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Piramida (Q)urban Manusia
Sigit Pramono (born in Batang in 1958) is a banker-cum-photographer. His first solo photography exhibition, functioning as well as a charity event, was held in 2004 at the Dharmawangsa Hotel, Jakarta. He then went on to exhibit his works at the Subo Pakualaman Restaurant, Yogyakarta, in 2005. In the same year, he joined an education exhibition and a charity auction for the National Education Day in Pekanbaru. In April 2005, his photography works were published in a book titled Viewpoints.
The social strata actually explain the urban economic castes in terms of class fragments. At the peak of the pyramid that Sigit Pramono presents here, lies a string of photography works representing the fragile and vertiginous theater of the elites. The cynical, paradoxical portrayal betrays a kind of anxiety from the part of an executive trying to depict the lives in his own circle, tainted as it is by hypocrisy, intrigues, collaboration—as if it is being driven by one major force. Therefore, Sigit deliberately creates engineered, caricatural, and seemingly-tacky works of photography.
At the bottom layer, Sigit presents the social realities around him. Sigit depicts the porters on the railway, offering their souls for the sake of a living as they chase the incoming trains by the Gambir station. Porters, stations, and trains are interesting signs of departure and arrival; of impending death and the continuing kitchen fires. For the porters, life is a kind of unending journey in-line with death.
At the middle layer, Sigit offers the synthesis of problems; an essence of sorts in the life's oasis originating from his spiritual river. The violence of life on Earth and the (seemingly) beautiful life up in the clouds, fragile and risky, are a cycle of life related to sacrifice. The contemporary urban society philosophically knows only of who sacrifices whom, everyone is a wolf to another. Sigit depicts this using the symbol of animal sacrifices, questioning the essence of life.
The urban is impermanence and fleetingness, passing us by like a shooting star. (Oscar Motuloh)
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