11th Gwangju Biennale
2. 9. – 6. 11. 2016



Tromarama (Febie Babyrose, Herbert Hans Maruli, Ruddy Hatumena)

On a screen suspended in GB11’s Gallery 2 is a projected image of lush, tropical greenery. The image moves gently as if it is a curtain being blown by the wind, revealing a dark, seemingly infinite space behind. The absence of sound in Tromarama’s (Febie Babyrose [b. 1985, Jakarta/Bandung, Herbert Hans [b. 1984, Jakarta/Bandung] and Ruddy Hatumena [b. 1984, Bahrain/Bandung]) video Panoramix (2015) heightens the viewer’s sense that the image and its movement is somewhat a play on the virtual and the real, the digital and the analog. In Gallery 1 is Surflux (2015), five videos showing one ignited firecracker each, looped on five separate flat screens. Void of sound, this work is an eruption of silent celebration, as firecrackers are often used in jovial and celebratory occasions. The lack of sound here adds a layer of abstraction, making the context of such celebration opaque. But the colorful freckles of light from the firecrackers simply cannot be stifled by the silence—their energies not only fill, but also overflow to beyond the screen to reach its viewers.

Most known for the stop-motion animations that often involve labor-intensive production, such as Break A Leg (2015), which featured a figure running toward the audience, and was made from made from 230 pieces of terrycloth with images embroidered onto the fabric. Their works also circulate widely via online channels, such as YouTube, and are often filled with wit and playfulness as objects of the everyday spring to life before Tromarama’s hands and lens. As a collective that grew up amid the explosion of digital technology in Indonesia, Tromarama’s practice is also concerned with the impact that technology has on individuals as human subjects. In First Wave (2015), three monitors with three looped videos sit atop three chairs. In the videos, a continuous stream of selfies of the three members of Tromarama, digitally collaged with emojis, and photos from the news—images that we encounter online as well as images that we use to represent ourselves in the virtual realm. Has the abudance or even overproduction of images made us only and overtly obsessed with ourselves? Or does a new way of experiencing and conducting the world, a new subjectivity, emerge? MW


Tromarama is an artist collective founded by Febie Babyrose, Herbert Hans, and Ruddy Hatumena in 2006. They live and works in Bandung, Indonesia. They studied at the Institute of Technology of Bandung in the early 2000s. The first time the collective worked together was in experimenting with a stop-motion animation for a music video. Since then they’ve been working together as a collective and most of their works are video animation. They are fascinated by the illusion that emerges from the intersection of real life and the virtual. Tromarama has had solo exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2015); National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2015); and Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2010).