Nge-Kost, 2013 (with Ida Lawrence)

Nge-kost is Indonesian slang that loosely translates to ‘dormitory living’. In Indonesia, a kost is probably the most common form of accommodation for university students and contract workers from other parts of Indonesia. It’s cheap, it’s social, it can be conveniently close to the locations of our activities – and it’s incredibly cramped.
In this installation, Eko Bambang Wisnu (from Bandung, Indonesia) and Ida Lawrence (from Sydney) reference and exaggerate their experiences of living in kost and visiting friends’ kost while studying visual and performing arts in Yogyakarta, Indonesia in recent years. Responding to SLOT’s wall dimensions, which are not dissimilar to kostfloor dimensions, the artists transform this window gallery space into a very publickost, but with a twist: the unseen inhabitant is literally driven up the wall.
The artists parody the breakdown between public and private that comes with kostliving. An important room and the first in an Indonesian house is the ruang tamu – a room in which to receive and entertain guests while keeping the contents and activities further inside invisible. A visit to a kost however is a visit into a space that serves not only as a place to receive guests, but also as the inhabitant’s bedroom, study, lounge room, dining room and perhaps also their kitchen and bathroom. Here the entire contents that make up one’s life are visible. Additionally, some kost enforce 10pm curfews and rules on who can and can’t visit and when, to the effect that the private lives of kost inhabitants becomes public information: everything is visible, everything is public. And here in this Botany Road kost, it undeniably is.
Installed at SLOT, 38 Botany Road, Waterloo
Sydney, Australia
12 November – 7 December 2013

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