Artist Feature #1 by LOKAL LLC

Mandy La Lune is an Indonesian artist/curator currently residing in Lille, France. Her work focuses on identities in South East Asian contemporary art. She is currently finishing her Master's Degree in contemporary art exhibition at the University of Lille III while also working for "Artconnexion". For more of her work, check out her site

1. What is your aspiration as an artist? Who inspires you as an artist?

My main goal is to direct the public’s attention to emerging artists. I enjoy providing the infrastructure for young artists to deliver their art.

I look towards my own reflections on social and cultural issues to inspire my works of art. Other than that, I think that I am pretty much influenced by my childhood, anecdotes of my every day life, and my daily interactions with people.

2. Tell us about your recent artwork(s).

My most recent work is called “What you see is what you get” (2016). It is based on experiments conducted using eye-tracking technology.

Several subjects sat in front of an eye-tracking device, while observing photographic work (Tri City Drive-In, 1993) by my favourite Japanese artist, Hiroshi Sugimoto.

Traces of their eye movements formed individual dots, which I then connected to each other using Photoshop in order to create geometrical shapes. This is very much inspired by our collective childhood experiences of drawing and connecting dots.


The shapes are then printed on transparent sheets of papers and combined with one another to create sophisticated abstractions. This piece was exhibited late April of this year in a gallery here. Julien Prévieux, best known as “Prix Marcel Duchamp” 2014 laureate, curated this exhibition.

Ariawan Amanda. Sekat (Cloison), 2013. Découpages de tissu et tapis sur Sarong <Tissage traditionnel Indonésien), corde, pôle en métal. 150 x 200 cm.

Ariawan Amanda. Sekat (Cloison), 2013. Découpages de tissu et tapis sur Sarong <Tissage traditionnel Indonésien), corde, pôle en métal. 150 x 200 cm.

3. How significant is Indonesian culture in your work as an artist?

I tend to reflect on what’s happening now. So when I refer to Indonesian culture, I talk about the transitions and tensions between the traditional and the contemporary, the old and the new.

I’m often tempted in reflecting the contradictions between the stereotype given to Indonesia by the rest of the world and the actual condition of the country; the fast-developing, somewhat westernized Indonesia.

4. Can you describe your relationship with Batik?

Batik to me is a medium of reflection regarding cultural hybridization. In a series of artworks called “Culture Hybrids”, I worked with African and Indonesian batik to express the cohabitation between history and present, authentic and banal, oriental and occidental.

Batik, introduced by Indonesians, brought the Dutch to open Batik factories in Africa during the colonial era. The products, signed “Holland wax textile”, are shipped worldwide even today.

This proves that art is a melting pot for multiple nations and races, as well as different places and time. I invented my own style of Batik to emphasize this idea. My contemporary Batik cohabits with the figurative traditional Batik pattern by painting it on top of the existing patterns on my fabric medium. This is a way for me to show that harmony can arise from differences.

5. What is your favorite thing about Indonesian culture?

I always enjoy Indonesian dance and music performances as well as religious ceremonies. I like that feeling of attending something sacred. I’ve been practicing Indonesian dances since I was young, starting with Balinese and moving on to other regions as I got older.

I realized that, much like my Batik work, it made a lot of sense for me to re-arrange traditional dances into something contemporary. I really want people to feel the same magic I feel about Indonesian performing arts in a fresh and nuanced way.

6. What is next for you?

In 2017, I plan to move to Asia in order to build more relationships, produce more exhibitions, and most of all achieve my main goal; build a structure for emerging artists residing in Asia.

 

Lokal Turns 1 by LOKAL LLC

Today marks Lokal Cold Brew’s 1 year Anniversary. On this day last year, the first batch of Lokal Cold Brews hit the shelves at the Roosevelt Coffeehouse with the goal of bringing our Indonesian roots to the new culture that has welcomed us for the last decade; we thought, what better way to coalesce two very different heritage that the universal medium of coffee.

Lokal Cold Brew was conceived from that merger, collaborating with local micro-roasters to feature their magic while highlighting Indonesian single origin beans, whose fabric are also reflected in the different abstracted batik prints on our bottles.

In the past year, the Lokal crew has grown significantly having sold more than 1000 bottles within 2 months of launching. We have also since, doubled our collaborations alongside many wonderful local businesses and young artists, such as Stump and Here to Disrupt who have been instrumental in our aim to serve you the best Indonesian coffee from halfway around the globe.

To date, we’ve released five different single origin coffees, all unique in their characteristics and flavor profiles. Our partnership with local roasters continue to flourish as we tweak and adjust roast profiles for our cold brews, and we are now selling to 5 different places in town; Roosevelt Coffeehouse, Skillet, Philco, Little Eater and Stump.

Our journey with LOKAL has truly shown us how great of a city we live in. All of this would not be possible if it weren't for you, the good people of Columbus. We are so immensely grateful for the love you've given us, and we promise to continue doing you right by brewing you the best damn cold brews.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Salam Lokal

LOKAL LISTENS #4 - LOKANANTA by LOKAL LLC

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Modern Indonesian music can trace its roots back to a critical point in our nation's history. It would not be an embellishment to think of Lokananta as the main cause of the proliferation of Indonesian pop music. 

Lokananta, which translates to "The gamelan sounds of heaven", is the country's oldest record label and vinyl manufacturing facility in Indonesia. Born in 1956, the government backed record studio served as an Indonesian centric counter weight to the rising influence of Western culture on the Indonesian psyche. Lokananta was intended to provide an alternative for the public following the government's ban on Rock and Roll music. This ban included the prohibition of airing music from The Beatles on the newly independent nation's airwaves. 

The ban surprisingly resulted in the golden age of Indonesian pop music. Lokananta evolved from merely starting as a transcription service for the national's public radio to becoming the epicenter of musical creativity and the creation of Indonesian rock legends, including Koes Plus and Bob Tutupoly. It was perhaps ironic that the ban on Western Rock and Roll in some ways birthed its Indonesian counterpart.

Alongside the first recorded speeches of President Soekarno (Indonesia's first president) and the original version of the national anthem, Lokananta holds account for the biggest collection of Keroncong and gamelan orchestras.

Unfortunately, the modernization of musical formats and rampant piracy led to Lokananta's sad and sure decline. Following its bankruptcy and subsequent liquidation in 2001, Lokananta’s main earnings were its rental fee from the indoor soccer space they were forced to create in order to keep the company alive. 

Thankfully, Indonesia's independent music scene is now trying to prop up this musical institution that has been left stranded following the collapse of President Suharto's New Order government. Bands such as "White Shoes and The Couples Company" and "Efek Rumah Kaca" are trying to rekindle the public's interest in this critical piece of Indonesian music history. 

Here at Lokal, we are extremely fortunate to own a couple of Lokananta produced vinyls. We hope to be able to play them for you some time!

LOKAL TRADITIONS #1 - HARI NYEPI (DAY OF SILENCE) by LOKAL LLC

BRUNCH AND KULTUR TEMPLATE

"Hari Nyepi", otherwise known as the Day of Silence, is a day reserved for self-reflection, meditation, and fasting. It is a day of particular significance for the majority Hindu population of Bali. Nyepi is also a celebration of the new year, in concordance to the Saka calendar system. 

Nyepi Day serves both social and spiritual purposes. The Balinese Hindu would use this moment to pray to Hyang Widhi Wasa to cleanse the universe and also the universe within men. Socially speaking, it is also used as a moment to celebrate diversity and to encourage solidarity and tolerance between different peoples. 

Similar to Sabbath, activities such as work are also prohibited. Daily activities such as traveling or using fire are discouraged, in order to control their 5 earthly senses to increase the quality of their lives in the year to come. 

We would like thank our Balinese farmers for their delicious coffee, and to wish them a Selamat Hari Nyepi. 

LOKAL VISUALS #1 - BATIK by LOKAL LLC

We go to great lengths here at Lokal to ensure that in addition to drinking the best that Indonesian coffee has to offer, you are also receiving a culturally authentic and enriching experience. Through art and design, we believe that we are able to share some of our culture's greatest treasures.

Batik is a much revered centuries old textile art; It serves as a thread connecting us to our past and our origins. The top half of our labels are adorned with ornate Batik fractals that vary depending on the geographical origins of our Indonesian coffees. Much like the concept of single origin coffees, batik designs have different profiles and styles that are unique to its specific origin.  

Needless to say, Batik is central to Lokal's brand identity. The Batik on our labels are customized to reflect the origin of the coffees. Our labels will continually change to follow along with our different coffee releases. 

The island of Java is famous for refining Batik into its greatest peak. The art of wax-resist dyeing entire clothes requires years of apprenticeship and masterpieces often could take decades to complete. Previously reserved for the Javanese royalty, it has always been regarded highly by the masses due to its rich heritage. Conforming with the royalty, it was important for young Javanese ladies to be able to utilize the Canting (pen-like instrument used in the creation of Batik design) skillfully. Batik is very much democratized now and is a tremendous source of national identity to Indonesians at home and abroad.

Batik has been used historically as a story telling medium; we strive to carry that tradition forward. 

LOKAL LISTENS #3 - WHITE SHOES AND THE COUPLES COMPANY by LOKAL LLC

There is much to say about the rise of bands like White Shoes and The Couples Company in Indonesia. A surging interest in the retro aesthetics as of late is substantiated by the country's rich history and relationship with 70's pop culture. White Shoes are currently signed by Minty Fresh Records, an independent Chicago based label, and have won praises from Rolling Stones and Pitchfork alike. The combination of retro disco beat with surf rock nuances pays homage to old school Indonesian jazz-pop music scene.

LOKAL LISTENS #2 - TIGAPAGI by LOKAL LLC

We've been listening to a lot of Tigapagi lately. The Bandung based outfit focuses their energy on Sundanese pentatonic rhythm, crafting complex "Kroncong" style tunes that pays homage to Indonesia's agricultural roots and post-colonial history

LOKAL LISTENS #1 - THE TREES AND THE WILD by LOKAL LLC

Formed in Bekasi, West Java, this Jakarta based band is our answer to Icelandic post-rock phenom Sigur Ros. The band utilizes elements of traditional Gamelan pentatonic scales (Which some say heavily influenced Impressionist musician Claude Debussy), creating music that is both modern yet familiar.

 

WHAT IS SINGLE ORIGIN? by LOKAL LLC

Simply put, single origin coffees are premium coffees that are typically grown within a single geographic origin. They could range from single farms, or even down to the micro scale of a single field on a farm. The level of specificity may differ from one single origin coffee to another. Some are grown in a narrow range of altitude, or are chosen for the time of the harvest. 

We believe that this is what makes coffee fun and intriguing. The same Sumatra Mandheling grown in two different farms in Sumatra may taste completely different from each other. This is a result of multiple variables that may include things such as processing, altitude, fermentation techniques, etc. 

These nuanced differences may be subtle; hence we do not recommend that you add milk or sugar into your coffee. The distinct flavor profiles from the regions may be masked by the stronger flavor of the milk. The natural sweetness of the coffee may also be diminished with the addition of sugar. 

We hope that our single origin coffees would send you down the rabbit hole of Indonesian specialty coffees. Our archipelago of 18,000 islands has much to offer beyond our famous Sumatra coffees. We want Lokal to act as a vehicle to bring the lesser known Indonesian coffee-growing regions into Columbus' coffee scene.