Thursday, September 20, 2018

IAF 2018 - Interview with Rukmunal Hakim

I first met Rukmunal Hakim some years ago (circa 2012) at STGCC when he was boothing together with Ario Anindito. They were a pretty savvy pair because they actually attended STGCC as audience the year prior to get a sense of the convention and the market (what sells and what don't) before deciding to purchase a booth the following year. Their prints were spot on and were hot sellers. They figured out what would appeal to the STGCC crowd.

So it was good to see Hakim again at IAF when it first started 2 years ago because it was more of a natural 'home' for him.

I got the chance to chat with Hakim before the craziness start at IAF again this weekend. Do check out his booth with buddy Elfandiary and also the talk show I'm doing with them on Sunday, 23 Sept at La Salle (Room F202) from 2pm to 3 pm. It's called Illustrating in Indonesia and it should be fun. Dee Dee Rakham is helping out with the translation on that day. Tickets available here:

Can you tell us more about yourself and your work?

My name is Rukmunal Hakim. I live and work in Bintaro, South Tangerang. Not far from Jakarta. Besides being an illustrator, I am also a Visual Consultant and Creative Director for 3 Indonesian musicians. I host my own podcast channel, “Podluck Podcast”, which talks (mostly) about illustration in Indonesia. I am also the founder and Creative Director for Gesut!, a collective that moves in the realm of silkscreen prints.

My work talks about a lot of personal experience, and how it intersects with many things around me.

How did you get started?

I started drawing, learning from scratch, self-taught, at practically a late age of 25 years old. And I entered the professional world 3 years later. I’m 34 years old this year, so it’s almost 10 years since I started…

What sort of art training did you receive?

My school is the internet and my colleagues. I learned most of my skills from both.

How is your work different from others in Indonesia and the rest of the world?

It will be difficult for me to explain what is the difference in my work when compared to other artists.
I think, the difference will be seen from the background where we live, our education, family, the references to the music we listen to, the movies we watch, and so on. As a self-taught illustrator, I have a different visual language from those who have an art education. And in the end, the theme brought out will vary, even though most human problems – well, most of them - are almost the same. But the story will always be different.

Is there a Bandung scene? How is it different from Jakarta and Jogjakarta?

If we talk about the 3 major cities in Indonesia in the realm of art, namely, Jakarta, Bandung and Jogja, all three have different atmospheres. Bandung is known as a creative city, which deals directly with industry practice. Whereas Jakarta is an industry, a place where all money is located, and Jogja is a place where we can live as artists in full, and freely.

What is the power and role of illustrations in society?

Illustration is one of the disciplines of fine arts that has good adaptability with other disciplines. This is what gives illustration the special advantage and an important role. Many important and crucial things, such as aircraft safety guidelines, medical books, etc., can be better understood when there are illustrations in them. And this is only a small example where illustration has a role in society.

What do you hope to achieve with your art?

I hope more people can enjoy my work.

How many times have you attended IAF and what do you think of it?

This year is my third IAF (the second time with Elfandiary). My first event in Singapore was STGCC with Ario Anindito, and for me, IAF is more relevant to my profession. And so far the experience with IAF is very fun!

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