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Londo ngemis / Bule Gila

buffalo horn


When two words in the Javanese or Indonesia language are reversed, they can signify meanings that are almost opposite to each other. ‘ Londo Ngemis ' means foreign beggar and ‘ Ngemis Londo ' means begging from foreigners . ‘ Gila Bule ' means crazy about foreigners , and ‘ Bule Gila ', crazy foreigners .
By cutting these words out of buffalo horn plates, I question my own residence as a Dutch person in this hybrid feudal society of Java, where every day I must deal with the stereotyped roles of the rich foreigner and the foreigner as colonialist and explorer. The work is also about positioning ‘the native' and ‘the ethnic/foreigner', and the acknowledgement that the relative positions of these groups could be reversed, depending on their surroundings. This work is related to a previous installation I made called ‘From Pets to Pest', when I brought squirrel skins from Java to Bangkok . These squirrels were killed by the farmers near Yogyakarta because they are pests, but I sewed them around the trees in a small park in the middle of Bangkok where people came everyday to feed the beloved squirrels living in the trees.
>> Exhibited at: Cemeti Art House, Yogyakarta (2002) Library of Gajah Mada University , Yogyakarta (2003) Collection: Bule Gila – Karim Raslan, Valentine Willy