06/07/2018 18:30

kinema ikon room, Arad Art Museum / Arad, Romania

The second session of Video Battle at QUIET ODD continues with selections from Indonesia and Malaysia, this time presented at Kinema Ikon in Arad. The videos concentrate around the interactions between artists and the city in post-Reformation Indonesia, spanning over different years and genres. Placed in a context when video appeared mainly as a tool for documenting and archiving socio-political changes, the videos reflect a spirit of an era where video was used as artistic media for experimentations. With no particular aim to develop conceptual ideas, the videos bring out a sense of urgency to document and record the urban changes and the contingent aspects of the day to day.

Presented with a local and contextual humor, the works speak on a direct language, in favor of a visual experience, short and concentrated. On a different level, the selection includes works from early 2000 and other very recent ones from the online collection of the experimental video group Video Battle from Yogyakarta. Besides the short videos, other four artist films will be presented from Indonesian and Malaysian contemporary artists realized at the intersection between subgenres like video art, video performance and film-essay.

Artists: Gan Siong King, Akiq AW, Julian Abraham Togar, Muhammad Akbar

From the Video Battle collection: Jim Allen Abel, Kevin Aldrianza, Bayu Pratama, Anggun Priambodo, Dimas Jayasrana


Gan Siong King: The Boy, His Bike & The Map

2015 / 17 mins 26 secs / HD / Stereo / Single Channel

“The Boy, His Bike & The Map” is about Jeff Lim, who is a graphic designer by training, but have in recent years became a cycling activist in Kuala Lumpur. At a glance it’s about the technicalities of making a cycling map, but in essence, the video is about Jeff’s love for Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia, a place he calls home and his desire to play a part in making its future better by connecting with the city’s past.

This video is the second video-essay for a ten-year project, tentatively titled “Malaysia Artists at Work (MAW)”. The project is about presenting young(er) Malaysian artists working in various art forms, focusing on their working process, and speaks about being an artist in Malaysia. The project is an exercise in storytelling using moving images and sounds, with an equal emphasis on playing with the process, content and form of filmmaking.


Akiq AW: Langkah Kecilku Langkah Besarmu

2017 / 1 min 25 sec in average / Single Channel

In Langkah Kecilku Langkah Besarmu (“My short step is your big step”), artist Akiq AW appears together with his family members in a series of videos based on one of the most “successful” state programs during ‘the New Order Administration’ in Indonesia: Keluarga Berencana (Family Planning) with the main purpose to control the national birth rate. One key idea of this program is the depiction or the concept of a perfect happy family: a nuclear family with 2 children. One important element in this campaign was a song about the importance of the family planning called ‘Mars Keluarga Berencana’ or Family Planning Anthem commissioned to Bandung based song writer Mochtar Embut in early 70’s. This song spread through bureaucratic apparatus to almost all Indonesian villages in 70s and 80s.


Julian Abraham: Drummer’s Gonna Drum

2017 / 6 min / HD video

Julian Abraham’s Drummer’s Gonna’ Drum (2017) is a video work produced for the solo exhibition “Before the Drum” at Kedai Kebun Forum in 2017 focusing on the physicality of the sound. The artist oftentimes finds himself drumming random objects such as books, table, floor, etc. when there are no drum instruments around. From that experience he learnt that everything will produce a sound when it meets force, and anything can become percussion in the hands of the drummer. The video work travels across landmarks and core destinations in Yogyakarta while clinging to carefully selected elements encountered day by day by both locals and foreign travelers.


Muhammad Akbar: Fleur de la Terre

2014 / 6 min 9 sec / HD Video

The work was produced as a form of curiosity of the artist towards the issue of hygiene among Europeans. Produced in a residency in Paris, the work is a stop motion video where the artist photographed every dog excrement he found on the streets. Some excrements were taken back to the studio where the artist added Daisy flowers on top to reflect upon how beauty has always a defect wherever it is placed.



Video Battle is a video compilation produced and distributed independently since 2004 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. This compilation represents a collective effort to spread out video works of various genre/styles to the larger public. The video compilations are distributed both through physical format release and on the Internet. Video Battle project is opened to anyone who wishes to contribute with video works. There are no specific requirements for submitting videos in regards to a certain genre/style, however each video should not exceed the maximum of 8 minutes. Some of the characteristics expected by VB members are a desire to create something different, new, interesting, smart, naughty, and effortless.