get to cast a vote, and my voice is being put onto consideration towards a better Indonesia. I’m not going to campaign for who I’m voting, even though it may be obvious with my views on a must onto giving equality the supremacy, but I’m not campaigning for anyone. The two candidates have their plus and minuses, however one thing they should not possess is……….

The idealism of corruption being a key
So, unfortunately, one of the cause in Indonesia’s downfall is corruption. A mind that always craves for money, to always put money above everything, a mind that never feels enough. A mind that always will search for wealth, and not consider anything. That the best way to do something is if it gives the particular person a lot of money. A mind so corrupted and concentrated by money that it dares to corrupt. To not give a single damn about what the country is going through, and to laugh away and float with the clouds with an amount of wealth that may fix the country’s economy. This culture has been scattered around many sectors. Many gaining a huge amount of income, from the lies and the greed, just to fulfill themselves. This culture harms and poisons the country to the fullest.

Now, just imagine. How the “upcoming” leaders(or preferably CAPRES) are everywhere these days. Some on the streets, some on TV, some on the radio. Imagine how much the advertising costs. First of all, environmentally, it is unethical as printing like hundreds of huge banners of cheaply photoshopped images with smiling CAPRES-s. I mean like, the fact that just by advertising for the people’s votes, they are already causing newer problems, unfortunately a global problem, is just, wrong. Secondly, the cost they use to make all of these adverts are actually really expensive (as I’ve read from a reliable source), and by God, it actually is more expensive than like the income of a President. So, in order for them to “get” their money back is then by corrupting taxes, and unfortunately, corruption WILL happen again, thanks to these narcissistics. Apart from the corruption problem, I highly support a President who believes in Pancasila. In the belief that all citizens are equal. To practice and demonstrate love and acceptance, and to erase prejudice between races and religions. Indonesia, we may be different, but we are a unity. We are one, and no one can ever change that. A true leader will only strengthen the bond. Hatred only corrupts the country, the way the corruptors have ruined the nation.

So, citizens of Indonesia, no matter what skin color, religion, or gender you are. Pick a leader who CAN help make the change you want for Indonesia. Change will come, it’s just that, it can lead onto a better, or a worst nation. I want all of you to take a moment and think not just for yourself, but for the ones you love who are under the Indonesian citizenship. To the old ones, think about the next generation, how your kids are going to face the change, and to the young ones, think about how your future may depend on this change. Remember to always practice love and equality to the nation, regardless of what religion they belong to, what race they come from, or what gender they are. None of us can choose to be in a particular body we wish for. Remember to not hate the country, but support a change for it. Remember that this country needs you to end the corrupt of the rats.

What if art ruled the world?
Would people still corrupt?

I believe not. They’d eventually take the altered values and make a new movement.

We citizens of the artistic mind should always fight for what is true in our mind.

Today, I fight with the rest of the sane for a better Indonesia. Vote for your FUTURE.

-Reinhardt Kenneth, The Photographic Sense

Hey Unions! Wow umm..I think i might've sounded much more serious and well-realistic than I've ever sounded right on this post. Well, I just wanted to stand for a cause here. The exhibit was a blast, got people looking at my print all like "dude are those rats real?" or "ew" or "gross" or anything alike. Some also went like "dad that's the guy from my school". Well, I'm really glad this piece got really interactive with people's minds. Am hoping for even more exhibits for The Photographic Sense and altogether just the love towards art I can exhibit. Oh and if any of you came to the exhibit and saw my print, drop a comment about it! Btw, I'll be going to Bali on the 14th-18th and Lombok on the 18th-21st so If you happen to see me, say hi! I love you all UNIONS! Thankyou to my family and friends who came with me during the exhibit. You guys are seriously the very best!


  1. selaluuuuu deh fotonya pasti keren-keren, ide dan konsepnya selalu bernilai "muahaaaaaaaalll", sukses teruuuus:))
    Halo from Borneo:)

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  2. great writing Kenneth, anddd that picture blows my mind away <3

    Letters To Juliet