Looking at this elephant’s eye portrait that was taken by Julian Latif. I couldn’t help but stare deeply trying to get a sense of understanding of how many roads this magnificent creature has walked by. We learned that the elephant needs to be in constant motion in order to be physically healthy. Having this as their nature, it requires them to walk miles away en masse over six months to a year period. But what happened after the long journey was often lead them only to find their home being corrupt by human intervention and civilization; from railway tracks to housing. The declining numbers of Sumatran Elephants, unfortunately, the real price that we have to pay off not being responsible to consider their ancient pathways. But with the help of local rangers from Elephant Flying Squad that was initiated by WWF Indonesia, we’re hopeful that it’s not too late to save them.
We were honored to be collaborating with HOPE (Yayasan Dunia Kasih Harapan) for their Hope For Life Auction event at Hotel Monopoli last Monday, 3 December 2018. They invited various local artists as well as makers to contribute artworks in a live auction that were inspired by the life of Sumatran Elephants in Tesso Nilo. The benefit from this auction will help to sustain the conservation of Sumatran Elephants as well as to raise awareness towards this critical issue.
We’re grateful to be teamed up with our good friend, Taman Hayat to create an installation at the exhibition entry. We decided to highlight the tropical rainforest as the focal point of our installation that represents the home of Sumatran Elephants. Within two weeks time, we managed to create a natural indigo dyed textile to depict a waterfall, a selection of curated plants from Taman Hayat and an amazing portrait of an elephant’ eye captured by Julian Latif. Our team effort has successfully transformed what seems like a plain corner at first, to a contemporary tropical rainforest installation that delivered a strong message of Sumatran Elephants natural habitat.
As for the auction itself, we collaborate with a Bandung based collage collective, Naplab Studio. For this piece called ‘Tusks and Tree of Life’, we wanted to visualize an image of elephants surrounded by trees that represent the life in Tesso Nilo itself. We mixed the collage by utilizing Imaji Studio’s fabric waste, and then bring them to life by using an embroidery technique. The result was whimsical with a little bit touch of the traditional folktale.
For as much as I can recall, the purpose that drives me and my partner to take a leap and start Imaji Studio has been our desire to contribute something to nature by incorporating what it has to offer with our passion in textile and art. Participating at this event has not only opening new doors but as well as connecting us with other inspiring humans and stories that are worth sharing. It has been told many times that Elephants Never Forget, so does our hope to not forget our responsibility to spread more awareness and take care of this precious living creature. Thank you for believing! The exhibition will still be available for preview until this Saturday, 8 December 2018 at Hotel Monopoli.