Artist Lenny Ratnasari Weichert is standing between the curators Bambang Asrini Widjanarko and Agung Frigidanto at the pre-exhibition press conference at Galeri Nasional, Jakarta, on Tuesday (20/09). (JG Photo/Lisa Siregar)

Ratnasari Weichert's Multimedia Pilgrimage to Womanhood


SEPTEMBER 22, 2016

Jakarta. Multimedia artist Lenny Ratnasari Weichert explores history and female identity in her solo exhibition "Pilgrimage" at Galeri Nasional Indonesia in South Jakarta.

Her "Pilgrimage" consists of three major installations: "To Be or Not to Be," "Dinner's Club," and "Homage to Anonymous."

In "To Be or Not to Be," is a bride dressed in a floor-sweeping, lace bridal gown from silicone. It refers to Lenny's personal experience as a woman, a mother, an artist.

In "Dinner's Club," Lenny hosts an imaginary dinner with nine women, a feast of female misery and hope. Lenny's nine guests are: Venus, the Roman goddess of love;  Guanyin, the Buddhist goddess of mercy; Dewi Sri, the Javanese goddess of life and fertility; Khadijah, the first wife of the Islamic prophet Muhammad; Mother Teresa, a Catholic nun and missionary; Malahayati, a 15th century Aceh Sultanate warrior; Colliq Pujie, a 19th century Bugis intellectual and writer; Helena Blavatsky, a Russian occultist whose theosophy reached Java in the early 20th century; and Aung San Suu Kyi, a Burmese political leader and Nobel laureate.

The women are sitting at a wooden table, engrossed in an eight-minute documentary film — a compilation of clips and Lenny's interviews with female political prisoners, comfort women and migrant workers.

"I wanted to show women from before 1945 [Indonesian independence] and after 1945, up until now. It was an enriching experience to be able to talk to them," Lenny said.

The last installation, "Homage to Anonymous," is dedicated to Fatimah binti Maimun, a woman whose 11th century gravestone in Gresik, East Java, is considered among the oldest signs of Islam on the Archipelago.

The exhibition curator, Bambang Asrini Widjanarko, said "Pilgrimage"  took four years to complete.

"This is Lenny's journey to understand and present the stories of women who have often been overlooked on the pages of history," Bambang said.

Lenny's works will be displayed at Galeri Nasional until Oct. 1.