Ika Arista (Indonesia-Sumenep)
Ika Arista was born in Sumenep, May 11th, 1990. Her last education was Indonesian Language and Literature at IKIP PGRI, Sumenep. She chose to master the art of Keris blacksmithing, a job considered unusual for women. She brought a different perspective regarding his identity as a woman towards the Keris which itself is synonymous to the masculine culture.
Keris or Kris is an Indonesian cultural heritage with worldwide acknowledged prestige. Far from a mere metal blade with mystical enchantment or magical power, Keris has a philosophical meaning behind its forging. In fact, the kris made by Ika Arista carries the epic theme which is able to cover the cracks of history. It is the awareness of such society’s mindset that she seeks to educate.
Ika Arista’s work, keris “Trunojoyo” was exhibited at the 2019 Jogja International Heritage Festival. Another work “Pethodu” (petunjuk) at Némor (Southeast Monsoon): Menjadi Madura, Cemeti-Institute for Art and Society, Yogyakarta, Indonesia (2019).
Installation, kris, ship miniature, sand, amulet | variable size
Due to its strategic position in the maritime trade traffic in Nusantara, the eastern part of Madura island became a place for pirates from the late 17th century until the latter half of 19th century. Their existence was a reaction to the increasingly strong colonial naval fleet that progressively displaced the native sailors. The residents of Kangean Islands recorded the existence of the pirates through the folklore passed down over generations.
Through this artwork, Ika Arista records the existence of pirates who once operated in the waters of Madura Island as a group of brave and tough sailors, serving as a fighting force against the dominance of European sailors in the Indonesian waters in the past.