Technically perfect is one of the many phrases used on how one describes Alfin Agnuba’s graphic arts. Adequate control of visualization and theme, however, is not one of them.
The exhibition of Alfin Agnuba’s artworks titled “Rekayasa” / “Manipulation” is held in Rumah Budaya Tembi Galeri, Yogyakarta. The graphic artworks of the student of ISI Yogyakarta are exhibited from November 13th – 30th, 2013. This exhibition is a part of the artist residency program held by Rumah budaya Tembi Yogyakarta for three months.
In this 13th program, a young artist named Alfin Agnuba is chosen to be a part of this residency. Alfin is known as a diligent student, whose interest in graphic art is quite high. Only in a couple of semester, the control over technique and thematic exploration is clearly visible.
In this exhibition, various graphic artworks consist of poking, screen printing, stencil to the combination of these three techniques. Alfin does not simply feels the sensation of graphic techniques, but also experiences the graphic art as a young artist. Alfin may be as well be stated as grasping the graphic technique well. It is visible in the usage of more than nine colors, whose canvas are completely filled without any void spaces. Alfin uses his chance in this residency as well as he could.
The residency program in Rumah Tembi Budaya is not intended only for those with art education background. The people who pose a potential in art and whose age is not older than 25 years old, have chances to enter this program. It is just that the selection process may be applied to anyone.
The first solo exhibition of Alfin Agnuba is curated by Bambang “Toko” Witjaksono. Bambang truly understands Alfin’s creative process. Bambang may say so since he already knows how Alfin evolves from the beginning of his study in ISI Yogya until after the third semester. As a lecturer of ISI Yogyakarta, Bambang has met Alfin in some of his graphic art courses. Alfin, along with his campus fellow, established a group named Print Making Remedy, acronym PMR.
It is just that Alfin’s technical control still have rooms to improve, particularly in relation to the play of symbols he would want to convey on the canvas. Almost every artwork shows with the excellent take, is not combined with the visualization control as visible in the placement of symbols and colors.
The placement of symbols is related to the theme and idea as a whole, from the very soul of the artist who made it. Alfin’s artworks are sometimes fascinating, but crumbling under scrutiny due to the least idea conveyed or too much idea squeezed into a medium hence the lost of focus. These are the main point of Bambang “Toko” Witjaksono as a curator of Alfin Agnuba’s artworks.
An example is Naik-naik ke Puncak Gedung Tinggi-tinggi Sekali (Goin up the Building, Higher and Higher), 180 x 120 cm, MDF Cut Handcoloring, Silkscreen, Stencil on Canvas (2013). The artwork literally means pigs, dogs, even buildings in forms of castle rising to the sky. Below these things, there are various city buildings as the background of the floating main objects in this painting.
The artwork titled Tomcat Attack, 90×53 cm, MDF Cut on Garda Paper 200 gsm (2013, 3 editions) is depicting the animals’ attack named tomcat in Surabaya’s area. Due to the drastically diminishing paddy field, tomcats enter the community’s housing and attack the inhabitants. The highlighted matter in the painting is the power of the tomcats, whilst the human behavior which caused the phenomenon to happen does not exist in the artwork.
Another painting of this young artist is Persembahan untuk Yang Mulia Gutenberg dan Para Pembaharunya/ (Offerings for Your Majesty Gutenberg and His Reformers), 90x53cm, MDF Cut, Silkscreen, Stencil on Garda Paper 200 gsm (2013, 3 edition). The artwork is comprised of the clear contrast with the existence of Gutenberg, the founder of printing machine, in the middle of the canvas as the center. The usage of black color in Gutenberg’s personage, surrounded by the dominant red color placed this iconic figure as the main act. On the other hand, there is a hand in front of the circle from various objects that covers the figure of Gutenberg.
The hand is not a normal hand due to the part of the chopped arm by a knife. The hand is powerless, powerless in front of the discovery of printing technology replacing the manual ability of skilled human hands. This artwork is a sad remark of a Gutenberg by a graphic art lover, Alfin Agnuba. The fact is heightened by a crow amidst the series of other symbols. Crow,in general perception, personifies the death of the manual skills.
Above all that, due to the spirit shown through his graphic artworks, Alfin Agnuba is credible to be saluted. He is still of a young age and his technical skills are quite above enough, thus the built characters of his artworks. He just needs to work on his thematic control and manifestation.
“What matters is that Alfin never lose his conscience of where he is and where he heads. This realization is vital in heading to other steps, of “how should I do this / am I doing the right thing,” said Bambang ‘Toko’ Witjaksono.***