Although kinez Riza has always created art to express her thoughts, her love of photography began at an indistinct flea market in London. An old camera caught her eye, and the reserved artist fell in love with the black and white photographs manufactured by her rare find. “I was moved by the images it produced and started reading into the context of photography as a medium,” recalls Kinez. “Other mediums of art are equally compelling, but photography remains to be the best extension of my psychic and physical self to this day.”
Fast forward eight years to Kinez’s solo photography exhibition titled “Selubung Hening” (Behind the Stillness) at Jakarta’s Ruci Art Space, a testament to the artist’s extraordinary talent in capturing emotions within a frame. The exhibition, attended by prominent figures in Jakarta’s art scene as well as the public, also illustrates the artist’s ability to engage with the audience and incite emotions evoked by her artwork.
The exhibited photographs, images of fossils and rocks, intrigue the audience with the choice of subject. “The rocks are part of objects that I’ve collected for many years during my travels into the wilderness. I tried to make sense of why I was drawn to these objects, and I found that they represent an image of myself,” explains Kinez when asked why she has chosen to capture the particular subject. “I found a deep affinity in Nature. Nature is a platform where I feel most myself and in a state of ‘being.’”
Kinez’s showcased photographs seem to impact the audience with the complexity within their stillness. Heightening this quality with a deliberate choice to showcase in black and white, audiences are drawn to the silence in the artwork, yet intrigued by the complexity behind its simplicity. “The low saturation of colours in my work represent light and dark,” the raven-haired artist expounds. “I feel that in today’s world we are overwhelmed with so many things that we know but can’t see, feel or hear directly with our senses. In Nature’s realm, I could look at a rock or a landscape without the propensity to overthink. Their colours don’t pique my interest as much as how light falls onto the object. I am very drawn to light.”
Displayed alongside the black and white photographs are the artist’s finds. Feathers, fossils, letters and journals are perched inside a glass case, affording an intimate peek into the complex artist’s mind. “I have been writing for a very long time. These journals go as far back as 2007, and when I read them again, I found that some ideas that I thought were new, were actually written many years ago,” Kinez reminisces as she peers at the written records. “It is a testament to ‘a long and twisted narrative,’ between the things I was drawn to and eventually understanding the reasons why I was drawn to them. The journals, along with my objects, photographs and letters, are the bridges between my internal and external worlds.”
With the exhibition’s highly favourable review, the artist is posed with the question of what indefinable quality draws the audience to her art. To this, Kinez leaves the audience to interpret her art based on their singular points of view. “Exhibiting your work requires engagement from the audience. I wouldn’t expect my audience to leave with anything specific because everyone’s perception of reality is unique. Simply engaging with the work is more than enough. It allows me to see into other people’s views as well,” concludes the thoughtful artist.