Wimo Ambala Bayang

Belanda Sudah Dekat!

C-print mounted on aluminum
120 x 120 cm

I made this project in 2008 during my residency at Cemeti Art House for the program Landing Soon. I started by reflecting on the title, Landing Soon? Who will be landing?

I am living in Jogja, so it was a challenge for me to see my own city where I work and live every day almost without distance. I imagined myself as if I was a stranger, a foreigner, a visitor like the other artist who came to Yogyakarta city.

Who will be landing? My imagination came to the quote “The Eagle Has Landed!” of the Apollo 11 with Neil Amstrong and Buzz Aldrin, humans landed on the moon! An expansion?

Landing Soon? Do they try to come back again? What should we do? It was the trigger behind the idea of Belanda Sudah Dekat! (The Dutch Are Near!)

From this idea, I invited some communities in Jogja. I made the opposite of a common joke in Java, if you are in a hurry or panic then they will say: ” relax, calm down, the Dutch are still far away”. And asked them to pose carrying water guns. Most of them were interested and wanted to pose for my camera, they even gave some ideas, such as wearing a uniform that they have from their community, to pose and to act.

My purpose for this project was actually to rethink our life as post-colonial country, and how we decolonize from these situations in such a comical and fun way.