Get Acquainted with Serendipity in Random Black by Bagus Pandega

Get Acquainted with Serendipity in Random Black by Bagus Pandega


Usually, we come to an art exhibition hoping to catch a story. However, Bagus Pandega is not a story teller. Through his latest exhibition housed by ROH Projects, he tried to play with Onomatopeia—a transliteration of sounds where words imitate the natural sound of an object or creature (eg. Tokek, and menggonggong). And instead of acting as a part of narration to explain the underlying concept, his art acts solely as stimulus—regardless of whether the stimuli is going to be understood or not.

Set on the 40th floor of Equity Tower SCBD, the installations titled ‘Random Black’ is served in front of the majestic bird’s eye view of Jakarta. Once you set foot on the exhibition, you’ll be greeted with various beguiling sounds: the sounds of things rubbed against each other, clangs of cymbals and the creaking electricity. Then, as you proceed, you will find clusters of random objects scattered all across the room. Some are connected to another with wires while the other stands on its own. All the objects seem to perform mechanically, yet incoherently. With no story and narratives to explain, you’re left alone to marvel and absorbs whatever you can get from these creations.

“I don’t want to become an illustrator through my work, I am not interested in creating narrations and I’d rather not explain anything to the audience. I just start from the medium: an object. Its kinetic aspects, and sounds,” the artist stated. “I am more interested in imagining where something is growing, instead of looking at what is already conceived. We are pre-conditioned and I don’t want to bring symbolic meaning or dramatic effects through my work,” he further explained.

In order to enjoy this exhibition, the key point is to experience. The description on the entrance said that we will be able to hear objects, see sounds, feel movement, listen to colors, and smell time—and we did get some of that. And not by reading any description about the art (for there are none) but by exploring each object ourselves. The black cymbals, for instance, were moved by a timer, thus allowing us to listen to time. In the dark room located on the right corner of an exhibition, a sound detecting machine stands and it used sound waves to light up multicolor lamps—therefore we have listened to colors and see sound. We then contemplate that the absence of signs is what allowed us to really explore and gain such insights.

After that, we stayed long enough trying to find a pattern between the seemingly mechanical movements of every object. But we didn’t seem to be able to find any. Indeed, the exhibition aims to get you acquainted with the beauty of serendipity or ‘the art of finding even if you’re not searching’. So if you decided to visit the exhibition, stop thinking too much. Just let your senses guide you, be aware, and be present.


Solo Exhibition by Bagus Pandega
Open every Tuesday - Sunday 11 am - 5 pm

ROH Projects
Equity Tower 40E
Jl Jend Sudirman Kav 52-53
Jakarta 12190

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