Roy is Inspiring

Photography: Roy Voragen

The wall in front of
Rumah Seni Yaitu:


The article I wrote about Roy Voragen disappeared from this blog! It’s truly because of my stupidity…, I didn’t realize and suddenly happened: I deleted it. What a wise guy I am.

Well, I will tell you once more about him. Roy is a philosophy lecturer at Parahyangan University, Bandung. He’s invited by the management of Rumah Seni Yaitu as an artist-in-residence for 5 weeks, started from June 25 till July 29. The Yayasan Widya Mitra Semarang fully fasilitates him in the program.

The foundation is institution for encouraging friendship between Indonesian and Dutch. Its services mainly on library and Dutch language courses. Besides it often organises cultural events, for instance classical music concerts, visual art exhibitions, and so on. This institution has a connection to Erasmus Huis Jakarta.

But why Roy? Once I discussed with R.E. Hartanto, an emerging artist lived in Bandung, whether he could give any ideas how to develop RSY’s programs. Then we agreed to try a residency program inviting an artist to stay in RSY’s guest room for one month. And Roy was chosen to be the first. Roy is Tanto’s friend and they made friend when Tanto was in Rijks Akademie, Netherland.

The story goes. Roy is staying in Semarang now. His project is capturing the city’s life and its public space. He also observes the citizens whom living there, what they do, and who they are. By inspecting this extremely hot town (for Roy!), it seems that Roy also tries to indentify who he is. A theory once he told me. Interesting?

And Roy does photograph well. He finds the city’s insight and he’s able to catch the heart of its urban life. He somehow sees that local people cannot do in the same way. It may be explained that he is a foreigner? Perhaps it’s true. Susan McCartney (Travel Photography, New York:1999) said that it’s wise for photographers to have such foreigners’ eyes so they can see anything in new perspectives.

In his staying, Roy also gives philosophy class called “An Art of Living” for students and lecturers of Soegijapranata Catholic University, Semarang. The class takes place in Rumah Seni Yaitu. They’re gathering in the back room near the gallery’s kitchen. Most of them claimed that Roy’s thoughts is inspiring.

This nice guy had cold a few days ago. Local people will say: “Ah, Roy is masuk angin!” Maybe he couldn’t stand with the hot weather. So do I even I’m living here for almost my whole life. Say hello whenever you see him in the streets of Semarang these days. “Halo, mister bule!”***

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