The Artist Is Present : How Is This Art?

Marina Abramovic. I guess this name is probably not familiar to your ears. I also hadn’t known anything about her nor her works until I stumbled upon her documentary film that traces her prolific career during the preparation of her exhibition in Moma in 2010. The exhibition itself is titled “The Artist Is Present” which is also the title of the doco. In the exhibition, the Yugoslavian-born performance artist sat for 750 hours (nearly 3 months), no talking and just staring to each visitor that kept coming and lining to be given attention, the artist’s and audience’s communication is performed without speech nor body contact, just by looking at each other’s eyes, as it’s true, eyes are the windows of the heart.

But why??? Why did she do that? I can’t even sit in the same position for 2 hours (that’s why I quit my job), and she nailed 750? And the question is, how is this art??

My question is also mentioned in the beginning of the doco, I guess that’s what most people think of in the first place, especially if we never thought deeply about art and which can be called as art. The doco doesn’t state the answers explicitly, because art is the interpretation towards it. Art explains in the way that makes people think and feel and done using techniques that can be learned.

After reading some definitions about art by respected artists and authors, I conclude (for myself) that if something can only touch the brain, but not feelings, it’s not art. If it only moves feelings but doesn’t make people think, it’s not art. And if it’s done coincidentally, no techniques, it’s not art. That’s why, being an artist is not easy. Hence, sitting and giving attention to strangers with no talking may sound easy peasy, but look deeper before you judge, it’s not easy to be done, the performer has to make preparation to train herself to be able to not only physically do it, but also to be mentally ready to focus and clear her state of mind to every new stranger, giving everyone the same clear start and be present.

Well, ask yourself, how much are you really being in the moment with the people you’re with without thinking of other things. Sometimes we forget to really enjoy the moment because our head is somewhere else, whether it’s on the laundry, Instagram feeds, the country’s economy, or the Game of Thrones’ episodes.  That’s why I like yoga because it unites the mind, body and soul, to really be present and clear the noise in my restless mind. Savasana, the sleeping position in the end of a sequence is truly the hardest asana if we really understand what it is about. As Marina herself stated, “We always project into the future or reflect in the past, but we are so little in the moment.”

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For me, some of her other works are also amazing even though it put herself in potential serious dangers. Like in Rhythm 0 (1974) she invited audience to use any of 72 objects on her body in any way they desired, completely giving up control. People hate her and call her satan worshipper, whether it’s true or not it doesn’t matter for me. I always find artists make their selves ambiguous. Anyway, the artist’s beliefs and other personal stuffs should not be an issue to appreciate art. I idolise the works, not the artists, because the works remains the same while the artists may change.

I also dig in about her works with Ulay–her true love who then cheated on her **Oh man, that’s the most blunder thing in your life! One blog post cant be enough for me to talk about her works, they really make me think of deeper questions in life and about society we live in. I really hope to meet someone whether in person or online to discuss about it. Please let me know if you think there are other artist names that I should learn about, I will be happy 😀

Cute Aprons by CRAFTOPIA

cIMG_0893One of the products that I make on my online shop is the very stylish and girlish aprons. You know I love making things, especially cute things. Making apron is one of the new things I’ve tried this year since March 2017. I started my online craft shop in late 2013, but because of my job at that time, I only did pillows for 2 years because making pillows is the easiest and fastest crafts to make for me. It was going really well, like I made 80 pillows every month at the same time having a full-time day job. It made me have no life. LOL. But because of my job, I hibernated my shop for about a year or more. It’s in mid 2016 that I started to focus on my shop again. However, of course I couldn’t make a comeback with the same strategy. Also making only pillows for enough time doesn’t make me proud. I challenged myself with more complicated crafts, started with yoga bags then aprons.

The aprons that CRAFTOPIA makes are possibly too stylish and fancy to be actually worn for cooking, I know, hehe. Well I design them not for actual kitchen-related activities as the function of aprons has shifted to many ways. My shop can be called a gift shop, so my customers usually buy them for gifts for girlfriends, friends, mothers etc or for their own selves because they love cute things. My customers also range to business owners (mostly fashion boutiques and culinary business) who want to set a uniforms for their employees instead of giving the employees clothes which costs more money. With aprons, the employers do not need to think about the size nor worry if the staff quits, they don’t need to buy new clothes for future new staffs as aprons can fit all size. So the employees usually just wear t-shirts underneath the aprons.

Also, people ordered to me for special occasions like pre-wedding, bridal showers, and even arisan! I like to be part of other people’s happiness, if my crafts make people happy and their special days more special, that means more than material rewards. I myself maybe haven’t flown all over my country, but I know thousands of my products have been spread all over Indonesia.

Sewing apron is also the baby steps for me to eventually make clothes. I set the target that this year I have to able to sew clothes. Follow my creative passion on my shop’s IG account and youtube channel. And here are some of my apron designs. To shop, click here.

Have a nice day, peeps!

#Forever25

One day before my 27th birthday

Yesterday I turned 27, two years passed my favorite age and hopefully still far from death.

For me in my own world, my age has stopped counting since two years ago. I want to believe and feel–and look–like I’m forever 25 even though I haven’t been bitten (nor kissed) by a vampire.

25 for me was the best age. People said life begins at 30 or 40, I haven’t been both, for me that couldnt be true unless you’re George Clooney, who still looked like 27 in his 40s. Everybody has different favorite age, for me it’s 25 because during teenage years, even though we have the fitness vitality, we’re still emotionally unstable compared to the mid 20s.

My wake-up call in life occurred at 25, where I totally stop being socially dependent on friends or guys and have become more money-wise compared to when I first started making money. Every year, I always try to do new things in life and improve my self, I am happy that none of my 20s so far has been boring, there’s always new things that I did. But my 25 is special for me. I’ve tried many things at 25 and was not even afraid to fail as for me it’s better to fail at young age than feeling dissatisfied in old age. Also, because I was (and still am) not married yet, I had total freedom and financial asset to try and do things I wanted in order to really discover who I am and what I really want in life, I didn’t need to care nor to share, only when I wanted to (luckily, my parents and family don’t need me to help to support them). At my 25, I’ve stopped caring about others’ opinions towards me and stopped following trends. I’ve become more immune to people’s disagreements as I am the one who’s gonna live my life anyway.

By the way, I found this chart on ages we peak at everything throughout life. According to this chart, I’ve passed the peak age for female attractiveness. This hurts, haha, but hopefully it doesn’t apply to me like it doesnt apply to Taylor Swift and Avril Lavigne, seriously those women still look like the first time they appeared in show business!

And after this age, I will be supposedly in the best age for running a marathon! Haha, really? TV series marathon I think… Anyway, I’m still so excited about turning 27, because of my turning-point in my 25, 27 doesn’t feel old at all. Especially because many people still ask whether I am still in college if they first meet me. Lol! I don’t know whether I really look younger or they were just being nice. But if I do, maybe that’s because I keep believing and feeling that I’m 25. Like it or not, I’m forever 25!

25 y.o me

The Most Interesting People

Don’t we all want to be interesting or at least to look interesting?

Well, the definition of ‘interesting’ is subjective. Beauty is in the eyes of the be(er)holder for sure. Some may call other people ‘interesting’ if only either they’re famous, successful, rich, or good looking. For me, what can keep me amazed with a person–who doesn’t need to be famous, could be my friend, or people I just met–is when I can see how much she/ he believes in what she/ he does.

Because, for me personally, if success or wealth is what makes people fascinating, well there are a lot of successful, wealthy people, but still some of them look boring to me. I also don’t think it’s about the kind of job one’s having. Two people can have the same job but one may look more fascinating than the other. Or in other case, a person can have the most boring job, but really, they’ve touched me in some ways.

I see the similarity that these people have, from artists, accountants, writers, pilots, teachers, even a supermarket customer service. They all believe in what the do, a musician like John Lennon who believed in what he sang and created. You can compare the sparks in his eyes when he sang or talked about his music to any other singers who sing just to sing because that’s what they have to do to be famous, who only sing what other people wrote for them. Compare writers who write because and what they believe than writers who write just to make money. Lecturers who teach because they love teaching than lecturers who are doing their job only to support their lives. These fascinating people put their souls into their works, and it shows, then touches others.

I think that’s what interests me most about other people. I love knowing people but I get bored easily if I see he/ she has no interests/ obsessions/ passions in anything. I was amazed with my colleagues in my previous job when I listened to them discussing about types of frogs for one hour. Seriously, I’ve never met people who could talk that long only about frogs and who cares about frogs that much. The topic was not my taste of course but I was amazed that I just kept listening to them. I want to be able to talk like that about something. If I cant talk that passionately about my job, then maybe what I am doing is not the right thing. If I cant talk about what I am doing that long and passionately, means my works won’t be good. Because in the end, the works won’t lie about the artist.

From Break-ups to Break-ups

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I’ve experienced several break-ups so far, still can be counted with one hand but no one knows whether my number will increase or close for the last. Break-up sucks no matter if we had been waiting for it before it happened, still it leaves us a feeling of lost, failure, and ugliness of reality; how come someone that used to be so close, that I always talked to everyday, someone that I (thought I) knew like the back of my hand now becomes so strange and we avoid each other.

I started dating a bit late, not only because I was a late bloomer and awkward geek (maybe I still am), but also because I thought I could plan when and whom I would marry. I thought someone who I dated first would be my husband, I thought I’d played safe to wait until certain age, not like my friends who started dating since middle school. After my first relationship failure, I really didn’t want to have more break-ups, but I still got some. I hated those failures, looking at my friends who already tied the knots, meanwhile I was (or am) still wondering where I would land. It took several break-ups and years until I can see them not as failures, but blessings in disguise. I am grateful for those break-ups, even if they’re painful and ugly and cost three boxes of tissue papers for each, sometimes not only tissue but also unnecessary expensive getaways and impulsive spendings. I am thankful I am not married yet, I am not saying this to make other people who are already married feel bad, things happen differently for us, I am happy if you’re happy, but this what I learned FOR ME. Without those failed relationships, I wouldn’t have been in this state of mind and able to see things as clearly as I am now. Some may have found it early, some are just like me who are in the latter group.

I learned many things from the failures about my self and life. Being in a relationship is not merely learning about other people, it’s mostly about learning our selves, what we lack, what we need to work on, finding out what we really want and need in life and another person, how strong and decisive we could/ should be and many more.

  1. You complete yourself

The most valuable thing I’ve learned after several break-ups and accumulated seven years of failed relationship is that setting marriage as the only main goal in life is the most dangerous and stupid thing a girl can do, she is slowly killing her self. She trades herself for something uncertain. For several years and in some relationships, my decisions were based on the relationship goals I was in. Different partner, different path. I quit things I was enjoying because they could hamper our relationship goals, I started things I was not really sure for the man I was with. I became someone I was not just to show them I was the perfect obedient wife candidate as they said they wanted to have. And when the relationship ended, what did I get? What was I left with? I was always left with NOTHING to hold on nor to be proud of. I wanted to be mad at the guys, but more I was mad with my self, why did I let other people make decisions for me? Why did I base my decisions about my future on other people’s assessments? And why didn’t I directly realize? Why did it take some failures and up to seven years for me to eventually learn??

Only I can give my dreams to me. Being dependent on others to realize your dreams is the best way to ruin your life. You can’t love other people if you can’t love your self first. You cant find other person if you cant find your self. You will never be ready to understand other people if you haven’t understood yourself.

To be honest, I really dislike hearing girls who only want to get married, have kids, and don’t have other goals in life. But sadly I used to be one of them. If one of my past relationships had succeeded to marriage, and I had been married before I really understood why I wanted to get married and what a marriage is, I would have been lost for a longer time without really knowing who I really was and being dependent on other people to give me happiness and I’m sure I wouldn’t have been happy. Those were forced happiness. The best scenario was to have kids, raise them, but then when they’re old enough for school, I would have been still back to the feeling of emptiness in my soul, because I hadn’t finished with my self-discovery. What if he cheated and left me after that? What if he died all of a sudden? Then I would have been left with nothing again beside the stereotypes of widowed woman in this somewhat cruelly judgemental country. I believe that if one cant be happy with his/ her self, he/she cant find happiness in that relationship either.

I want to be able to stand on my own feet. When I get married, I don’t want to only be proud of partner’s success, I want to be proud of my self too. Seriously, people should stop telling young girls to just find a successful man to marry and spend his money. Start teaching girls to be successful on herself and shop with her own money.

  1. If it’s not meant to be, it’s not meant to be.

Break-ups taught me that no matter how it seemed to be right in the beginning, how much we believed the person would be our soul mate, if it’s not meant to be, it’s still not going to happen no matter how hard you tried to make it work. Most of the times, we don’t end up with the person we thought was our soulmate, and that’s okay.

  1. You’re not irreplaceable, he is either

The ugly reality about break-up doesn’t end when you or he said to break up. It’s what happens after the break-up that’s slowly hurting you to the bones. You will have to accept the fact that somebody else is gonna take your place, got his attention that you used to have, smell his perfume that you used to know, live your broken dreams of being together with him, and it’s not your hair anymore that he’s gonna play with during conversation. His phone lock screen will be filled with other woman’s photo. You cannot expect him to be mourning all the time while you yourself are trying to move on. You’ll start over with someone new (only if you give yourself the chance) as well. You’re going to replace his place too with someone else. In the end it’s just life, people move on.

  1. Being single is better than being in a miserable relationship

The pictures of being alone and lonely sometimes scare us. We’re always haunted by thoughts that we could not find somebody else that would love us more than him/ her. Hence, we tend to hold things or person for too long when we’re supposed to let them go. Actually we can only see if the box is not fit only after we get out of the box.

 

Believing in Talent is a Trap

I used to believe in talent, now I’ve stopped. Believing that we’re born better (in some specific fields) than others is as dangerous as believing that we’re less gifted than others.

It is very human that we like to hear only what we want to hear and what we want to hear is that we’re special and other people are ordinary. One might deny it in words, but believes it in hearts.

In my childhood, I was always compared to my brother’s academic achievements, especially in math. I was actually doing fine, I always got good scores and got into top schools and, but my brother always got the best. He represented the province in national championship in elementary school. Hence I believed that I was less gifted in academics. I wanted to move to different school so that I didn’t have to keep up with teachers’ expectation.

As my revenge, I believed I was more gifted than him in other fields. Besides, actually among my classmates, I did well. I felt that I got lucky many times because I rarely studied but always passed the exams safely and sometimes better than others. It started a coincidence then I kept it as a habit. I didn’t like to work hard, I would be as lazy and laid-back as possible just to see how I could still nail it smoothly without even trying, I was proud of it. I teased my friends who were trying to study. I laughed at my friends who were working hard for their goals. I was not alone. I noticed some of the top students in schools had this similar syndrome; taking everything for granted.

But now at this age, in any fields, it’s not my friends whom I thought were talented that are successful today, it’s they who didn’t stop doing and working hard are. They didn’t start with a mile, they started with small steps. Who’d known that their small steps have almost reached the top? But people who I envy most are people who are living my dream; working in creative fields, growing their names in it. I felt betrayed. Not by other people, but by myself.

I felt like, “It’s supposed to happen to me, not to them! How could this happen? What did I miss?”

And you know what I missed?? I missed thousands of days and nights of practice, learning and working on making it to reality. Days and nights which were supposed to use to focus on things I called passion, I wasted for distractions, I wasted on following what other people told me my life should be. I thought that my dreams would still be handed to me without me chasing it. But the world doesn’t work that way.

I looked at my friend who has published some books. Others represented the country in theater. A colleague that used to be ‘invisible’ now can produce wedding gowns.

I won’t be able to be a fashion designer like I’ve always wanted to be unless I start learning how to sew and fashion design. It can’t happen overnight.

Far too often, we believe that our abilities are innate. In other case, we give up many opportunities just because we believe we don’t have the talent for it. “I wasn’t born with the gift of drawing.” Or “I’m not a born leader. Or “I can’t be a writer, I can’t write.”

Without we realize, it’s the ‘myth’ that holds us back, not our ability. People think that the skills in art are based on talent, if you’re not born an artist, you cant be an artist. If that is true, then why drawing techniques and methods exist? Why Mariah Carey still keeps her singing practice until now?

Talent is overrated. Artists are made, not born.

A Video to A Celebrity I Despise (UYA KUYA) – Writing Challenge #5

He’s not a drug dealer, nor a corruptor, politician, assassin, rapist, terrorist, bomber, or any bad profession you can think of.

He’s a father of two and a husband. But that doesn’t make him innocent. He’s a criminal too.

By feeding non-sense to people, especially the poor through stupid TV programs that he creates. He has gained wealth more than he and family needs, but he doesn’t stop. Giving fake hopes and playing with people’s dreams, and he self-proclaims his self a king. King of what? King of bullshit??

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Here’s a video for you.

May you rot in hell.