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Baru Klinthing Nyembur

Solo Exhibition
8 February - 8 March 2020
Redbase Foundation Indonesia


by Yohanes Wahyu

In these recent works, Kimpul focuses his artistic attention on the heirloom of Ki Ageng Mangir, which is believed to be the reason why Panembahan Senapati couldn’t conquer this rival easily. Heirloom in the form of a spear called Kiai Baru Klinting. The visualization of Kiai Baru Klinting previously appeared in Kimpul’s work titled Tombak Baru Klinting and also in his work entitled Ki Ageng Mangir. This time Kimpul explored a mosaic of stories about the controversial spear and visualized ten overlapping scenes of the Kyai Baru Klinting story.

The Javanese system of writing was imported from India along with Hindu-Buddhist religion which had graced the archipelago’s historical stage several centuries ago. Since then, Java has known the writing tradition and preserved its stories, history, stories, myths, and fairy tales in a format that is more canonical than the oral tradition.

Although the life span of the Mangirs was in the period of the New Javanese Kingdoms where the culture of recording a character, story, or even myth in writing is done very well, but not much is known about Mangir. “History is written and determined by winners.” Ki Ageng Mangir Wanabaya and his feud with the Mataram Islam are the key to why the written story of Mangir is hard to find.

Visual culture can be said to have the ability in bridging the understanding of an illiterate community group and the literacy culture in that society. The story of Ki Ageng Mangir and his magical spear are only slightly mentioned in the babad, chronicles, or other written products of Javanese kingdom in his time. The illustrations in Kimpul’s works can be said to be a bridge that connects pieces of the Mangir story for all of us.

Selected Artworks