Badan Kajian Pertanahan
Also known as BKP, the Land Study Affairs Agency, is an artistic study laboratory as a product of collaboration between Bunga Siagian and Ismal Muntaha in Jatiwangi. Bunga Siagian is a curator and reviewer of films, while Ismal Muntaha is a social movement figure and an activist.
BKP underlines the speculative practical forms of the cultural landscape of the Jatiwangi area, a traditional tile industry area slowly morphing into a manufacturing industrial city, and land issues through research and artistic practice. BKP deliberately imitates the look of National Land Agency (BPN), which focuses merely on quantitative land data. BKP has collaborated with several local artists, researchers, and local communities, conducting various artistic research, archiving, establishing mini laboratories, and creating residency programs. Since mid-2010, BKP has used a formative and method approach, which is to imagine that it has the authority to criticize the power relations between state institutions and the idea of land ownership and the social landscape in society.
“Mother Bank” (2021)
Mixed media installation | Variable size
Mother Bank is a mimicry of non-formal banking or financial institutions with moneylender practices, providing savings and loan with high interest rates. In rural areas, this practice is common among its primary target customers: women. Mother Bank project has been operating in Majalengka, West Java since 2021. However, the mimicking practice is fundamentally contrary to the ideology of moneylenders who take as much interest as possible. In addition to applying 0% interest rate, Mother Bank substituted the daily routines of moneylenders that would normally wait for installments from the borrowers and other administrative matters with something radical such as learning, sharing, striving for growth, and creating something together. BKP started their savings and loan activities by making use of the money provided by foreign art donors which was initially granted for their residency trip. Due to the pandemic, instead of residency, BKP utilized the fund as Mother Bank’s initial capital.
Through this project, BKP manifests the understanding that economy means managing and processing resources collectively. Through the Mother Bank installation in this exhibition, BKP invites the visitors to participate in this economic model. The project implies that there is a possibility to make use of the neatly-stored money allocated for upcoming regular art programs in art institutions as a form of solidarity for collective activities in other areas temporarily.