Little Architects From East Sukaraja 2010

26 June 2010 - 09 July 2010

Nindityo Adipurnomo & Mella Jaarsma


The Jatiwangi Artists in Residence Festival (JARF) 2010 has been our shortest residency (2 weeks) after the Hong Kong International Artists Workshop (3 weeks) in 2005 in Kowloon – Hong Kong.

A lack of infrastructure, funding and information about the social character and culture of the area proved to be a difficult but also interesting starting point for the project. The village people served as both important objects and subjects of inspiration and cultural development within this art project. As a result, we relied on the sincerity and openness of the village people participating from the seven villages of the vast 'Sub-Urban District Jatiwangi' territory, to assist our understanding of the area and to bridge the large cultural gap which existed between the artists and village people.

The fervent enthusiasm and enduring positive spirit of the two organizers of the JARF Art Project, siblings Arief Rahman Yudi and Ginggi, continued to inspire and drive our motivation!

‘Arsitek leutik ti Sukaraja Wetan’ (Little Architects from East Sukaraja) is a public program designed by Nindityo Adipurnomo and Mella Jaarsma for the village children of East Sukaraja, Majalengka, West Java. In this program, we assisted the children by guiding and honing their creativity to strengthen new and old family values, especially relating to the value of one’s home. Thus  'Building a Home’ became the main theme for this program, whilst also serving as a bridging tool for the children of farming and tile industry workers of the sub-urban Jatiwangi community.

Rice farming and tile manufacture are the two strongest industries in the area and can be seen as a critical working transition from agricultural to industrial in which both rely heavily on the management structure / mis-management of economic capital which is highly centralised and authoritarian.

'Building a Home’ finds its context as a mini-trial which aimed to broaden the creativity of the village children who have grown up only knowing of the industrial influences of the area. As a result, the children were able to break free from the ideals found on the industrial perspective of the area and be challenged to imagine, design and build their dream home!

Playing, learning, dreaming and working, was the motto of our interaction with the children in which we encouraged them to draw the interior and exterior of their dream home.  After presenting and discussing the finished drawings we asked them to reconsider the importance of certain elements within their drawings and to literally cut out elements of lesser importance. They then added objects of more value and rearranged the interior space to logically fit their dream home design. Eventually, modest floor plans and facades were completed by the children and were used to make models of their dream houses. These models were displayed and presented between the wooden and bamboo roof tile drying racks.

We would like to express our appreciation and gratitude to all parents of the participating children of kampong 1 to 5 in East Sukaraja who have entrusted their children to our care for the duration of the program.

We would also like to thank to the youth of the East Sukaraja media center, Kang Oing and the PITSTOP band who have helped us to create a truly memorable residency at the Pabrik Genteng Tiga Utama – East Sukaraja – Jatiwangi.

Nindityo Adipurnomo & Mella Jaarsma