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Cinta Yang Sama: A reflection and discussion about Love

A solo exhibition by Harry Setiawan is now showing from 22 February until 9 March 2019 at Uma Seminyak creative space. Opened on Friday, 22 February 2019 under the theme Cinta Yang Sama (in English: Equal Love), this photo exhibition features narration through a series of photos where he used toys idioms to raise the issues around gender diversity and sexual identity.

Toys are often applied by every parent to their children as gender confirmation tools. In our society, when we are born as boys, we will be given toys that are memorable "masculine" which are the hopes and prayers of parents so that the selection of these toys will help the child find his true identity. Likewise, with girls who are always close to toys that are memorable "feminine".

However, like the journey of life, sometimes it is not straight and according to plan. There are conditions and situations that cause each individual to find their own way, including in terms of sexual preference. For example, when you are close to a masculine toy, your adult sexual preference turns out to be opposite, and vice versa.

"In this exhibition, toys appear as a red thread and at the same time a paradox that supports the power of the story that I want to show through the medium of photography," explained Harry Setiawan. Old truck toys and ice cream vendors (vintage toys) that are usually toys for boys, teddy bears or unicorns, cooking dishes made from zinc, appear in various frames of Harry's photos. The photos in this exhibition were taken in various open spaces / public spaces such as markets, parking lots, flyovers and coffee shops. "I want to emphasize, that identity and sexual preferences are things that cannot be separated from the existence of an individual," Harry added.

Some of Harry's works will also appear as installations. There will be installations that use translucent plastic tote bags as a "container" of a dozen photos. Harry wants to convey that the personal existence of each individual will inevitably appear intact as his life journey. When the individual feels comfortable and accepts him/herself, he/she will be able to appear as he/she is, open and doesn’t feel the need to hide. Self-identity becomes something that needs to be welcomed, embraced tightly and celebrated.

In addition, Harry will use chicken cages with various children's toys in them. This installation is a representation of the Javanese tradition, Tedak Siti. Where every child who has entered the age of walking will choose toys or items that will become a kind of clue about his/her hobby or represent his/her future.

During the exhibition, there are three film screenings that will be held on the weekend, which include the Present Perfect, Fathers, and Malila: The Farewell Flowers. The three films are produced by three Thai directors who highlight issues of gender diversity and sexual identity, as well as relations between children and parents.

Harry Setiawan or commonly called Harry (@hareeharee) has been in the world of public relations, marketing communications and brand management for more than 20 years. Admirers and connoisseurs of music, performances, films, and photography, since childhood. In the 5th grade of elementary school, he broke his piggy bank to buy tapes of Leo Kristi (late), leaving his allowance to watch the November 1828 film Teguh Karya (late). Also had time to learn classical Javanese dancing.

He started pursuing photography at the beginning of 2008-2009. But later life brought Harry to his spiritual journey, through various meditation and self-healing workshops he attended. The camera and lens are dusting in the corner of the room.

In the past two years, the desire to pursue photography has again disturbed him, after in 2017, ventured to show off his old photos at Uma Seminyak. Collaborating with a writer - Vabyo, the photo exhibition was his response to a novel titled Forgotten Colors.

Harry also initiated the social experiment: @UdahNelponNyokap? and recently introduced the initiative with the hashtag #SehariUntukmu, an effort to become friends for anyone who needs friends to confide in, friends to discuss, or friends to sit dazed. And to appreciate creative people in various fields of arts and crafts, Harry has also documented it in an Instagram account with the name @mengandunghati.

"I hope through this exhibition, we can all get a chance to know ourselves, becoming wiser enough to accept ourselves, so that we can fill our lives with positive things, not only for ourselves but also for the social environment in which we interact," said Harry.

Cinta Yang Sama is still showing at Uma Seminyak until 9 March 2019. Find the full schedule HERE

By: Malariahouse | 26 February 2019