Win­dows of Won­ders

A fun, lay­ered mash up of art, de­sign and com­merce re­sults from the col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween lead­ing In­done­sian artists de­sign­ers in­diegueril­las and French lux­ury pur­veyor Herm s

Portfolio - - IN THIS ISSUE - By Victor Chen

The hus­band and wife team be­hind Indieguerilla finds bliss­ful col­lab­o­ra­tion de­sign­ing dream­ily play­ful shop win­dows for French lux­ury la­bel Her­mes

When we were in­vited to do the Herms artist win­dow, we were briefed that the an­nual theme would be play, says Ms. Santi Ari­esty­owanti, one half of the de­sign duo indieguerilla. We were ex­cited as our work method was play­ful, so it fit well with our spirit. When the Yo­gyakarta based artists de­sign­ers fi­nally saw the prod­ucts, they re­al­ized they were headed to­wards the same aes­thetic di­rec­tion as the French lux­ury brand. The re­sult of the col­lab­o­ra­tion is The Joy­bringer, cur­rently on dis­play at Her­mes Liat Tower.

Herms win­dows are long run­ning traf­fic stop­pers not only for the prod­ucts they en­dorse, but also for their elab­o­rately and metic­u­lously crafted sets the re­sult of care­fully thought out col­lab­o­ra­tions with artists and de­sign­ers. In them the dis­plays tell a story, some­times al­lud­ing to fa­mil­iar nar­ra­tives, beloved fairy­tales or col­lec­tive mem­o­ries that am­plify the mean­ing­ful­ness of the mer­chan­dise.

This is not lost on in­diegueril­las. It is a great honor to us to be in­vited to (par­tic­i­pate) in this pro­ject, Mr. Dy­at­miko Miko Ba­wono, the other half of the duo, ad­mits. We were very thrilled, and at the same time, chal­lenged to up our game. For one, Herms renowned crafts­man­ship set a very high stan­dard for the artists to ap­ply to their own pro­duc­tion.

But it was the play­ful as­pect of the prod­ucts that ex­cited them even more:c ase in point, a clutch bag with a bar­rel bolt lock for clo­sure. This is akin to pick­ing some­thing we are fa­mil­iar with, chang­ing the func­tion, and turn­ing it into some­thing un­ex­pected and unique , Mr. Ba­wono points out. He also de­lights in how the Herms Cha ne dAn­cre Punk jew­elry col­lec­tion plays up the safety pin mo­tif. When we use safety pins, we try to hide them, making sure they are not vis­i­ble. But in this jew­elry line, they are high­lighted, he em­pha­sizes. This spirit of play is very im­por­tant to us, and we carry it in our every­day life. It helps our work, too, as it al­lows us to ex­plore new ideas and find new pos­si­bil­i­ties.

In Guerila Mode

Founded in 1999 by Mr. Ba­wono and Ms. Ari­esty­owanti as a graphic de­sign firm, in­diegueril­las sought to be con­stantly in guer­rilla (mode) to find new pos­si­bil­i­ties from the get go. Ms. Ari­esty­owanti stud­ied vis­ual com­mu­ni­ca­tion de­sign in school, while Mr. Ba­wono did a de­gree in in­te­rior de­sign, and by 2007, the cou­ple had be­come full time artists who also pro­vided de­sign ser­vices.

De­sign still plays a very im­por­tant role (in our work) as it al­lows us to ex­plore the use of un­con­ven­tional me­dia and tech­niques as part of our artis­tic state­ment. In ad­di­tion to our back­ground in vis­ual ef­fects and in­ter me­dia ex­per­i­men­ta­tion, our works are of­ten rec­og­nized for us­ing folk­loric in­flu­ences, Mr. Ba­wono elab­o­rates.

The unique i nter­twine be­tween tra­di­tional val­ues and con­tem­po­rary cul­ture has taken us to nu­mer­ous im­por­tant ex­hi­bi­tions around the globe, Ms. Ari­esty­owanti adds. We pur­sue the themes of iden­tity and re­lated so­cial is­sues in our work, par­tic­u­larly as Ja­vanese liv­ing in the era of glob­al­ism. She adds that they are also in­ter­ested in con­sumerism as a theme, although their po­si­tion is to­wards bet­ter self aware­ness of ones de­sires and ac­tions.

Extr av­a­gant Tra­di­tion

For The Joy­bringer col­lab­o­ra­tion with Herms , in­diegueril­las be­gan with the brief. They then started to re­search and de­velop con­cepts, pro­ceeded with brain­storm­ing and sketch­ing un­til they ar­rived at the fi­nal sketch. They then broke it down into a series of tech­ni­cal pro­cesses.

The pro­duc­tion was done in Jogja, Mr. Ba­wono ex­plains. We made an elab­o­rate choice of ma­te­ri­als to use, as well as the process of (ex­e­cu­tion). For ex­am­ple, the brass pieces used in the in­stal­la­tion were cus­tom made by crafts­men in Jogja. A mas­ter crafts­man trained in jew­elry making hand tooled the del­i­cate brass flow­ers in the same way as the elab­o­rate pieces worn by tra­di­tional Ja­vanese dancers.

Other pieces, such as the antlers, were cast in sand molds; some wooden items were crafted out of In­done­sian teak wood, while oth­ers in lo­cal co­conut tim­ber. Maple wood from the US was sourced from their lo­cal sup­plier to pro­vide con­trast­ing qua lities. Some­how, this com­bi­na­tion of dif­fer­ent ma­te­ri­als and dif­fer­ent tex­tures works to­gether within the space.

Beyond Child s Pla y

Our child­hood played a huge role in in­flu­enc­ing the win­dow in­stal­la­tion, Mr. Ba­wono reveals. One of the things I re­call from my child­hood was my ex­pe­ri­ence learn­ing to ride the bi­cy­cle. It was the be­gin­ning of my in­ter­est in var­i­ous ve­hi­cles bi­cy­cles, cars, and all kind of toys re­lated to trans­porta­tion. The bright colors of all those toys in­flu­enced the cloros we used.

For her part, Ms. Ari­esty­owanti turned to her grand­moth­ers in­ven­tive­ness and cre­ativ­ity. I re­mem­ber my grand­mother as very cre­ative and hands on. She used to fix things in the house to im­prove them. For ex­am­ple, we had an old rat­tan chair that was not very com­fort­able, and one day, she stitched a cush­ion on it.

Later on, she also added wheels to the legs of the chair. Not only did it be­come more com­fort­able, it could also swivel and move around eas­ily. So, the spirit of play is not only about kids play, but it can also man­i­fest in us­ing old ma­te­ri­als, in­ject­ing new pur­poses in them, and making them into some­thing else, some­thing bet­ter.

We cer­tainly learned a lot from col­lab­o­rat­ing on The Joy­bringer ; it put us in sit­u­a­tions where we had to ex­plore tech­niques and pos­si­bil­i­ties in or­der to achieve the best re­sults. When­ever they en­tered a hard­ware shop to source for ma­te­ri­als, they had to look beyond what was be­fore them. We had to see pos­si­bil­i­ties.

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